When it comes to cooking, sometimes, less is more. For my oven-roasted meat recipe, I only use 5 main ingredients for the marinade. This is one of my favorite food to prepare as I only have to place it in the oven and just make it doesn’t get burned and I can do other household chores while the meat is cooking in the oven!
There’s no reason why you can’t use the same marinade for other meat. You can also add dried or fresh herbs to the marinade. Since I have kids, more often than not, I end up separating the meat and the marinade into two and baking them into two different pans: one plain and one with herbs. The most favorite herb/s in my household is the hierbas provenzales (provenzal herbs), followed by the romero (rosemary) and oregano.
For the marinade, you will need:
brandy, cognac or white wine (whichever you prefer)
lemon juice (the amount will depend on how much you like the taste of lemon. If you add too much, the meat will taste of “overpowering” citrus flavor and it will also depend on the quantity of meat you will be marinating)
a teaspoon of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
your choice: dried or fresh herbs of your choice and/or crushed garlic and laurel leaf (if I don’t use any dried or fresh herb, I add crushed garlic and laurel leaf to add some flavor to the marinade)
Season the meat with salt and pepper. I don’t just sprinkle the salt and pepper on top. I rub it on. I also rub the dried herbs on the meat. ^^)
In a bowl, I mix the brandy (or cognar or white wine), lemon juice and olive oil. I dip each of the meat pieces into the mixture and neatly arrange them into a glass baking pan. I pour on the meat the excess marinade.
I typically do this the night before, refrigerate the meat and every now and then, turn the meat pieces.
Take the marinated meat out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking it. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven at 200º Celsius.
If I am using fresh herbs, I just place it beside or on top of the meat (if whole meat like suckling pig or lamb thigh). First, I cover the baking dish with foil during the first half of baking. I then take out the foil and let that side turn brown, spooning every now and then some of the marinade on the meat. When this side of the meat is already golden brown, I turn it and finish the cooking time by browning this side of the meat still spooning some of the marinade on top of the meat. You can choose to cook your meat on a rack but I like cooking the meat in a pan so it won’t lose it’s juices.
After the meat is done, I serve it hot with rice, vegetables or mashed potatoes. The marinade left after baking will not go to waste, either. After discarding the oil with a spoon, I heat it in a pan, let it boil and add some cornstarch dissolved in water to thicken it: instant gravy as dipping sauce! ^^)
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