RECIPE: Meat marinades (Porchetta-inspired pork steaks and Moroccan spiced lamb chops)


I like to think of a good meat marinade as elements. Really you can use any flavour you fancy, but the fundamental foundations are roughly as follows:

Oil 
Obviously useful to cook the meat but also as a carrier for your flavours to stick to and infuse the meat
Acid 
I use vinegar, wine or lemon juice mostly, but you need an acidic element to tenderise the meat.
Flavour
Garlic, herbs, zest, spices...anything you like.
Seasoning
Not only savoury (salt, mustard, soy) but sweet too like sugar, honey and maple syrup.

Think a few hours or up to one day ahead and pop the meat (or fish) in a ziplock food bag or lidded container, add the marinade and perk up that mid-week meal. Prior planning and preparation and all that.



Porchetta-inspired pork marinade (top image)

Porchetta is an incredibly popular dish in Italy. We'd buy slabs of it on market days from the spit-roast meat stalls for an easy and late lunch, served with a salad. So this is where I'm finding flavour inspiration for this zesty marinade. Serve with salad and sauté potatoes.

2 pork chops or steaks

Juice and zest of half a lemon
30ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
2 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
6 peppercorns, crushed
Half tsp chilli flakes
1tsp fennel seed, crushed

Put the steaks into a lidded container or secure ziplock bag. Add the marinade ingredients and coat the meat thoroughly.

Marinade for 3 to 24 hours.

Remove from the marinade, season with salt then pan fry. 



Moroccan spiced lamb marinade



When I think of lamb though, I head over to Morocco for those earthy spices contrasting with uplifting mint. Serve with a pomegranate seed flecked, herbed couscous crumbled with feta.

2 lamb chops or steaks

1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
half tsp ground smoked paprika
Half tsp ground cayenne
Small bunch of fresh mint, chopped
Zest and juice of one orange
Little dash of honey
30ml olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Put the chops into a lidded container or secure ziplock bag. Add the marinade ingredients and coat the meat thoroughly.

Marinade for 2 to 4 hours.

Remove from the marinade, season with salt then pan fry.



The pork steaks and Barnsley chops were provided by Donald Russell. Normally I dry out chops and don't particularly like them but these were succulent and beautifully flavoured - yes I have seen the chop light! You can see a full range of their products and also get some more marinade inspiration here http://www.donaldrussell.com/marinating-menu