Balsamic Marinades for Meat, Vegetables and Grains

Balsamic Marinades for Meat, Vegetables and Grains


There should be almost no marinade that
does not have a touch of balsamic. Period. A very important part of any marinade is
the acidic component and the beautiful thing about Balsamic Vinegar of Modena,
is that it is complex. It is acidic and at the same time, it has a sweetness to
it and a depth of flavor that is unlike any other acid. Marinades
are good for adding flavor, as well as tenderizing and preserving proteins. I’ve
created three that showcase the flavor of balsamic. One marinade is for meat,
like skirt steak, veal or London broil. It combines the tang of balsamic with Dijon,
shoyu and lemon. Another is a sweet sour recipe good for veggies, featuring
pineapple juice, brown sugar, crushed garlic cloves and tamari, which is a wheat-free
soy sauce, alongside the balsamic and olive oil.
The third recipe is for whole and ancient grains like quinoa, millet and
bulgur. Using the aged balsamic with garlic oil, a bit of mustard, sugar and
bright flavors like dill and currants. When selecting the balsamic for any
marinade, consider how it will be used. For example aged balsamic is more like a
syrup and a little sweeter. So it works well with grain dishes that
call for a richer element. I’m going for extra depth here so I’ve chosen to use
the aged for a grain salad because it will function as a highlight of the dish.
It is best to marinate the grains when they’re still warm so that it will
really be absorbed into the grain. For the meat recipe, combine and emulsify the
oil with a whisk and refrigerate in the completed marinade for three to four
hours. For the steak I’m using the lighter, matured balsamic because it is
coming out of the marinade and getting grilled. Since we are directly tasting
the balsamic on this recipe, I don’t need the heaviness I did with the grains. It’s
more so sinking into the meat for the tenderization. The amount of time to
marinate something is very important. When marinating veggies, simply toss them
briefly so they don’t become soggy when grilled. Compared to steak, which takes
several hours to infuse and tenderize. Over marinating effectively changes the
texture. Remember a marinade needs an acidic component and layered flavors and
whatever the recipe it always calls for balsamic.

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