1 T oil (we use olive)
1 T brown sugar
1/4 C water
1 t minced garlic (about one clove fresh)
3 T soy sauce
1/8 t black pepper
Mix ingredients in a ziploc bag or bowl, add meat.
Refrigerate 1 hour or up to 24 hours, turning to coat evenly (or shove it in the freezer, and later, thaw…)
*Discard marinade and cook meat as desired.
Okay the reason I’ve labeled this ‘freeze it and forget it’ is that we did just that one day a few weeks ago. If you’ve read any of my Menu Plan Monday posts before, you know that we tend to buy things in bulk and plan for about 4-6 weeks of meals at a time. Sometimes we plot out each meal and sometimes, it’s a fly by the seat of your pants thing, but at least we have some idea of what we can make from our ‘stash’ of food. We buy from a semi-local butcher that processes meat right there in front of you. Vegetarians, I’m sorry. Really, I am. However, you can call and say, I want x amount of this, and that, oh and that, and drive there and pick it up, and it’s fresh. Now, they WILL package it into small packages for you, but usually we just do it ourselves in zip bags. Some of our meat ends up coming from grocery stores (since our market is so far away, we have to improvise at times) and I do try and buy large cuts of meat which have likely seen less processing. Example: pork tenderloin. I found a fabulous price one say, so I snagged one from the store, and the day we wanted to make pulled pork, got it out and opened it. I only needed about half that much for 2 or 3 meals worth of pulled pork, so I cut it in half. Then I was stuck: do I freeze one of them for a roast later, or cut it into some really awesome pork chops? Roast=crock pot or oven, pork chops = grill. It’s July. Duh. Grill wins. So I butterflied pork chops off of the tenderloin and stuck then in a freezer bag. I knew I would want to marinate them when they thawed, and then… da da da! Inspiration struck. Why not go ahead and put the marinade in the bag? Then it can marinate while it thaws, and it saves a step later. I’m SO GLAD I did this.
Time: 5 minutes to mix, then time in the freezer or fridge marinating. An hour is plenty long enough, but longer is better. Thawing time if you freeze.
Ease: The mix ingredients are something I have on hand all the time. I literally dumped them in the bag and gave the meat a massage, then shoved it in the freezer. Done.
Price: The cost is so little that it’s LAUGHABLE to buy a bottle of marinade when pennies will net you a great tasting cut of meat.
Kid approved: Definitely! This is not even remotely spicy, but it just has a good overall sweet and smoky (grill) flavor. It also tenderizes the meat.
Options: Chicken breasts, chicken tenders, pork chops, small pork tenderloin, and probably just about any type of steak if you wished. I think it would be good on mushrooms, too.
Freezer time: I would think you could keep this as long as you have to, plotting post-partum meals probably starts about 4-8 weeks ahead of time, and the chops should be good much longer than that.
*Personally we grill the stuff, so my husband just dumps the marinade on the grill and it burns off. Since every TV show now says to discard marinade (as opposed to keeping it for later, I guess), I feel obligated to do so. It’s had raw meat in it, guys, use common sense and don’t get food poisoning!
**I realize that this is not the most appetizing picture, but I can tell you that even though it is leftover, and cold, that you would pick it up and eat it with your fingers, and then lick your fingers. It’s that freaking good.