Now that you've got the best darn pork marinade ever – what's next? How do you marinate other meats? Any other good tips? Let's find out...
The first thing to discuss is what exactly a marinade does to meats. A good marinade will have a fair amount of acid in it (vinegar, lemon juice, etc.) and these acids start to break down the tissues in the meat. This softens up tough meats in particular, and helps with the absorption of liquids from the marinade, giving you a flavorful and juicy product. Surface area is key here – the more meat you have exposed to the marinade, the more flavor you can introduce into your protein. That's why you want to marinate cut steaks or single portions – you don't have to wait all day for the meat to be ready. If you want to marinate a full roast, go ahead and give it more time in the marinade, and maybe consider making a sauce with similar flavors to further enhance the cut roast pieces.
What about other meats? With the ginger marinade, most meats would do fine. Pork does well with the extra sweetness in this recipe, which makes it an ideal candidate, but you can substitute chicken or shrimp easily. Matching up flavors in your marinade with whatever starches and vegetables you are serving is easy to do – just replace the ginger and garlic with chopped herbs or spices, the rice wine vinegar with balsamic vinegar and so on. If you don't want a sweet product, take out the honey or corn syrup and replace with something salty – soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce. It's easy to mix and match marinade components, and as long as you have your key acid and some potent flavors, you can't really go wrong.
One last tip – if you want to marinade some meats, but don't have the time or energy to whip up a marinade, a quick and super easy solution is to just buy a bottle of a flavorful vinaigrette or dressing. The vinaigrette is going to have all the necessary components of a good marinade, and most stores have a wide variety of flavors to choose from. Just soak your meats in a bit of the vinaigrette and use the rest on the salad – you've just knocked out two parts of dinner.
Once you see how easy and delicious marinated meats are compared to just plain ol' meat on the grill, you'll never go back. It does take a bit of advanced planning, since you want at least an hour of marination, but don't let that be a detraction. Nestle your meats in that marinade, let 'em soak up the flavors, and as soon as you try it you'll be a believer.
MARINATED PORK TENDERLOIN
Makes 6 servings
In a glass or stainless-steel mixing bowl, combine the following:
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar (or wine vinegar)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced pared gingerroot (or 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger)
Add to the above mixture:
1 and 1/2 pounds lean pork tenderloin, thinly sliced
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight
Preheat broiler. Arrange pork on rack in broiling pan, reserving marinade.
Broil until done to taste, about 5 minutes on each side.
Add 1 teaspoon cornstarch to reserved marinade, stirring to dissolve cornstarch.
Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 2 minutes.
To serve, arrange pork on serving platter and top with marinade sauce.
A whole pork tenderloin in the marinade can be baked at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until done.
If grilling an entire tenderloin, turn the meat often and baste with marinade.
Internal temperature should be 150-155 degrees.
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