Marinades can improve the taste of any number of meat cuts, regardless of how they’re being cooked. However, one of the less common types of marinades that are used frequently contain coffee, often in conjunction with any number of seasonings. Also check out our article on the hard life of a Sumatran coffee picker.
#1. Beef Marinades
With variants abound, depending on the meat used, it is very possible to get creative with this type of marinade, and make it your own. When it comes to beef, the marinades being used will depend heavily on the cut itself, whether it’s skirt steak, ribs, chuck steak, or filet mignon.
However, the strong, heady flavor of coffee goes well with any of these, if seasoned correctly, and these marinades are quite simple and quick to prepare as well.
One such example is a coffee and cola grilled marinade. This recipe includes garlic cloves, a can of cola (although any carbonated soft drink will do), vinegar, ketchup, and half a cup of fresh, strong coffee.
Combining these ingredients with black pepper, rosemary, and a vinegar-based hot sauce to taste will result in a powerful, tasty marinade that features a perfect balance of smokiness, spiciness, and sweetness. Basting your beef, prior to hitting the grill, will result in a unique and flavorful steak.
#2. Pork Marinades
If beef isn’t your bag, there are multiple options for marinades that implement coffee that will compliment the subtlety and succulence of pork, as well.
The trick is to emphasize sweetness, which brings out the pork’s natural flavors. For a tasty pork chop marinade, use molasses, apple cider vinegar, garlic, a heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and a cup of cool coffee.
Ginger, thyme, black pepper, and sea salt can be added as well to beef up the flavors. The easiest way to mix this marinade is by adding all the ingredients into a one-gallon plastic Ziploc bag, and shake vigorously.
After this, the pork chops themselves can be added to the mix and allowed to marinate in the refrigerator overnight for a flavorsome meal. Serve with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and apple slices for extra flavor.
#3. Chicken Marinades
For chicken, accenting the vinegar of any marinade is the best way to bring out the flavor of the meat. For chicken breast baked in the oven, or grilled over high heat, virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and coffee can be mixed together with a dash of Worcestershire and lime juice.
For extra zest, a sprig of rosemary, and a tablespoon of brown sugar can also be thrown in. A night in the refrigerator will produce chicken breasts that have the same tart taste as barbecue. Throw some mango slices and fresh chives in as garnish, and you’ve got a summertime meal anyone can enjoy.
#4. Vegan Marinades
Of course, not all of us are carnivores; fortunately, there are options for those of us who prefer to go meatless. Tofu, in particular, proves very dynamic, with its variable texture and mild flavor.
For a piquant, fresh grilled tofu entrée, try blending a cup of organic coffee, a few drops of coconut extract, chipotle chili powder, paprika, and melted almond butter in a large bowl with salt and pepper to taste.
Twelve to fourteen ounces of cubed, firm tofu can then be coated with the blend, and allowed to marinate for an hour in the fridge. Grilling these, with some fingerling potatoes and fresh balsamic vinaigrette, is a tasty, vegan-friendly meal.