7 most delicious Russian ways to marinade your BBQ meat (RECIPES)

Legion Media
Every Russian has his own “secret” recipe to make meat tender and juicy. Impress your friends at the next shashlik party!

One of the most Russian things in summer is to gather friends and relatives at the dacha and grill some meat on a skewer - a dish called shashlik. The meat should be fatty, but tender: pork neck is the best option, but different people prefer different meat, from chicken to lamb. To make the meat softer and add aroma, before cooking, the meat is usually marinaded from 2 hours to overnight. Here are the most delicious Russian recipes. All the ingredients are calculated for 1 kg of any meat. Oh, and onions are better sliced into rings!

1. Kefir

This Russian fermented product is not only good for the stomach, but also one of the most popular marinades for shashlik.

Slice 1 kg of onion, put into a deep pan, add salt and pepper to taste and 1 tablespoon of Caucasian spice mix called Khmeli-Suneli (which is made from coriander, basil, dill and parsley). Then add sliced meat pieces and mix everything together. Pour kefir over it all, cover with a lid and shake to make sure that the meat is evenly covered. 

2. Sparkling water

For this recipe, you’ll need usual sparkling mineral water. Russians prefer Narzan or Yessentuki brands, but any other will do. 

Put 1 kg of meat into a deep pan, cover with 0.5 kg of sliced onion, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 4-5 garlic cloves, salt, pepper and your favorite spices to taste and mix well. Add sparkling mineral water and leave overnight.   

3. MAYO! 

Sometimes it seems that Russians are obsessed with mayonnaise: it’s a popular salad dressing, a sauce for dumplings, even an ingredient for the sweet dough. And yes, mayo is a comrade to shashlik! The marinade based on mayonnaise doesn’t let meat burn. At least, chefs swear by it.

Put sliced meat pieces into a pan, add spices to taste, mix well and leave for 15 minutes. Then add about 0.5 liter of full fat mayonnaise. It should just cover the meat, but not drown it. Slice 5 big onions into rings and put on top. Marinade the shashlik in the fridge overnight or leave just on a table for 4 hours. 

4. Beer

If you like the smell of malt, try this recipe. For this marinade, it’s better to take high quality beer, even live or craft beer. Bitter beer makes the taste bolder. 

Dry meat with paper towels and slice for the skewer. First put sliced onion into the pan, then the meat, then spices - except salt. Mix and leave it indoors for 40 minutes. Mix once more and add 1 liter of beer. Leave for a minimum 3 hours. Salt before grilling. 

5. Lemon

Easy and tasty marinade for all shashlik enthusiasts! First slice meat and put it into a pan, then add 2 sliced onions. Salt and pepper are added to taste - and it’s good to use peppercorns. Take one big lemon and cut it into 2-4 parts. Squeeze out the lemon juice onto meat, then put the peel into the pan and mix well. Leave it for 4 hours under some pressure. 

6. Vinegar

Vinegar makes meat (especially pork) very tender and gives a little bittersweet taste. First put the sliced meat into a non-aluminum pan, then add 2 big sliced onions. Add salt, pepper and spices to taste. In the other pan, mix 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of 9% vinegar and add this liquid to the meat. Leave in a cold place for 1-2 hours. It’s not recommended to marinade your shashlik longer.

7. Onion and oil

Any onion fans here? This recipe is for you! For 1 kg of meat take 0.5 kg of onion sliced into rings and well crumpled. 

Salt your meat, put it into a pan, add spices and then cover with onion rings. Mix well until you get more juice. Some people even chop the onion with a blender. Leave for 10 minutes, then add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and mix once more. Let it marinade at least for 4 hours (better overnight) in any pan except aluminum. During grilling, you can pour this marinade onto your shashlik - it stops the meat from burning.  

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