We return to the kitchen, of course, of the hand of the different varieties of tea that exist and we do it to prepare simple, but very rich, meat dishes. Why cook with tea? Well, for starters, we really like to introduce tea in the kitchen. And, mind you, not only us, there are many great chefs who have surrendered to this type of cuisine.
And although in the U.S. and Europe, in general, it may seem strange to cook with tea, in countries like China or Japan this has been part of their recipes for centuries. Why do they do it? Because of the benefits the tea offers.
For example, cooking with tea helps vegetables to preserve better, to reduce the use of salt or other condiments that are not so healthy for us. In the case of meats, in addition, it also helps to preserve them for longer, among other benefits that I will talk about below.
So if you also want to learn how to cook meats with infusions, grab your apron, a notebook, and something to write with (I confess I’m more of a pencil person for these things) and let’s get into this wonderful world of natural cooking. Let’s get to it!
Which Tea Variety Do You Need?
Depending on whether you want to stew, roast, and also the type of meat, the tea you are going to use will also be different, since each variety brings a specific nuance.
For example, if what you want is to marinate, the best will be the black and red teas, because they have a higher degree of astringency and give that characteristic touch of the marinade, but in a lighter and more pleasant way than a traditional marinade. Benefits? It feels better on the stomach and this is always appreciated.
In the case of white meats, such as chicken or turkey, green tea or white tea goes great, because being soft meats, it is not that tea is the protagonist of the recipe, unless that is the goal and, then yes, better to opt for the two options that I gave you before: black and red tea.
Are you looking to give a touch of flavor to the stew? Do you want it to be a substitute for an aromatic herb? In this case, it would be good to do it with an infusion of fennel, an infusion of ginger, or, why not, mixing some of the dried green tea leaves with a pinch of white pepper.
Would you like it to have a toasted touch? A roasted hojicha or a roasted oolong tea will be great because cooking it in that sauce will give it that little toasted touch that is so nice in certain meats.
On the other hand and if you are one of the people who like to cook game dishes, red tea is great for this type of meat. As it has an intense and earthy flavor, it goes perfectly with earthy flavors. Also, don’t be afraid to mix this type of meat with mushrooms, because they also go great with this variety of tea.
One last note before going on to talk about meat recipes with tea: if the meat has become a little tough, but can still be cooked, prepare it with tea and it will be softer (remember to use the specific variety of tea, according to the cases we have mentioned above).
Black Tea Chicken Skewers
A simple, colorful, and, best of all, very cheap recipe. To prepare it you will need: organic black tea; 500 grams of chicken cut into cubes; 8 skewers for the skewers, half a clove of garlic, half an onion, and salt to taste.
When you have all the ingredients, the first step is to infuse the black tea.
Next, chop the onion and garlic as small as you can. When you are done, take the chicken cubes and leave them for 10 minutes in the tea infusion (you can take a large bowl and put them all in). After this time, drain the chicken on a piece of paper and bathe it with the garlic and onion that you have previously cut.
A TIP: if you add a teaspoon of oil to this mixture, it will be like a kind of sauce and with the help of a kitchen brush, it will be easier to give the chicken the taste you want.
Finally, add the salt that you consider convenient and introduce the chicken pieces to the skewers. Now it’s time to pass them through the pan and serve on a plate. We love to serve it with vegetables, such as peppers, lettuce, or steamed pods.
Pork Tenderloin in Pu-Erh Tea Sauce
Although it sounds the opposite, this recipe is very easy to make and very glossy, so you will look like a real chef. What do you need? 2 pieces of pork tenderloin, 3 large potatoes, half an onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 carrot and 1 green bell pepper, half a glass of white wine, and half a glass of Pu-erh tea, plus salt and olive oil. If you like to spice it up, you can add a little cumin, for example.
To begin with, we will peel the potatoes and put them to cook for about 20 minutes. Next, we are going to do is to cut the onion and garlic as small as we can, as well as the carrot in slices and the bell pepper in thin strips.
In a frying pan, we are going to put all these ingredients to brown, over low heat. Then we will add the two sirloin steaks and we will also brown them on both sides. It will be enough with this because at the end we will put it in the oven.
Then, in order to reduce the alcohol content of the white wine, we also add it to the pan, as well as the infused Pu-erh tea. We let it simmer for 5 minutes, taking into account that the sirloin does not burn.
After this time, dry the potatoes that were cooking and cut them into slices, to put them on the oven tray.
A TIP: put kitchen paper on the tray before putting the potatoes and a little drizzle of oil (if you use a spray, all the better) so that they do not stick when they are in the oven.
Next, add the sirloin and all that is in the pan (the vegetables), pass them through a chinois or the blender (the broth included), and pour it over the meat, adding salt to taste.
We put it in the oven (previously preheated) at 220 degrees C, for about 20 minutes (depending on the point we want to give the meat).
A TIP: If you want to give it a sweet touch, this meat goes great with a plum sauce that you can make homemade or with a fig sauce. Without the need to add extra sugars, the combination between the salty meat and the sweetness of the fruits that we have mentioned is delicious.