Marinade and vinegar recipes that elevate flavours

The right marinade or vinegar can turn regular meals into delicious new experiences. These are some recipes to make your own homemade blends.

Marinade and vinegar recipes that elevate flavours

Pack in the flavour with marinades

  • Marinating is meant to tenderize and add flavour to meat and fish. It's particularly useful for some of the otherwise tough cuts of meat, like meat for kebabs.
  • Marinades must include acid ingredients (wine, lemon juice or vinegar), herbs or spices, and oil. Onions and garlic are also essential.
  • Yogurt or crème fraîche can also be used, particularly in Indian tikka dishes.
  • When marinating red meat, use red wine and red wine vinegar with a bouquet garni of parsely, rosemary, thyme and a bay leaf. Leave in the fridge for up to three days, turning from time to time.
  • Drain and pat marinated food dry before cooking or it won't brown.
  • Save the marinade for basting, or for adding to a sauce.

Add flavour with homemade vinegars

  • Vinegars flavoured with herbs and spices add an extra dimension to salad dressings and marinades.
  • They're best made with a mild vinegar.
  • Store in scrupulously clean containers in a cool dark place. If you do, they'll keep for three to six months.
  • Experiment with different flavour combinations to find your signature blend.

Collect your vinegar-making supplies

No matter what kind of vinegar you're making, you will need:

  • Large glass jar with coated metal lid
  • Muslin
  • Sieve
  • Glass bowl
  • Bottles
  • Plastic funnel
  • Corks or coated metal screw tops

Tarragon vinegar

  • Pour 500 millilitres (two cups) white or cider vinegar into a glass jar.
  • Add a bunch of fresh tarragon, setting aside one or two sprigs for later use.
  • Put on the lid and leave to infuse for four weeks.
  • Strain through muslin into a glass bowl.
  • Put the reserved tarragon sprigs into one or two bottles.
  • Pour in the vinegar and seal.

Rosemary vinegar

  • Pour boiling vinegar over five rosemary sprigs.
  • Cover and steep for three days before straining and bottling.

Chili vinegar

  • Split two chilies in half lengthwise.
  • Cover with cold vinegar.
  • Steep for four to six weeks before straining and bottling.

Making your own vinegars and marinades not only saves you money, it can elevate the taste of almost any dish. Be sure to use only fresh ingredients and keep them stored properly once their made.

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