Summer is the time for delicious fresh fruit and slow roasting succulent cuts of meat; whiskey blueberry marinade brings those two together. One of the best things about summer is the fresh blueberries coming into season; my wife will go to the nearby farms and buy whole cases of them. This provides me an excellent opportunity to find creative ways to use them in our summer diet (we can’t eat them fast enough by themselves!)
The sugary sweetness of blueberries makes for a great tenderizer to marinate meats, especially when blended with a strong spirit like whiskey. I used whiskey in this one because someone drank all the rum…. (yes, why is the rum always gone?) to impart a deeper flavour of caramel. There are many types of whiskey on the market: Irish, Scottish, bourbon; whichever you prefer or have on hand will serve you best. There isn’t really a right or wrong on it.
The spices I chose to use here needed to play well with the sweet tanginess of blueberries and whiskey; so, cumin for depth and the spicy aromatics of a good jerk blend (cinnamon, cloves, allspice). The liquid smoke is a nice dimension for bite and texture, further sharpened with brine or apple cider vinegar to help tenderize the meat.
In this particular case (see the video), I used a piece of pork loin and set it in the fridge for 24 hours. The following day, I covered it with parchment and foil. The parchment is crucial here, it keeps the sugar from the marinade from eating holes in the foil. I then set it in an oven at 275F for four hours and let it sit for an hour before shredding it in pulled pork fashion.
The result, as you can well imagine, is deliciously balanced and succulent. Guaranteed, I’ll be whipping this marinade up for use on chicken or beef; I’m pretty sure the result won’t disappoint.
Whiskey blueberry marinade
- Food processor
- glass marinating dish
- 1/2 cup blueberries fresh is always best, but frozen can work as well
- 4 Tbsp whiskey type of whiskey is up to you
- 1 tsp salt smoked salt if you can get it
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 whole shallot peeled and rough chopped
- 3 Tbsp jerk seasoning dry powder or paste
- 1 Tbsp liquid smoke
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar could use pickle brine instead
What to marinate…..
- 2.5 lbs meat of your choice I recommend pork or beef
- In a food processor, blend all the ingredients (except the meat, of course) together until smooth.
- Rub liberally onto the meat, being sure to get even coverage;
- Place in a glass dish, cover and refrigerate up to 48 hours.
- The rest is up to you. Enjoy!