Northeast Times

Beer marinated bliss

You’ll be the envy of all your neigh­bors when they smell this cook­ing.

“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Who said that? Was it Smokey the Bear? Re­gard­less, you don’t need smoke sig­nals to know that there’s a bar­be­cue hap­pen­ing. Fol­low your nose and it will lead you dir­ectly to the grill.

With sum­mer right around the corner, grills will be fired up across the Delaware Val­ley. And what goes well with BBQ? Beer does, of course. What bet­ter way to en­joy an ice-cold beer than shar­ing it with your fa­vor­ite grilled meat. Com­bine your brew with your BBQ, and you’ll be health­i­er for it. To quote Pla­to: “He was a wise man who in­ven­ted beer.” I must con­cur with Pla­to on that one!

All beer drink­ers have a fa­vor­ite beer. What’s your spe­cial brew? If it’s a dark beer, you’re really in luck, al­though shar­ing just about any kind of beer with your grilled meat will keep you health­i­er.

Re­search has sug­ges­ted a link between grilled, charred meat and can­cer. Meat cooked at high tem­per­at­ures causes chem­ic­als called PAHs (poly­cyc­lic aro­mat­ic hy­dro­car­bons) to form. Those chem­ic­als could dam­age DNA, and might in­crease your chances of de­vel­op­ing can­cer.

A re­cent art­icle pub­lished in the Amer­ic­an Chem­ic­al So­ci­ety’s Journ­al of Ag­ri­cul­tur­al and Food Chem­istry, by re­search­ers at the Uni­versity of Porto in Por­tugal, may have a help­ful an­swer to the BBQ di­lemma. It seems that the an­ti­ox­id­ants in beer, es­pe­cially in dark beer, help com­bat the form­a­tion of those PAHs, if the meat is mar­in­ated in beer be­fore grilling. The study showed that after grilling, non-mar­in­ated meat had 21 nano­grams of PAH per gram, while meat mar­in­ated in Pils­ner beer av­er­aged 18 nano­grams, and a mar­in­ade with black beer av­er­aged only 10 nano­grams. Ap­par­ently, it’s worth it to share your beer with your BBQ, es­pe­cially dark beer.

En­zymes in beer also help to ten­der­ize meat. You could just give pre-grilled meats a beer bath, but adding some herbs and spices to make a mar­in­ade will im­part more fla­vor to the fin­ished product. 

Use a jar with a tight fit­ting lid to make and shake your mar­in­ade. Place meat in a large, shal­low dish, or a zip-top plastic bag and pour mar­in­ade over meat. If us­ing a bag, squeeze air out be­fore seal­ing it. Swish the bag a few times, or turn meat over in dish oc­ca­sion­ally while it is mar­in­at­ing. Al­low meat to mar­in­ate for a few hours. When it’s time to grill, spray grill with non­stick spray. Save some of the leftover mar­in­ade to baste the meat while it cooks. Do not drink the leftover mar­in­ade, however tempt­ing it may be.

If grilling ka­bobs, al­tern­ate pieces of onion, green pep­per, cherry to­ma­toes or mush­rooms between the chunks of meat. Give meat a little room on the skew­ers – no bunch­ing. The ka­bobs will hap­pily cook more evenly. 

Both of the fol­low­ing mar­in­ades work well with all meats and poultry. The first mar­in­ade is a little spicy. The second mar­in­ade is slightly sweet. 

I think it’s time to fire up the grill. Cheers to beer!

BEER MAR­IN­ADE #1

½ cup can­ola oil

¼ cup soy sauce

½ cup beer (prefer­ably dark)

1 tsp. ground ginger

2 gar­lic cloves, minced

1½ tsp. curry powder

2 Tb­sp. ketch­up

½ tsp. pep­per

1 tsp. Ta­basco sauce

- Put all in­gredi­ents in a tight-fit­ting jar and shake well.  

- Place meat in a large, shal­low dish, or a zip-top plastic bag and pour mar­in­ade over meat. Re­fri­ger­ate.

- Turn meat over in dish oc­ca­sion­ally or turn over bag.

- Al­low to mar­in­ate for a few hours.

BEER MAR­IN­ADE #2

¼ cup can­ola oil

2 Tb­sp. apple cider vin­eg­ar

¼ cup brown sug­ar

½ cup beer (prefer­ably dark)

2 gar­lic cloves, minced

1 tsp. brown or Di­jon mus­tard

3 Tb­sp. Worcester­shire sauce

1 tsp. coarsely ground black pep­per

- Put all in­gredi­ents in a tight-fit­ting jar and shake well.  

- Place meat in a large, shal­low dish, or a zip-top plastic bag and pour mar­in­ade over meat. Re­fri­ger­ate.

- Turn meat over in dish oc­ca­sion­ally or turn over bag.

- Al­low to mar­in­ate for a few hours.

Eat well, live long, en­joy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at Whats­cook­in­NEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the North­east Times, 2512 Met­ro­pol­it­an Drive, Tre­vose, PA 19053)

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