Tuesday, July 2, 2013

French Fusion Marinade with Red Wine Vinegar and Sweet Smoked Paprika

I discovered a forgotten beef boneless pot roast in my freezer today and was struck by inspiration...the kind of inspiration that marries elements of Julia Child, Mario Batali, and my personal favorite - Emeril Lagasse.  I was originally looking for some chicken breast to make more lemon pepper chicken for sandwiches.  The last batch disappeared today and it tastes so much better than sodium-laden deli meat that I figured on making a second batch.  But, the beef totally had my attention.  It tends to do that since I cook with it only once a month or so.

Though I don't cook with beef very often (my frugal side is partly to blame for that, I suppose), I get very excited when I can.  Beef is strong enough to stand up to flavors that would overwhelm a classic chicken dish so I went bold.  Very, very bold.

One of the things that is inspirational about having a fully stocked kitchen - I can whip up a marinade in 5 minutes that I could never find in the stores.  This marinade might've started out being inspired by Julia Child, but BAM!  Emeril's cooking style snuck in there too.

I used roughly 3/4 C. of marinade for about 2 pounds of beef.  You can adjust that according to your tastes, but I probably could've used 1/2 C. and still gotten the same flavor.

3-4 T. garlic red wine vinegar (free after coupons)
3-4 T. worchestershire sauce ($.10)
3-4 T. olive oil ($.10)
2 T. Italian salad dressing (free after coupons)
1-2 T. water (free)
2 tsp. oregano ($.05)
1/2 tsp. each: garlic powder, black pepper, steakhouse seasoning, and onion powder ($.10)
1/4 tsp. each: salt, white pepper, sweet paprika, and ancho chile powder ($.10)
1 T. minced garlic (I used 4-5 small cloves of garlic) ($.05)
2 T. minced shallot ($.10)

Combine all ingredients except olive oil and water.  Whisk together.  Drizzle in olive oil while whisking to combine.  Whisk in water to thin out if mixture is too thick.

Spread or pour evenly over beef.  Marinade at room temperature 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.
Meat can be slow roasted (roast covered at 250F for 3-6 hours), grilled over indirect heat (at 350 for 1 hour 30 minutes), or can even be seared in a pan then braised (in the marinade) in a crockpot for 6 hours over low.

When beef is cooked to desired doneness, slice thin and serve on a classic French roll with provolone cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and carmelized onions.  Top with sundried tomato aioli or your favorite mayo and you are ready for sandwich nirvana.

Yields: 2 batches of marinade.
Cost: $.60
Cost per batch: $.30

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