Among the hundreds of cooking techniques that exist, the marinade is one that will surely be very useful in giving you much more flavor to your food.
Marinating involves immersing a food in an aromatic liquid for a certain time so that it takes a more flavored hue and is tenderer.
In the beginning, marinade was considered a food preservation technique, because large pieces of meat were immersed in salt water or spiced wine to avoid its early decomposition.
Today, the technique has evolved, becoming one of the most common ways to flavor proteins.
In order to marinate it’s necessary to be clear the basic components that must be present for the process. A good marinade should contain at least three ingredients: oil, an acid and some seasoning.
The oil works as a moisturizer for protein, vinegar on the other hand serves to soften the meat and seasoning or flavoring is responsible for bringing the flavor.
While these are the three basic ingredients, we can be free in choosing the type we use. For example, olive oil is often used for its pleasant taste, but the same applies to sesame and canola.
In acids, vinegar is usually used, but depending on the preparation you want to make, you can use red wine, lemon, tomato, or even yogurt. We should only be particularly careful with the amount of citrus that we incorporate to the marinade and the time that we expose the meat, since if we place a very strong acid and for a long time, we can partially cook the meat.
In seasonings or flavorings, we can be freer. We can use dry herbs like thyme, add vegetables like carrots, garlic and onions. And also give it more flavor with condiments like pepper or juniper. Of course, always taking into consideration the dish and the flavors that you want to highlight.
Types of Marinades
Although this is a technique that allows us to customize the flavors, there are three basic types of marinades that we can take into account when we want to cook a meat in a different way.
Raw: In raw marinade, liquid ingredients (oil, acids) and flavorings are mixed and the protein is immersed in them. It should be allowed to stand in refrigeration for several days so that the flavor impregnates in the meat. It can be used for shorter periods.
Cooked: Unlike raw marinade, in this type, the liquid and flavoring elements are cooked together. Once the mixture is cooled, the meat is immersed in it so that it acquires flavor. It’s a much faster process.
Dried: Usually used to season the meats, they are usually composed of salt, herbs and spices.
Since it’s such a versatile technique, there are certain variations that must be known. For example, the name of the marinade can vary depending on the liquid in which the food is submerged.
So if we dip it in vinegar, it will be a pickle. While if the acidic medium we use is lemon juice, then it will be a ceviche.
And if the mixture contains vinegar and paprika, it will be a dressing, which is usually used in red meats.
When we make a marinade, we must always keep time in mind. If we do the marinade at room temperature, it should last a little. While if we make it refrigerated, the time may be higher.
The larger the piece to marinate, the longer it should be exposed to the mixture.
Now that you know some facts about the marinade, do you dare to prepare some?