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Marinade Masterpiece……

I Really wanted a catchy title and with the right marinade any inexpensive cut of meat can become just that, A Masterpiece!
I bought a Top Round thinly sliced at the market yesterday because it was very inexpensive ($3.25) and  I like to buy things and then figure out how to make them delicious.
So I decided a nice marinade would be a great start to tonight’s dinner.
You can use any cut of meat for this marinade, chicken or Tofu.
You will need:
2 Tlbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tlbs Balsamic vinegar
2 Tlbs Olive Oil
1 Tlbs Stone Ground mustard
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
juice & zest of 1 orange (I had 2 tangerines so thats what I used)
2 lg  pressed garlic cloves
1 shallot finely minced
1 Tlbs honey
Fresh cracked pepper
Grab a bowl to mix all the ingredients in. This will yield a little more then a cup of liquid so a soup bowl will probably do the trick. Zest the orange prior to juicing it, it is very hard to get the zest from a flimsy skin, the best tool for this is a micro-plane.

If you don’t have a Microplane STOP what you are doing, get in the car and go to the closest store that has them. Williams Sonoma, Bed Bath & Beyond have great selections. This is a must have kitchen tool and it does more then just zest, it can grate cheese, nutmeg, chocolate & much more!!
Alright back to the marinade….

So once you zest the orange squeeze the juice into the bowl and remove any seeds that have fallen in.  
Add in the pressed garlic, onions and remaining ingredients except the fennel seeds.
To add in the Fennel seeds put them in the palm of your hand and using both hands, rub your palms together back and forth while pressing to crack the seeds and release the aroma.
If you were to just throw them in they will not have any flavor unless you happen to bite in to one.
This is true for most dried herbs & seeds they need a little “wake up” to get the flavors going before you add them.
Add in the Fennel and whisk it all together.

Once it is combined, in a shallow dish place the cut of meat you are using and gently poke holes in it with a fork so that the marinade will really soak in. Pour the marinade over it then cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Overnight is the best to really incorporate the flavors. You can also use a Ziplock if you like just put it on a plate, just in case.

When the meat is marinated, take it out and pour the marinade into a small sauce pan and place on high heat. When it comes to a boil reduce and simmer uncoverd until the sauce reduced to 1/2 and you can use this as a glaze or dipping sauce.
I will post the rest of the menu tonight so you can see what I make along with the Top Round, It’s going to be good 🙂
-T

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