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Marinating


monavano
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I didn't see a specific topic on marinating, so here we can discuss and debate, and answer questions like mine.

I plan on making sauerbraten and would like to try Alton Brown's method and recipe. Brown's method includes simmering a marinade and allowing to cool while the beef is seared. Once the sauce/marinade is cool, it is poured over the seared meat and refrigerated for 3 days before placing in a 325 degree oven for a few hours.

First, I've never marinated after an initial sear, so any thoughts on that would be appreciated. Moreover, I'm wondering if I really need to marinate for 3 whole days. Does anyone think that 1 day would be enough? Two days? A few hours?

Thanks all.

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Marinating penetrated about 1/2" to 1" per 24 hours. The vinegar, even when cooked, will chemically cook the meat a little, resulting in a soft texture. So there days is going to result in a softer, "mushier" texture with loads of sour flavor. I like that, especially with a very tough cut of beef.

As far as marinating after searing, I have seen it in a lot of recipes for long cooked stews, but never done it myself. Would be fun to try and see how it works. If you try to sear after long marination, you get a lot of liquid int he pan, necessitating small batches of meat to be browned at a time and you will need high heat. If you sear first, then you don't get the "bleed". It apparently is a practice dating back to at least the 1300's in Tuscany. See Kyle Phillips on About.com and his various recipes for Peposa.

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I've made a lot of sauerbraten, but never seared the meat before marinating. Three days sounds about right - my recipe is from the Time-Life Cooking of Germany book & is reasonably "authentic" Looking at AB's recipe, I see he calls for nothing but vinegar. My recipe uses vinegar, and red wine.

I might have to get some beef & gingersnaps and make it this week. :)

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Sauerbraten's been on my mind, too, so I looked up the recipe in Gourmet's Old Vienna Cookbook, a Viennese Memoir, by Lillian Langseth-Christenen. If the recipes in that book aren't authentic, I don't know what is. It's a real joy to read if you like to bask in memories of another age and way of eating.

But anyway, sauerbraten. The recipe starts like this:

"Cover 1/2 pound of larding pork, cut into 1/2-inch strips, with a mixture of 1 large onion, finely minced, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 tablespoon pepper, 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind, and 1/2 teaspoon allspice. Cut deep incisions in a 4- to 5-pound piece of top round of beef, press a piece of larding pork into each incision, packing in as much of the onion mixture as possible, and rub the remaining onion mixture into the meat." Then it gets rolled, tied, placed in a deep bowl, and covered with a hot marinade and left "in a cool place" (refrigerator not specified) for three days. It's then roasted in "a moderate oven" until tender. It's thickened with pfeffernusse rather than gingersnaps.

I love how the old Gourmet cookbooks write recipes, in paragraph format without an ingredient list to start, as if the reader really knows how to cook and just needs a general reminder for the specific recipe. It's frustrating at times when you really don't know what you're doing, but it takes me back to being a little girl, sitting on the family room sofa in a modest Gaithersburg colonial, looking at beautiful travel photos in Gourmet magazine and dreaming of what life and food must be like for moneyed, cultured Europeans, and thinking that one day I'd learn to cook like that, even if I could never afford to live like that.

...anyone know where I can get "larding pork"?

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I love how the old Gourmet cookbooks write recipes, in paragraph format without an ingredient list to start, as if the reader really knows how to cook and just needs a general reminder for the specific recipe. It's frustrating at times when you really don't know what you're doing, but it takes me back to being a little girl, sitting on the family room sofa in a modest Gaithersburg colonial, looking at beautiful travel photos in Gourmet magazine and dreaming of what life and food must be like for moneyed, cultured Europeans, and thinking that one day I'd learn to cook like that, even if I could never afford to live like that.

Beautiful. I've been hoarding old Gourmet magazines myself. I too would assume that "larding fat" is fatback. :)

I looked at my recipe again, and the gravy calls for either gingersnaps or crumbled homemade honey cake - that recipe is highly spiced, includes ground almonds and chopped citron. It's baked in a jelly roll pan. I might have to make the cake and try that variation.

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Sauerbraten's been on my mind, too, so I looked up the recipe in Gourmet's Old Vienna Cookbook, a Viennese Memoir, by Lillian Langseth-Christenen. If the recipes in that book aren't authentic, I don't know what is. It's a real joy to read if you like to bask in memories of another age and way of eating.

...anyone know where I can get "larding pork"?

I've owned a copy of that cookbook for many years; it's an old friend.

As to larding pork: I think it would typically be salt pork, but any fatty piece of pork that you use for larding is larding pork. If you use salt pork, you might want to blanch it first. Fatty pieces of pork belly would work well. You could even use bacon, which you should also blanch.

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Not exactly marinating, but today for the first time, I used my Bayou Classic SS injector needle, to inject mojo criollo into 2 10 lb. Pork butts-it was so cool! You could see the hunk of meat puffing up, & when I hit a cut, it spurted all over the counter. Adding to the hilarity, I was out at 6:30 in the morning cleaning & setting up the smoker, throwing the butts on, & when the rain started, out there trying to wrestle up the EZ- up canopy by myself...fortunately, the butts (which are intended for a meet-the-coaches potluck dinner tomorrow) look great-just need to pull & sauce..

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