Is 24-48 hours marinade too long for a tough piece of meat?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by abefroman, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. abefroman


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    I Just Like Food
    Is 24-48 hours marinade too long for a tough piece of meat?

    Such as a beef roast or pork butt?

    Are there any ingredients that would fair well to a long marinade?  And any to avoid?

  2. french fries

    french fries

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    At home cook
    No, I don't think it's too long. 

    Just about any ingredients work for a long marinade. Just know that acids (lemon juice, vinegar...) start the surface cooking (not necessarily a problem) and some enzymes (found in papaya, asian pears, kiwis, pineapple....) start chewing the surface protein (not necessarily a problem if you don't mind affecting the texture). 
  3. cheflayne


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    Professional Chef
    I used to work at an Austrian restaurant that specialized in Tyrolean cuisine. We marinated our sauerbraten for 3-5 days and it certainly didn't suffer from it.

    That was the first restaurant that really opened my eyes as to what a chef truly is. The food was amazing and changed my life. I actually was able to track the chef down about 10 years later, as I was preparing to open my own restaurant, and thank him. It made both our days!
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
  4. cryslys


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    Home Cook
    good evening. .I have a question along the line of marinades. .but im dealing with question is..can I brine with a wine instead of water for more taste...and if I I need to still add sugar along with the salt or just add salt since the wine wd be its own sugar...and if not how much salt to use and vice versa...
  5. foodpump


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    Professional Pastry Chef
    The true purpose of a marinade is to add flavour.

    In regards to making a tough piece of meat into a tender juicy one with just the addition of a magical ingredient...

    It ain't gonna happen.

    Scam artists have been trying to turn lead into gold for centuries now, but it ain't gonna happen.

    Papaya, acids, and other "tenderizers" kinda/sorta work, but they turn the meat to mush.

    You want a tender, juicy roast?

    Here's the secret:

    Start off with a prime piece of meat, look for marbeling--thin veins of fat interspaced in the meat.  When you roast, the fat melts, keeping the meat from drying out, but more importantly, when the fat melts out, there are minute "holes" in the meat, muscle fibers are shorter, and you don't get long, hard, dense sections of meat.  Marbeling also signifies a better cut of meat, the more marbeling, the better quality.  For this, you have to go to an indie butcher, you won't find it on special at a big box supermarket.
    flipflopgirl likes this.
  6. chrislehrer


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    Cook At Home
    You can use the wine as a brine, but it's rather a waste, since one normally discards brine after use: it's so salty it's difficult to use effectively, for a start. You're better off using the wine with spices and aromatics (garlic, carrots, onions, and so forth), with just a little bit of salt -- or none, in fact -- and marinating the meat.

    Next, after marinating pretty much as long as you like (within reason -- I don't know that marinating for weeks would be such a hot idea), strain the marinade finely, pat the meat dry, and season it well with salt and pepper. Sear it on the outside in a big heavy pot or cocotte, add the strained solids from the marinade, and add enough strained marinade to come about halfway up the side. Now braise covered VERY slowly for some hours (about 300F in an oven usually works, but check every 10 minutes or so until you get a temperature at which the liquid just barely bubbles), until the meat is wonderfully tender. Meanwhile, reduce the remaining strained marinade, ideally with about the same volume of good brown stock, until you have a syrupy, flavorful sauce.

    Remove the meat and let it rest for 15 minutes or so in a warm serving dish. Strain the liquid from the pan as fine as you can, and remove as much fat as you can. Add this liquid to the sauce and boil down a bit to get that syrupy consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning.

    Slice the meat in thick slices, and lay decoratively in the dish. Remove the sauce from heat, add 1-2 Tb unsalted butter, and swirl the saucepan until the butter is fully melted in. Pour the sauce over the meat and serve at once. Sprinkle the dish with minced parsley or chive if desired.

    You can use some pretty tough, ugly cuts of meat if you treat them this way. It's sort of the ultimate pot roast.