What spices go best with what meat?
You have selected the perfect piece of meat: juicy, tender, full of flavour. Your side dishes are prepped, and you are ready to cook up the main attraction. But your spice rack taunts you. Which of the myriad of fragrant spices should you sprinkle on your meat? Does garlic really go with everything, or will you just end up with strong breath that overpowers even the choicest of cuts?
What spices go best with what meat? Picking the best seasoning for your meat is tricky, so we’ve narrowed it down for you.
The Best Seasoning for Beef
If you’re like so many of us, you probably just reach for the generic “steak spice” to season your striploin. But you owe it to yourself (and your beef!) to branch out. Beef has its own powerful flavour, so the spices you select should be able to hold their own.
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt: This is the simplest possible seasoning, but one of the best. Pink Himalayan sea salt is less briny and intense than other table or sea salts, so its primary function is to intensify the beef’s own flavour. The trick is to press the salt into the meat about half an hour before cooking.
Garlic/Onion: These spices are pungent on their own but pack a powerful flavour punch when paired with beef. Dried versions work best in a dry rub, while fresh minced varieties work in a liquid marinade.
Thyme: This lemony herb can really round out the strong earthy flavour profile of beef. It adds depth and balance, without hiding the natural flavours of the meat. Combine dried thyme with the oft-overlooked sage and a pinch of garlic for a fantastic herb crust.
The Best Seasoning for Chicken
Chicken is almost a blank slate for seasoning. It doesn’t have an overpowering flavour of its own, so it pairs well with almost anything. But that doesn’t mean that anything goes! Some spices are better than others for working with your bird.
Rosemary: A distinct, woodsy flavour that adds a ton of flavour. A little goes a long way – rosemary can quickly become overpowering, so sprinkle lightly.
Lemon Peel: Lemon and chicken are the PB and J of the meat world. The bright citrus flavour works deliciously with the mild poultry taste. Place fresh lemon slices on chicken breast or thighs before cooking, and squeeze extra juice over your dish before serving. Subtle and satisfying.
Smoked Paprika: This smoky and vibrant spice is a perfect pair with chicken. It instantly adds a distinct flavour that will perk up your taste buds.
The Best Seasoning for Pork
Pork is technically a white meat, although it has a much stronger natural flavour than chicken. The trick is to season with spices to bring out either the sweet or savoury side of pork.
Allspice: Not just for holiday cooking! Similar to cinnamon, allspice compliments the sweet side of pork perfectly. A little goes a long way here, so don’t coat every inch of meat!
Sage: This warm and earthy spice helps to bring out pork’s gentler side. It also happens to be delicious on potatoes, a common pork pairing. Sprinkle dried sage in olive oil and coat your pork lightly before cooking.
Mustard: Sharp and tangy, mustard intensifies the savoury profile of pork. Ground mustard words well in both dry rubs and liquid marinades.
With a premium cut of meat at your disposal, there is no need to go overboard with seasoning. A few select spices (which you can now easily decide on thanks to our handy dandy Seasoning Guide!), and your main dish will be a star attraction.
Stock your freezer as well as your spice rack.
With the Farm 2 Fork Family Pack, you’ll never run out of perfectly seasoned meal ideas.