Use an overnight soak in flavoured oils, savoury brines, or infused milk, cream or buttermilk to make meats, especially poultry and game - juicier and tastier.
A marinade made from yoghurt
and tandoori masala; a mix of olive oil, lemon juice and herbs; a soy sauce, garlic and chili liquor: almost every region on the planet has its own characteristic marinade recipe – and it’s no wonder, as marinating foodstuffs has a range of benefits. Cheeses, vegetables and tofu can be infused with new flavours and preserved; the storage life of raw ingredients, too, is improved by marinating them, as is the result after cooking. Marinades made of liquids containing acids such as wine, vinegar or lemon juice tenderise sinews in meats, making the finished result softer to the bite; enzymes in exotic fruits such as papaya or pineapple add to this effect. Lactic acids in dairy products act similarly, while the calcium they contain helps the meat to mature. This opens up the doors for herbs and spices, whose aromas can then sink deep into the cut being marinated.
Rinse the meat in cold water, pat it dry and cut it into pieces. Prepare the herbs and spices you intend to use and mix with the milk. Put the meat into a bowl and pour over the marinade. The meat should be fully covered by the liquid so that no parts of it dry out. Tip: Make sure that the bowl you use is resistant to acid (e.g. glass, porcelain or chromed steel). You can also use vacuum pouches to marinate: just put the meat and other ingredients into a bag and use the vacuum drawer to seal them hermetically.
Marinate the meat, covered, for 12 to 24 hours in the middle area of the fridge, turning over frequently. In some recipes from further afield, the meat is then cooked in the marinade in the oven. Leave the meat to drip dry before coating in breadcrumbs and frying it in generous amounts of clarified butter.
Wasabi, chilli and other strong flavours
can be used both to add heat and keep meat longer. Avoid salt, however, as this draws the meat juices out into the marinade – to the detriment of ist intrinstic taste.