When you’re hosting a number of people at your house for a dinner party or lunch, time management can be a tricky concept. To ensure that you don’t spend the whole time frantically running around the kitchen, start the clocks early and prepare some of your food ahead of time – it’s the smartest move you can make.
In particular, when you’re cooking meat, you’ll want the cuts to be freshly cooked and well rested – getting this element of the meal ready in advance requires whipping up a marinade beforehand: not only helping to save you time, but also ensuring that you get tender, rested and flavoursome meat with every bite.
Here are some of our favourite lamb marinades that will have all your guests cleaning their plate:
Greek lamb marinade
Classic Greek flavours combine with lemon juice, oregano, garlic and olive oil.
Moroccan lamb marinade
Give your lamb a kick with a marinade made from olive oil, cumin, paprika, garlic and cayenne pepper. Add a little bit of honey to round out the flavours.
Mongolian lamb marinade
Give your lamb some Mongolian zing with a mixture of Chinese cooking wine, fresh ginger, garlic and soy sauce.
Mediterranean lamb marinade
This rich marinade is surprisingly unexpected despite the classic flavours. Mix together tomato paste, garlic, oil, oregano and red wine for a blend of Mediterranean flavours.
Honey mustard lamb marinade
This one is great for barbequing. Just add your lamb to a mixture of honey mustard, lemon juice, brown sugar and a splash of Worcestershire sauce.
Tips for using lamb marinades
If you want to try your hand at making your own marinade, it should be a combination of oil to lock in the flavour, acids (such as citrus or vinegar) to tenderise the meat, and seasonings to add the intensity.
Be careful when using your marinades to take the size and type of cut you’re suing into consideration, as leaving them in for too long may cause them to toughen. Smaller cuts like steak or cutlets can be marinated for up to four hours, while bigger cuts can be left in the fridge overnight.
Want to use some of your leftover marinade to season vegetables?
Add it to a saucepan and bring it to the boil first to remove the harmful bacteria from the raw meat. Finally, if you find that your marinated lamb never seems to brown as well as you like, it might be that you’re leaving too much moisture. Try patting it down with a clean paper towel to remove some of the excess before cooking and never pour the whole marinade into your pan.