The Best Type Of Marinade For Red Meat, According To An Expert

raw meat in a marinade in a glass bowl
raw meat in a marinade in a glass bowl - ValdisOsins/Shutterstock

Whether you're throwing steaks on the grill, smoking brisket, or roasting a rack of lamb, red meat could always use a tasty marinade to enhance its umami-rich flavors. If you're looking for the best type of marinade for your red meat dish, expert chef, blogger, and cookbook author Jenn Segal is here to weigh in. During an interview, the Once Upon a Chef creator told Tasting Table, "Red meat loves bold flavors."

Since red meat is known for its intense palate, you'll want equally strong flavors that can match its intensity and complement its distinct savory notes. Marinades are a blend of oil, acid, and seasonings, giving you plenty of boldly flavored solid and liquid ingredients to choose from. Segal told us, "Don't shy away from ingredients like soy sauce, garlic, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard." Savory herbs, spicy aromatics, tart and tangy juices, and funky, salty condiments all make for worthy marinade components for red meat.

Segal draws from her extensive repertoire of recipes and pro tips to give us a great example of the perfect red meat marinade with her recipe for carne asada. She lists robust flavors like soy sauce, lime juice, spices, sugar, and garlic. The spices include nutty, savory cumin, and spicy, smoky ancho chili powder, rounding out the tangy lime, harsh bite of garlic, and salty, umami of the soy sauce.

Read more: 13 Underrated Cuts Of Meat You Should Be Grilling

Ideas And Tips For Red Meat Marinades

Korean sticky marinated beef over rice
Korean sticky marinated beef over rice - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

While Jenn Segal's carne asada is a great example of intense and complementary flavors, there are numerous other ingredients that will give your meat marinade a boost. You can draw inspiration from iconic global red meat recipes from beef bulgogi to Indian-style yogurt-marinated lamb.

Robust aromatics like garlic, ginger, and chili pastes from harissa to gochujang are great additions to spice up your meat marinades. Dried or fresh herbs like rosemary, basil, oregano, and mint are likewise popular ingredients to add fragrance and enhance the savoriness of meat. Yogurt, pickle juice, hot sauce, citrus juices, and vinegar are all acidic ingredients that can complement the umami flavors in the meat while also acting as a tenderizer. Liquid or paste seasonings that'll provide a robust flavor upgrade include miso, fish sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, wine, bourbon, and even a syrupy sweet soft drink like Coca-Cola.

Sweeteners are also bold seasonings that'll not only balance the other flavors but also help the meat to form a caramelized crust as it cooks on the grill, oven, or frying pan. You can swap white sugar for honey, maple syrup, or molasses for more complexity. The best cuts of steak to marinade are tough cuts like flank, skirt, or hanger steaks. Smaller, thinner pieces of meat will infuse and tenderize more efficiently and thoroughly. Whether you use a plastic bag or glass dish, make sure to place the meat in the fridge to marinate.

Read the original article on Tasting Table