I’m not a chef and I’m not even the primary cook in my family. Honestly, I think my family keeps me around just for the spare kidney and my grilling/smoking skills. My primary cooking function is to take the workload off my wife. So I do it for fun and I have a lot of freedom to mess around. While my wife has to worry about making a balanced meal for the kids with vegetables, meat, fruit etc… I focus my energies on things like making a good marinade.
When John started this site, this was the first food item I thought of. Problem is I don’t really know how to make it. My marinade is usually made the day before I smoke or grill. Usually this occurs on a Friday evening when I’ve had a few beers and I’ve forgotten to make the marinade. I have attempted to recreate this beer recipe inspired and created by beer. There are no measurements and the ingredients change every time, because again – I’ve had a few beers.
Why use marinade?
Marinade infuses the meat with great flavor but also tenderizes the meat. This is especially true for the rougher cuts that are prized for the ‘low & slow’ cooking method used while smoking. The acids in the marinade make the meat tender, the salt pulls in the moisture and the spices add flavor.
My base ingredients are apple cider vinegar, mustard and salt. Everything else is added to make it unique or fun, or because I’ve had a few beers.
– Apple Cider Vinegar
– Mustard (nothing fancy required)
Here’s how I have fun making my “Drunken Marinade”
Grab a bowl and add the cider
2. Add the mustard and salt. Easy chief, you’re tipsy so go heavy on that cheap mustard not so much on the salt.
Additional Additions – Beer is my Inspiration
This is the fun part. Beer, wine, liquor removes inhibitions so I tend to explore and find new marinade flavors I otherwise would never consider. One sobering word of caution: If it doesn’t taste good by itself it will not taste good as a marinade. I used a bad beer once and the meat tasted like stale bad beer, not good.
I’m drinking a spicy IPA and I’m drawn to the label on a bottle in my fridge. Turns out lemon juice tastes great in marinade and helps to tenderize the meat.
Uh, well now I’m drinking some fine wine but I’m immediately bored with it. I’m a beer guy so this is going in.
This is where things can get stupid. I like sriracha sauce, it has a funky chicken on the bottle. I add it but it’s a big gamble (turns out ok). Soy sauce is added for flavor and salt and I’m drunk.
Marinade – it’s not pretty
Add the meat since that’s why I’m making this marinade. Yes, I bought some “clearance meat”, leave me alone.
The bag of meat goes into my 30 degree winter garage over night.
Tomorrow we grill…..