Barbecuing is one of the UK’s most fabled cooking methods; the stuff of legend attempted only on that magical time of the year when the sun dares to shine.
Historically, we in the UK have a penchant for overcooking our barbecue meat and in doing so we end up missing the golden opportunity to explore incredible marinated flavours.
In this article, we’ll be explaining how to break free of the barbecue bonds of routine and expose your taste buds to the world of marinades and glazes. Legend has it that marinating originated in Japan in the 14th century, where soy sauce was used as a simple glaze on various meats. However much of what we now know as marinade can trace its origin to the United States, where the proliferation of simple bottled sauces in the early 19th century became the modern day equivalent of Japan’s soy sauce glazes. Marinating has since evolved into a subtle art; one that results in sophisticated, delicate flavours designed to accompany and compliment the meat, not overpower it.
These flavours are designed to blend with the meat in a number of ways, not least of which is the use of acidic bases like vinegar or lemon juice, which serves to weaken the meat’s tissue – in turn making it feel softer, more tender and more likely to adopt additional flavours.
It’s important to note that while marinades are perfectly at home on the BBQ, they’re also great in the kitchen and are especially welcome on cold winter nights when you’re craving something rich and delicious.
Here are three recipes designed to turn your Irish Beef into something truly remarkable…
EXOTIC ORANGE AND CHILLI MARINADE
- 1 tbsp grated orange rind
- 2 tbsp wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 whole chilli, sliced
The exotic orange and chilli marinade lend itself well to Asian cuisine; largely because it consists of delicate, subtle flavours. It’s wonderfully simple to make; simply combine the ingredients list below and smother it generously over four portions of prime, tender Irish beef cuts.
Refrigerate your marinated beef for four hours to allow the delicate flavours to work their way into your beef cuts, then cook as normal.
FIERY JALAPENO MARINADE
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1 tsp grated lime rind
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 minced jalapeño pepper
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- sprinkle of sugar
This marinade is a great way to add an extra spicy kick to your barbequed Irish beef steaks. The fiery jalapeño perfectly compliments the smoky barbeque flavours for a strong and intense taste. Simply combine the following ingredients, coat your Irish beef steak liberally and refrigerate for four hours before sizzling on the barbeque.
SWEET HONEY, SOY AND SESAME GLAZE
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 55 g butter
- parsley and chives, to taste
This is a time-tested stir-fry favourite. Simply add to diced beef and transfer straight to the wok. This glaze adds depth of flavour without the need to wait four hours; it’s a perfect after work accompaniment for the time sensitive food lover.