Winter-ready ideas for creating mouthwatering meals by marinating with alcohol, including a recipe for Gin Cured Salmon
Using alcohol in the kitchen is a great way to add a different element to your cooking especially as the weather cools. Using alcohol as a marinade and ingredient is great for slow-cooked dinners, braised meats, or adding an interesting twist to a dessert.
SLOW AND LOW
Slow cooking is the obvious place to start for wintry meals featuring alcohol.
- Slow-cooked beef braised in red wine, beef bourguignon, is perfect in winter with a steaming pile of mashed potato, some crunchy green veges, and a large glass of something red and delicious.
- Coq au vin is a French dish that involves cooking chicken pieces in white wine for a decent period of time. Let the aromas slowly fill your kitchen all afternoon and, of course, pour yourself something while you wait. Add some parsley potatoes, a crisp green salad, and some baguette and butter, and you’ve got a beautifully simple winter’s dinner.
Beer is not to be overlooked as an ingredient when it comes to warming winter meals.
- A stout or porter makes for a sticky and delicious marinade for beef cheeks or oxtail, and stout-braised beef goes exceptionally well in a pie.
- Wheat beer, or any beer with a citrus element, is perfect for pulled pork – serve with fresh flatbreads, some quick-pickled cucumbers and a simple slaw for a tasty and fresh winter meal.
Marinating and preserving fruit with spirits makes for a great dessert option.
- Take a decent bowl of fruit, add plenty of white sugar, spices like cinnamon and ginger, and top with your preferred spirit - brandy, rum, bourbon, gin, and of course vodka all work well with fruit.
- With late summer stone fruit you could try brandied apricots or bourbon peaches, or try pears in gin with rosemary and lemon zest added.
FROM THE DEEP
Fish lends itself nicely to marinating with spirits.
- For a Pacific feast, try adding a splash of tequila to your ceviche.
- Add a glug of white wine or dry white vermouth to the frying pan when you’re next cooking fish to give a dash of flavour.
- One of the quintessential pairings when it comes to fish and alcohol, is curing salmon in gin. It’s a very impressive, yet extremely simple way to serve salmon – see recipe below…
Words and recipes by Delaney Mes