Monday, November 21, 2011

Re-Using Delicious Marinade

Re-Using Delicious Marinade in our home had been "forbidden" by Dr Desert Flower's fiat, until last weekend.  She had previously insisted that the marinade "has raw meat in it, you don't reuse it" (yes, a strange statement from a very smart woman with a degree that is essentially a PhD in very very very advanced biology.  Of course they had raw meat in the marinade - that's by definition.  Bacteria in marinade have DNA, and those DNA (and endoplasmic reticulum, and cell membranes, etc) also denature around 160F just like the bacterial parents that are still on the meat which will be grilled... just because they're in the marinade doesn't make them super viruses, or mucous encapsulated weaponized spores (like Anthrax). 

Saturday, I began to marinaded two flat iron steaks from Double Check Ranch for 24 hours using 1/2 a bottle of Grady's Hot Sauce in a ziplock bag in the fridge.  Sunday, during 1/2 time of the Bears / Chargers game, I preheated my grill, and then I drew out the steaks from the bag, and poured in 1/2 of a huge One Windmill Farm organic green pepper, 1/2 a sweet onion, and 1/2 a pint of organic portobello mushrooms, and "sloshed" them around until they were thoroughly coated in Grady's sauce.  I then fashioned my usual aluminum foil rectangle for grilling (see below), and poured the contents of the bag into the temporary "pan".    Noticing that there was very little "extra sauce" on the foil, I added about a cup of Herdez Mexican Salsa, which I often find too runny / watery, but in this case, it served perfectly to coat the surface of the foil on which the sauce covered veggies rested.  Why more liquid?  Well, I understand heat transfer, and a boiling liquid will transfer heat via conduction into the supposedly "contaminated" veggies about 10X faster than non-forced convection would transfer heat - and all those lurking bacteria needed as much energy as possible transferred into them as possible.
By this time, the grill was above 350 degrees.  I placed the foil onto the grill, closed the lid, and set the kitchen timer for 7:77 ( I like to repeat numbers, and test microwave programmers' foresight).  8 minutes and 17 seconds later, I brought the steaks out, and found the marinate covered vegetables in a vigorous boil in the small aluminum foil "pan".  Die bacteria, die!  Flame turned down as LOW as possible, I placed the steaks diagonally on the grill, and set the timer inside for 4:44, finished my Newcastle Brown Ale, and 5 minutes later, flipped the steaks.  Another 3:33 later, they were marvelously medium rare.

I would have taken an "after" picture, but the thought didn't occur to me until I was 1/2 way through the 2nd steak and 3/4rds through the veggies, with a dab of creme fraiche on the side.  Succulent, flavorful, "amazing"... some of the best homemade carne asad I've ever made or eaten.  I will be re-using marinade in the future, and cooking it thoroughly, to rupture any microorganisms who might be lurking therein. The marinade re-use prohibition is ended, chez nous.

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