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Barbecue Secrets

Recipes of the Week: Tasty Marinades

May 25, 2012

Whether you just douse your meat in a tasty marinade and let it sit for an hour, or soak it in salty-sweet brine over night, these are great ways to add extra flavour to what you're planning to throw on the grill.

Mediterranean Marinade

Makes enough for a couple of racks of lamb, four chicken breasts, or eight chicken thighs

Don’t let the anchovy scare you. It adds a wonderful depth of flavor, and the end product doesn’t taste fishy at all.

1/2 cup | 125 mL extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp | 15 mL Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp | 15 mL olive paste or 6 kalamata olives,
pitted and chopped
1 anchovy fillet
1 Tbsp | 15 mL coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp | 15 mL chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp | 15 mL chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp | 15 mL Mediterranean Dried Herb Rub (see page xx)
2 Tbsp | 25 mL lemon juice
1 Tbsp | 15 mL balsamic vinegar
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and whiz them together until they’re blended but not totally puréed.

Asian Poultry Brine

Makes enough for 2 cut-up chickens or a dozen thighs

The high salt content makes this more of a brine than a marinade, and my barbecue team has used it very successfully in competition. It gives the poultry a nice saltiness and a rich, complex Asian flavor. I marinate duck overnight in this; for milder-tasting chicken, a couple of hours is all you need. Pat the excess moisture from the meat after you’ve taken it out of the marinade and then use a barbecue rub doctored with Asian flavors, like powdered ginger and five-spice powder. Barbecue or grill as you like, and finish the meat with your favorite barbecue sauce.

11/2 cups | 375 mL water
1 cup | 250 mL soy sauce
1/2 cup | 125 mL sherry or vermouth
1/2 cup | 125 mL apple or pineapple juice
1/4 cup | 50 mL brown sugar
1/4 cup | 50 mL coarse salt
2 cloves garlic, pressed or crushed
1 shallot, minced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp | 25 mL grated fresh ginger
1 tsp | 5 mL sesame oil
pinch ground cloves
pinch five-spice powder

Combine all the ingredients well, stirring thoroughly to dissolve the salt and sugar.

Marinade for Pork

Makes enough marinade for up to 2 lb | 1 kg pork chops or whole tenderloins

Pork tastes great no matter how you prepare it, but this sweet, aromatic marinade nicely offsets its richness and gives it an exotic edge.

1/4 cup | 50 mL soy sauce
2 Tbsp | 25 mL dry sherry
2 Tbsp | 25 mL honey
2 Tbsp | 25 mL brown sugar
1 tsp | 5 mL salt
1/2 tsp | 2 mL crushed anise seed
1/2 tsp | 2 mL ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp | 1/2 mL ground cloves
1 Tbsp | 15 mL grated fresh ginger

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat them gently until the sugar is dissolved. Cool the mixture before marinating the meat for at least an hour, or overnight in the fridge if you want a stronger flavor.