Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals

Anyone who knows me well knows I'm no food snob. Sure, I don't see the point of eating anything that doesn't taste delicious and I love a thick-cut Wagyu steak, but I also live in the real world, where sometimes you simply need to make the best of the ingredients you can easily pick up between meetings and the school run.

So it is that you'll often find a bag of frozen prawns in our freezer, and it's not unheard of for us to eat supermarket steak and chicken at home. This need for convenience can feel like a bit of a compromise in flavour and texture, especially compared with ingredients sourced from a great butcher or fishmonger – but it's easy to make up for it with a little ingenuity, and nothing works better than a tasty marinade to lift a piece of meat or fish.

The marinades here are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals.

They also taste so much better than anything you'd get in a jar. Actually, that's something I am a bit of a snob about: why buy a tub of marinade when you can stir one together at home in seconds for a fraction of the price?

Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, and 50 Sekforde Street, London EC1, tel: 020 7251 9032, grangerandco.com. Follow Bill on Instagram at bill_granger

Last-minute marinades

You don't always need to marinate for hours to get flavour into meat and fish. The following three recipes are perfect for when you are in a bit of a hurry and want to get the job done quickly.

The chermoula, a marinade used in Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian cooking, is herby, spicy and earthy all at once; the Thai marinade is packed with fresh, zingy flavours; and the Cuban marinade will infuse a delicate citrus and herby quality into your dish.

Each of these recipes makes enough marinade for meat or fish for four people.

For the chermoula

Small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped
Handful coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp paprika
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 small preserved lemon, flesh removed and rind finely chopped
Juice 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, season with salt. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid and keep in the fridge for up to three days. To use, smother the chermoula over a whole fish, prawns, lamb or chicken. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes. Season with salt then barbecue, oven-grill or pan-fry.

For the Thai marinade

2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 red chillies, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2cm piece ginger, grated
2 lime leaves, shredded

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid and keep in the fridge for up to three days. Use to marinate pork, chicken, fish or seafood for 10 minutes. Season lightly with salt then barbecue, oven-grill or pan-fry straight away.

For the Cuban-style citrus marinade

1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
1 cinnamon stick, broken
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
Juice and grated zest 1 orange
Juice 1 lime
2 tsp dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid and keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. To use, brush the marinade over any meat or seafood and leave to marinate for 10 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper then barbecue, oven- grill or pan-fry.

Bill adds kiwi fruit to his Korean sticky barbecue marinade Bill adds kiwi fruit to his Korean sticky barbecue marinade (Laura Edwards)
Korean sticky barbecue marinade

I love using this marinade on pork or beef short ribs, chicken wings or simply thinly sliced beef, as shown below, ready to be skewered.

The kiwi in the marinade tenderises the meat beautifully and, once on the grill, the sauce caramelises into smoky, sticky deliciousness.

Makes enough for 1kg ribs or meat for 4 people

100ml soy sauce
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 ripe kiwi, peeled and grated
4 cloves garlic, sliced
3 spring onions, sliced
2cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Bill's Korean sticky barbecue marinade can be used on pork or beef short ribs, chicken wings or simply thinly sliced beef, as shown here Bill's Korean sticky barbecue marinade can be used on pork or beef short ribs, chicken wings or simply thinly sliced beef, as shown here (Laura Edwards)
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. To use, place your meat in a large container and toss through the marinade. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours, ideally overnight, turning the meat a couple of times.

Before cooking, lift out the meat and brush off any excess. Slow-cook the ribs in a roasting tin covered with foil for 1½ hours at 160C, before uncovering and caramelising under the grill or on a barbecue. For skewers or thin steaks, barbecue, oven-grill or flash-fry in a pan over a high heat.

Spiced yoghurt and mint

If you ever wondered how Indian restaurants make their chicken and lamb so tender, a yoghurt marinade is the answer. I've used this on lamb steaks and chops, chicken legs, breast and wings. The result is always meltingly soft.

Makes enough marinade for lamb or chicken for 4 people

250ml yoghurt
Juice ½ lemon
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp toasted cumin seeds
1 tsp chilli powder
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
Handful mint leaves, torn

Spiced yoghurt and mint marinade Spiced yoghurt and mint marinade (Laura Edwards)
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Place some chicken or lamb in a large container and toss though the marinade. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour, ideally overnight.

Before cooking, lift out the meat, brush off any excess yoghurt and season with salt before barbecuing or grilling in the oven.

Food preparation: Marina Filippelli; Props merchandising: Rachel Jukes

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