Why marinate? Marinades add flavor and tenderize meats, poultry, tofu and vegetables. Grass fed beef has less fat, which means it is healthy for you, however, the fat can help to tenderize meat. Therefore, one of the many ways to help keep grass fed meat tender is to marinade it.
Marinades consist of a four basic ingredients. Many other ingredients can be added to adjust the flavors. Chose from your imagination and what your palate enjoys.
- The first is an acidic component, such as, vinegar, juices, such as lemon, orange, lime, or yogurt or wine, to name a few.
- Next they will contain an oil that can take the heat of cooking, such as: olive oil, sesame, peanut or a combination of any of the above.
- To help flavor marinades, the third is added spices and herbs to compliment the seasoning you are trying to create.
- Fourth, but not least, marinades should always include a generous amount of salt. Salt improves the absorption of the flavors in the marinade and helps to make the meat juicy and tender.
For example: a basic Teriyaki marinade:
- 1 part rice wine vinegar
- 2 parts Sesame Oil
- Soy sauce (don’t be shy – add enough
- Ginger; freshly grated or dried (candied works also!) to taste
- Garlic, minced (to taste)
Like a sweeter teriyaki, add sweetness, sugar, maple syrup, agave, or stevia
(There is plenty of salt in the soy sauce – so added salt is not needed)
Marinades can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week or more. When marinating, make sure the marinate covers the beef. Poke the beef with a fork to help the marinade infuse the beef. Marinating should be done in glass, plastic or stainless steel, never aluminum. Never reuse a marinade that comes in contact with raw meats.
Place all marinating items in the refrigerator for the duration of the marinating time, which can can a couple of hours to a couple of days. The more time, the more tender. Let your imagination go – experiment and enjoy!