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There's a discussion (just begun) in the Australian forum about meat marinades & I know there are a lot of them, but most food info sources/experts seem able to agree on only 1 thing -- “Most marinades work by using an acid base (vinegar, wine or lemon juice, for example) to weaken muscle tissue & make the meat feel softer & juicier on the palate.” After that bit of wisdom, there's a great variety of marinades that seem to have little in common.
… BUT I read in a prior marinade “scouting trip” on the internet that how we handle the process is probably more important than the marinade (or rub) we use to tenderize the meat. 4 things mentioned in the discussion were:
1) Using a fork to pierce the meat & allow flavors of the marinade to penetrate the meat
2) The use of a meat mallet to break connective meat tissues
3) Marinating overnight vs a few hrs prior to grilling
4) Heavy emphasis was placed on resting grilled meat for at least 10 min (loosely covered in foil) -- Something most impatient diners skip, but shouldn’t. The meat is given the time needed to regain its natural juices lost in the cooking process. AND you don’t end up w/a soupy plate of meat drippings after you’ve eaten dry meat! My ex-MIL had a great term for pan drippings, meat juices, gravy & the like -- She called all of them the “tender meat that has escaped & you need to recapture”.
I’ve always been more of a recipe-based cook rather than 1 w/the natural talent to create recipes. I easily find ways to modify recipes for 1 reason or another, but I do have to start w/a RECIPE & work from there. The 3-ingredient marinade I use for all grilled meats contains olive oil, soy sauce & Montreal Steak Seasoning (usually w/extra garlic). It was found on the MSS label (except for the extra garlic). I occasionally modify it by adding lime juice for seafood & chutney or a berry-flavored liqueur which works esp well for lamb. Since Iceland's economy is largely based on the fishing industry & lamb is its primary red meat, I have my main targets covered. What about you?