Marinades Make Meat Marvelous

The County Line's special marinade is a blend of apple juice, grape juice, salt and Worcestershire sauce.

Photo Credit: Jenna VonHofe

Summer is just around the corner, and glorious weather accompanied by some lip-smacking barbecue is the perfect way to begin the sunny day. With local restaurants serving up their special barbecue recipes and summer delicacies, summer is indeed a splendid time to be in Austin.

Of course, the best, juicy meat is often soaked in the most delicious marinade, said Freedman’s Executive Chef and Pitmaster Evan LeRoy. LeRoy dishes out his two most favorite marinade recipes.

LeRoy said his Citrus Tequila Marinade marries well with poultry or seafood. The leftover marinade can even be used as light vinaigrette to dress the food after it’s been cooked.

One cup orange juice, one-fourth cup fresh lime juice, zest of an orange and a lime, two tablespoons salt, one tablespoon black pepper, three minced garlic cloves, half cup tequila and two cups olive oil, blend into one delectable marinade.

“My other favorite is the Cajun Marinade,” LeRoy said. “This is great for pork chops, steaks or any other meats that can stand up to the spice.”

Meat-lovers may prefer this flavor-packed recipe. To prepare the marinade, one needs one dark beer, a tablespoon of cayenne pepper, a tablespoon of black pepper, one tablespoon of dried oregano, two tablespoons paprika, one tablespoon cumin, one-fourth cup lemon juice, one-fourth cup Worcestershire sauce, half cup olive oil and three bay leaves.

According to The County Line Director of Marketing and Advertising Scott Ziskovsky, their special marinade is a blend of apple juice, grape juice, salt and Worcestershire sauce. A recipe Ziskovsky recommends for the summer is the Smoked Memphis Rubbed Pork Shoulder. He suggests a liberal injection of the marinade into the pork and a generous amount of spice to rub onto the meat. 

For foodies who wish to enjoy a perfect summer meal, but prefer chicken to meat, The County Line’s Grilled Yellow Squash Soup is a tasty option, Ziskovsky said. The dish is a combination of yellow squash, celery, white onion, fresh mushrooms, chicken broth, sour cream, butter and pepper.

Another recipe from The County Line is with chipotle mayo, shredded Kraft Mexican-blend cheese, hard boiled eggs, minced green onions, sour cream, salsa, crisped, cooked and crumbled bacon, ground cayenne pepper and cilantro, called Huevos del Diablos.

Besides these recipes from Freedmen’s and The County Line, there are many other Austin restaurants serving up some delicacies for the summer. With fresh ingredients and flavorful marinades, one can create, taste and enjoy the perfect meal.

No Grill? No Worries

Not everyone has a barbecue grill, but with the sun out and the sunny weather keeping the day bright, it is the right time to be thinking about firing up some barbecue outdoors. Austin has plenty of parks and open spaces, and some of the best have little-known secrets. For those who may not have a grill or who do not wish to purchase a portable barbecue grill, these parks and many more have outdoor barbecue pits, where you can roast some meat and then enjoy a sumptuous meal.

1. Dick Nichols Park on Beckett Road has nine barbecue pits and more than 15 picnic tables. For sports fans, there are two basketball courts, where one can play a game after a meal. This park is supposed to be a neighborhood favorite, especially for families.

2. Deep Eddy Pool is an iconic Austin spot, but Eilers Park, where the pool is actually located, has one barbecue pit, plenty of picnic tables and a playground for the kids. 

3. The most well-known Austin park is probably the Zilker Metropolitan Park, which has two barbecue pits, basketball courts, swimming areas, picnic tables and tennis courts. This park has everything one needs to make barbecuing a fun, family activity. 

4. With plenty of shade, a jogging trail and even a pool, Garrison District Park offers several perks for barbecue cooks. With 28 barbecue pits and 28 picnic tables, this park is the place to be on a hot, summer afternoon with the entire family in tow.

Outdoor Barbecue Pit Essentials

For indulging your taste buds with some lip-smacking barbecue, you don’t need fancy equipment. A barbecue pit is literally a hole in the ground, and for cooking your meat in a pit, all you would need is a wood or metal cover to trap the heat, lots of glowing coals and the meat, of course. When cooking in a barbecue pit, you must also remember to insulate the covered pit with a layer of subsoil. So tempting is the prospect of barbecue that people create pits in their own backyards, but with Austin’s parks having their own barbecue pits, there’s no need for the extra work. Barbecue the summer away!