This Greek-style marinade can be applied to any meat but works particularly well on lamb. Let the meat marinate for several hours so the flavors can get infused. You can double or triple this recipe if you are using it on a leg of lamb or a larger quantity of meat.
When you marinate meat, you are soaking it in a seasoned, often acid-based liquid before you cook it. This process imparts flavor to the meat while it is immersed in the liquid. In addition to adding flavor, this process will often tenderize tougher cuts of meat. The soaking process can take minutes or days depending on the type of meat, the type of cut, the amount, and the marinade used.
When you tenderize a cut of meat, what is actually happening is the acid in the marinade is causing the tissue to break down, allowing more moisture to be absorbed by the meat, resulting in a preparation that is juicier. It is important to balance your marinade. Too much acid can be detrimental to the meat, stripping the outer layer, and failing to penetrate the rest of the cut. A good marinade has a balance of acid, oil, and spice.