V8, the iconic vegetable juice, is popping up in marinade recipes all over the internet. With its blend of vegetables and spices already pureed to just the right consistency, is it really any wonder cooks are putting V8 to new uses in the kitchen? Brimming with carrots, celery, beets, spinach, parsley, and watercress, the tomato-based juice hits all the right notes between savory and sweet. To top it off, its acidity and saltiness also make it the perfect foundation for a tasty and easy meat marinade.
Campbell's, the maker of V8, features its own recipe for a carne asada marinade made with the spicy version of the juice on its website. But any kind of meat can get a boost from the variety of recipes available online for tasty marinades made from the vegetable juice. Whether it's chicken, pork, shrimp, or any other kind of meat, V8 makes an easy marinade.
Elements Of A Meat Marinade
In order to make an effective marinade, three main elements are generally necessary -- flavoring alone won't quite do the trick. Acid and oil are important for locking it all in and keeping the meat moist. As discussed, V8 juice is already pretty acidic. But adding a touch more acid will improve upon those base notes. Lemon or lime juice are both great options that pair well with the vegetable juice, especially the spicy version.
Hot sauces made with vinegar are another great option for adding a little more acid. Tabasco is one that is well known to pair well with V8 juice. Worcestershire sauce also contains vinegar and makes a great addition to just about any marinade. A little bit of beer can also work well as it is slightly acidic and will complement the juice's flavors.
Not all marinades call for oil, of course, but it definitely plays its part in improving the overall juiciness of your meat. It doesn't have to be added directly to the marinade either. If you'd prefer, you can rub the oil directly into the meat before adding it to the marinade. That way you won't have to worry about the ingredients separating too much while it rests.
Adding In More Flavor
As flavorful and salty as V8 juice is, you're still going to want to add in some more seasonings to really make it shine. Cumin, coriander, pepper, and chili powder are great options. And don't forget about garlic and onion! They're staples for a reason, after all. You will want to add a little bit of extra salt too as it will be needed to penetrate the meat as it soaks.
There are also plenty of options if you want to up the sweetness factor with a V8-based marinade. In addition to suggestions for pineapple juice and brown sugar, some recipes call for adding fruit nectars and even BBQ sauce. Honey could also work well.
A marinade made from V8 juice can also make a great sauce. Just use the leftovers to deglaze the pan after sautéing or let it simmer in a pot for a bit while grilling or broiling. The result will be just as convenient and flavorful as the marinade, making it the perfect accompaniment to your V8 juice recipe for marinated meat.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.