We asked Steven Warrington, chef at 12 King Street, the best steak restaurant in Leicester, for his best meat marinade recipes. “There are three essential elements to any marinade,” explains Warrington, “acid, oil and flavour.”

The acid: Lemon juice, vinegar or yoghurt. “This breaks down the protein, making the meat more tender,” says Warrington.
The oil: “Use olive oil,” says Warrington. “It keeps the meat moist on the grill.”
The flavourings: “Try sugar or caramelised honey, these help balance the acid,” says Warrington. “And add herbs and spices to create different flavours. Once you have learnt this you can pretty much create any marinade you like,” he adds. But if you’re stuck for ideas we have a few below.

(All recipes serve 4)

For lamb chops
Red wine and rosemary
2 tbsp red wine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 crushed garlic clove
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

Mix all of the ingredients together and simply brush on the marinade on while the meat is cooking.

For fish
Basil and garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped basil leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp dry white wine
2 cloves crushed garlic
Black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and leave the fish to marinate overnight.

For chicken
Ginger, honey and soy
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp white wine or dry sherry
2 tbsp honey
1 crushed garlic clove
1 tbsp grated ginger

Mix all the ingredients together and leave the chicken to marinade overnight. Cook the meat over a medium heat to stop the marinade burning and brush the left over marinade over the meat during cooking.

For pork
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp marmalade

Mix the ingredients together. Just brush marinade on while cooking. Pork is often a lean meat, so don’t over cook it and make sure you don’t char the marinade too badly either. A medium cooking heat is the best option.

For beef
1 tbsp crème fraîche
1 tbsp fresh horseradish
250g softened butter

Mix ingredients together and cook over a low heat until the ingredients become one. Brush over the beef while it’s cooking and serve on the side as an accompaniment.

Words by Sarah Hecks

Connie’s comments: Thyme, rosemary, parsley and oregano have anti-cancer properties. My brother who is a chef would replace sugar with pineapple juice to add a sweet taste to his cooking. Another chef, use maple syrup. Add fiber rich food together with your meat. Do not eat the burned part of the BBQ since it has carcinogenic properties. When marinating and storing your meat in the refrigerator, beer might give a nice flavor to the meat that is ready for sautéing or BBQ. Dark beer containing hops have anti-hypertensive properties.

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