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.