AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: All Purpose Marinade DATE: 12/06/2008 11:04:00 AM ----- BODY:
Marinades serve many purposes. Often they are used to tenderize tough cuts of meat, others just to add flavor. In Chinese recipes, they are designed to add texture in addition to flavor.

I recall a meal in Montepulciano, Italy, in Tuscany: red wine braised rabbit over creamy polenta. What made this dish so memorable was that the meat was bursting with flavor straight through to the bone, a rare occurrence in many US restaurants. When preparing dense cuts of meat (leg of lamb, whole beef tenderloin, short ribs or veal shanks), I like to begin marination the night before cooking. This gives the marinade ample time to penetrate the meat and ensure that every bite is flavorful. [[As a side note, I was quite impressed to see cook eat FRET does this too, as she describes in this post]]

For my style of cooking, I’m more concerned with adding flavor than tenderizing meat. I add salt, pooh-poohing the notion that it will draw out the moisture. And just in case I’m wrong, I add olive oil… so what the salt taketh away, the olive oil giveth.

For 1 whole beef tenderloin:
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup chopped garlic
2 tbs. chopped fresh sage
1 tbs. chopped fresh thyme
2 scallions, cut into rounds
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1 tbs. salt
1 tsp. pepper

1. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, and simmer until the shallots are soft and translucent

2. Add the herbs and continue cooking for 2 minutes.

3. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the spices are aromatic. Remove from heat.

4. Let marinade cool before using

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Heather DATE:12/06/2008 10:21:00 PM mmm, that is a lovely marinade. and it does look like it would be delicious on many many things!! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:12/06/2008 10:26:00 PM I've often wondered about salt in marinades -- but the idea of adding moisture back in with the oil really works for me. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Chocolate Shavings DATE:12/09/2008 07:34:00 AM That sounds like a wonderful marinade that would add great flavor to any piece of meat. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Peter M DATE:12/09/2008 10:29:00 AM Love the marinade, will try it with a cheaper beef cut sometime. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Psychgrad DATE:12/09/2008 03:12:00 PM One of these days, I'm going to get my act together to do more marinading the night before. Lately, I feel like I've been in more "ok it's 4:00pm, I should really decide what to eat for dinner" mode. I'll have to give this marinade a try. ----- --------