French Cooking Method - Marinades

French Cooking Method - Marinades

Marinades are used to tenderize and improve the flavor of meat, particularly game, or to give butchers meat a slightly gamey flavor. French marinades are all based on vinegar or wine, with salt, herbs, spices and often vegetables added. Some marinades are cooked before use - normally those for large pieces of meat requiring long soaking.

Cooking the marinade strengthens the effect of the salt and herbs. Uncooked marinades are usually for meats that require flavoring rather than tenderizing, and will soak for a shorter time. No marinade should ever touch metal: China or Pyrex bowls are the most suitable receptacles and a wooden spoon should be used for turning or basting the meat.

The length of time necessary for marinating varies from one to six days, more in cold weather than in warm. The marinade is used in the dish itself, too, either for cooking the meat in or for the accompanying sauce, because of the close affinity marinating creates between the meat and liquid.

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