Added: 08th December 2015
With a traditional Christmas dinner just around the corner, it’s time to think about the choice of meat for your Christmas table. It’s a little known fact, though, that coffee can actually help in the preparation of your turkey, or any other meat joint you choose for Christmas day, as it acts as an excellent natural meat tenderiser/marinade. Raw meat that’s been tenderised before cooking is succulent and more tasty, irrespective of its quality. Using coffee in the process gives the meat a rich, smoky flavour when it’s ready and, for coffee lovers, it’s a dream result.
There are, of course, other ways to tenderise meat, including using physical methods such as pounding with a meat pounder (hard work!!) or just slow cooking (not very creative). Commercial tenderising methods invariably use chemically prepared meat tenderising products that might contain unhealthy ingredients such as monosodium glutamate. The disadvantages are that commercial meat tenderisers, when sprinkled on uncooked meat, work almost too fast, often within minutes. This can leave the meat soggy and over-tenderised if left on too long and the process is quite severe. Coffee, however, is an excellent, gentle choice to improve your meat’s texture and flavour. Even though coffee’s not sold as a meat tenderizer, it’s an increasingly recognised off-label use for it.
Coffee acts as an acidic product when used to tenderise meat and it works by breaking down the bonds that bind the meat cells together through acidity rather than through the enzymatic process of the commercial tenderisers.
So, don’t now throw away your fresh coffee pot residue (any coffee type will do) as it can be a wonderful marinade. All white and red meats can be prepared this way and left to stand for between 1-3 hours in your coffee, resulting in a tender texture and delicious flavour. It’s important to use cold coffee residue as warm/hot coffee will cook the meat and you can optionally add the following ingredients to enhance the flavour even more:
- 1 finely chopped shallot
- 2 chopped or crushed garlic cloves
- 1.5 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 pinch of black pepper.
Stir together the above ingredients and save about quarter of the finished result for basting the meat during cooking. Pour the marinade all over the meat, cover and leave to stand in the refrigerator for anywhere between 2 and 24 hours. Before cooking, use the spare marinade as a paste and, when the cooked meat’s finally ready, you’ll be able to enjoy a fabulously coffee-themed Christmas roast dinner.
Make sure you’re ready to marinade this Christmas with some Café Bonté Coffee Beans.