Rubs and Marinades for the Grill | WYPR

Rubs and Marinades for the Grill

Jun 14, 2017

Credit Aimee Plesa/flickr

I've been firing up my grill for a few weeks now, and ever since we did a show on smoking with wood chips, I've been cooking up some very tasty food. But if you want to increase the flavor of your steaks, ribs and roasts, you can't beat the direct approach:  going with marinades and rubs. And this is where Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School can get very creative. Click on the picture to the left for instructions and recipes.

First, some basics about marinades. It’s best to avoid salt in marinades. Salt pulls moisture out of food and it will cause whatever you are marinating in it to be less juicy. But remember to always salt the product just before cooking.

·         The more delicate the product, the shorter the marinating times – shrimp are good after just 30 minutes, lamb chops may need at least 1 to 2 hours in the marinade.

·         If the reason for using a marinade is to tenderize tough cuts of meat, make sure there is a substantial amount of acid present…red wine is good, red wine vinegar is better and marinate over night.

·         Zip-lock bags work great for marinating food. Try to push as much air out as possible before you seal the bag. You can also use covered glass baking dishes.

·         Never reuse marinades. Some marinades also make great sauces, but don’t use the marinade that has had product in it. Make a separate batch to use as the sauce. 

Garlic Lemon Marinade for Shrimp or Fish

Ingredients - will marinate up to 2 lbs. of shrimp or fish

2 lemons, juice & zest

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup fresh Parsley, finely chopped

¼ cup fresh Cilantro, finely chopped

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and marinate the shrimp or fish for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before roasting or grilling. 

Asian Salmon Marinade

Ingredients – makes enough to marinate one large side of salmon or 4 lbs of salmon fillets.

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

½ cup brown sugar

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 small knob ginger, finely grated

4 green onions, green and white parts cut into ¼ inch disks

2 tablespoons Sambal, or other garlic chili pasta

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and marinate the salmon for up to one hour in the refrigerator before roasting or grilling.

   Here are some basic points about rubs.

·         Rubs are mixes of spices and seasoning that add flavor but don’t tenderize. Dry rubs are, in fact, dry and powdery. Paste rubs are mixed with enough of a wet ingredient to form a paste. Both kinds of rubs should be patted onto the meat to form a coating or crust — remember to pat gently; don’t rub hard.

·         Again, avoid lots of salt in rubs that will be applied more than a few hours before cooking. There is an entire family of heavily salted rubs but these are for curing meats such as bacon and pork for dried coppa.

·         The more sugar in the rub the more likely it will be to first caramelize but then burn on the grill or in the oven. So with thick pieces of meat that will need to cook for long periods of time use much less sugar or cook at very low temperatures. 

Coffee Brown Sugar Rub

Ingredients – makes enough to marinate 4 lbs. of beef

2 cups finely ground coffee

2 cups dark brown sugar

¼ cup dried thyme

¼ cup ground black pepper

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Gently pat the rub onto the meat and allow to sit, covered in the refrigerator for up to one hour. Scrape most of rub from the meat and season with salt before roasting or grilling. 

Cuban Pork Rub

Ingredients – makes enough to rub a 4 lbs. pork loin

20 cloves fresh garlic, chopped

5 oranges, zested plus ¼ cup juice

5 limes, zested plus 2 tablespoons juice

¼ cup fresh oregano leaves or 2 tablespoons dry oregano

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more if you’d like

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade and purée until smooth. Gently pat the rub onto the meat and allow to sit, covered in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight. Season the pork with salt before roasting or grilling.

Sauces – these can be used just on the table for a variety of poultry and meat but many are best brushed on just as the meat is finished cooking to add a bit of caramelization to the sauce and extra smoky flavor. 

Francis Mallmann’s Chimichurri – this sauce is used purely as a condiment

Ingredients

2 tablespoons water
1 tbs. coarse salt
1 head garlic, separated into cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 cup fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
2 tsp. crushed red- pepper flakes
¼ cup red-wine vinegar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place the water and salt in the microwave and heat briefly to dissolve the salt. Add the salt mixture and all of the remaining ingredients to a mason jar. Firmly screw on the lid and shake to combine. This can be used immediately, but gets better if allowed to rest in the refrigerator overnight.

Schola’s BBQ Sauce

Ingredients

2 tablespoons dark chili powder

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon table salt

1 16 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

½ cup Dijon mustard

½ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

1 cup dark brown sugar

½ cup molasses
3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons hot sauce

1 cup raisins

1 large yellow onion, cut into ¼ inch dice

6 whole cloves of garlic, crushed or minced

In a sauce pan set over medium high heat, cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft and translucent. Add the tomato paste and raisins and cook an additional two minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Using an immersion blender, purée the sauce until smooth. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Spicy Peach BBQ Sauce

Ingredients

6 cups finely chopped pitted peeled peaches (about 3 lb or 9 medium)

1 cup finely chopped seeded roasted red bell pepper (about 1 large)

1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 large)

3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (about 14 cloves)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 ¼ cups honey

¾ cup cider vinegar

Peach BBQ Sauce – cont’d

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 fresh cayenne pepper, chopped or 2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes

2 teaspoons dry mustard

Salt to taste

In a sauce pan set over medium high heat, cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft and translucent. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Using an immersion blender, purée the sauce until smooth. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Maple Mustard BBQ Sauce

Ingredients

½ cup yellow mustard
½ cup Dijon mustard 
½ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup Vermont maple syrup
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon cayenne (use more only if you want a hotter sauce)

Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan set over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes with occasional stirring or until the sauce thickens. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.