By Stacey S. Whitman
As spring rolls in, my mind turns to the summer months and grilling season.
The smell of the meat and vegetables warming in the heat from the glowing coals brings back so many happy memories that I forgot during the cold days of winter.
Stepping outside the house and recognizing the familiar waves of smoke from a neighbor’s grill encourages me to start planning a menu that includes the meat in my freezer.
In preparation for outdoor cooking, now is the time to roll out the grill, uncover it and service it for the upcoming season. If you use propane, check your tank.
If you use charcoal, look for your bags and see if they are full enough to smoke a good rack of meat. Speaking of racks, it is also a good time to oil the iron racks and even light up the grill to burn off the dust and debris from last summer.
This year, I will add a new recipe for a meat marinade. Last year we were invited to a friend’s house for an outdoor cookout, and we tasted some of the most moist meat. The steak was marinated in an acid-based sauce with hints of flavor from mustard and soy sauce.
The tenderness of the meat required little effort to chew, and although I often have to offer a portion of my steak to my hubby because I am not a huge meat eater, this time I ate the whole thing. I asked our host for the recipe, and then I tweaked it a little for my own taste.
You will want to try this recipe with your best venison filets, such as tenderloin or backstrap. A few short hours (four) in the marinade or overnight soaking in the refrigerator makes this recipe so easy. The ingredients tenderize the meat and add a hint of flavor. None of the flavors take a front seat when you bite into each piece, and we always brine our deer meat first to reduce the chance of any “gamey” flavor.
- 1/2 c. Oil
- 1/3 c. Soy sauce
- 1/4 c. Red wine vinegar OR 1/4 c rice wine vinegar (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp. Mustard (Dijon or plain yellow)
- 1/4 tsp. Pepper
You can use a shallow dish or a glass jar with a tight lid. If you use a shallow dish, whisk the ingredients above and soak meat for 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. If using a glass jar, add all the ingredients and then shake vigorously until the oil blends together in the liquid. Then place your meat and liquid into a zip top bag and place in the refrigerator. Every hour or so, you can shake the bag to blend the ingredients that have separated.
Rice Wine vinegar: this is a taste preference. Rice wine vinegars come with seasoned options to add a little flavor. One brand even offers a garlic flavored rice wine, so take a look at the grocery store the next time you visit.