Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Get Grilling

Is long weekend this weekend, and cant come soon enough for me – forecast is for fab weather and am solar powered, so will come alive the minute sun comes out and temperature creeps up. Adore hot sticky summer evenings, am addicted to smell of sun block and have no complaints about sand in car cos Summer is my language.

Round our way, long weekend means tidal flow of neighbours all arriving or going away for weekend. Tents appear in gardens, cars are parked on lawns, burglar alarms set and neighbour children coerced into letterbox clearing and cat feeding.

All have one thing in common, simple desire to enjoy a good old kiwi summer break, a picnic at  beach, or BBQ with all the cousins, cricket with pop and the kids, chance to meet  newest member of family curled asleep in baby seat... Its chill out time with friends in the evening, while kids muck about outside, water fights, cool drinks, and much needed change of pace.

At the bach, beach or home, barbecue is only way to go. Cooking around BBQ is communal event, it’s convivial – as can chat and char at same time, multitasking even man can manage.

 Meat is king of barbecue but if you have to watch what you spend it’s still possible to host great BBQ without blowing budget.  Flame cooking requires tender cuts which can be expensive, but for less costly  steaks, rump is good. Marinate and use for kebabs or cut into smaller steaks and include lots of “sides”. If you have meat in freezer and think it may be tough, use steak sneak tenderising technique below.

Make ahead sauces and dressings can travel wherever you do, and a good spice rub enhances days catch or supermarket special. Zingy barbecue sauce will conceal charred remains of most BBQ disasters, protecting  dignity of least experienced cooks so put on your comfy pants and relax.

Burgers and Kofta’s or spicy meatballs, optimise inexpensive mince but are always popular, with loads of salad and some fresh bread or flat breads. The latest issue of mEAT magazine Christmas/Summer has some of my latest BBQ recipes including burgers and Kofta's just click link then scroll past Christmas stuff to BBQ recipes

BBQ tips

Brushing oil on the grill makes nice grill marks on your food and reduces sticking, but does result in  a bit of smoke
Resist the temptation to turn meat more than once – each turn breaks the surface causing juices to leak out toughening the meat
Serve plenty of side dishes so everyone has plenty to eat – fresh air makes you hungry
Cook spicy potatoes or other vegetables on the grill plate while the meat is cooking
Keep sauces warm in a saucepan on the back of the grill
Use separate utensils for turning meat and basting so surplus sauce doesn't become contaminated with juices from meat
Brunch is a great time to BBQ - eggs, french toast, bacon, lots of coffee - fun and less expensive than the night time meat feast
Stone fruits, bananas and bread dough all make delicious additions to the barbecue
Boil sausages briefly before barbecuing, this will render out some of the fat and provide you with a "pre cooked" sausage that will cook more quickly on the grill. Real "made from meat" sausages take longer than you might think to cook through. If it's pink in the middle don't eat it.

BBQ Cooking Times Chart
Use the barbecue cooking times chart below as a guideline only-- cooking times vary from grill to grill.

Boneless Beef Steaks, 1" thick
Rare: 15-20 minutes; Medium: 20-25 minutes; Well: 25+ minutes
Boneless Beef Steaks, 2" thick
Rare: 30-35 minutes; Medium: 35-40 minutes; Well: 40+ minutes
Hamburger Patty, 1/2" thick
Medium: 10-15 minutes; Well: 15+ minutes
Hot Dog
10 minutes
Bratwurst or Other Sausage
15-20 minutes
Pork Chops, 1/2-3/4" thick
15-30 minutes
Boneless Chicken Breast, 120g
20-30 minutes
Boneless Chicken Breast, 120g
20-25 minutes
Bone-in Chicken Breast or Thigh
30-40 minutes
Bone-in Chicken Drumstick
30-35 minutes
Lamb Chops, 1" thick
10-12 minutes
Fish, Small Whole
12-18 minutes, turning once
Fish Steaks, 1" thick
10 minutes, turning once
Fish Fillets
4-6 minutes per 1/2" of thickness
Shrimp, whole
2-3 minutes per side

 Steak sneak technique

No one enjoys tough steak. This technique makes a regular cut like rump tender like fillet. I’ve tested it and it works, just don’t tell anyone!
Coat the steaks on each side with sea salt and leave for 15 minutes to half an hour, then rinse thoroughly to remove all the salt. Pat dry and cook in the normal manner. The tenderising is all due to osmosis and the breakdown of the protein cell structure blah blah blah- I read about it, gave it a try and it works.

Lip smacking baby back ribs or wings with Zim Zam BBQ sauce

Ribs and wings are wonderfully tender, spicy, sticky and fun to eat. Definitely not first date material though! Supply a finger bowl and loads of napkins.
Ribs are very high in fat, simmering the ribs releases much of the fat and reduces flaring on the barbecue.  It also makes sure the meat is thoroughly cooked and meltingly tender.

Serves: 4 or more The sauce makes enough to baste a couple of kilos of pork spare ribs or more if using wings. You will need to allow around 500g ribs per person, but less if you are serving other meats or mains.

 Time to make: 30 minutes plus barbecuing

For the simmering water for ribs
1 tablespoon golden syrup
4 whole cloves
4 peppercorns

For the Lip smacking barbecue sauce
1/3 cup white vinegar
½ cup prepared tomato sauce– I use Heinz
1 tablespoon golden syrup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
½ cup orange
1 teaspoon mustard powder
¼ cup sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

If using wings skip this step
Place the ribs in a saucepan with enough water to cover them. Add the golden syrup, cloves and peppercorns to the water and simmer the ribs gently for 20 – 30 minutes. Discard the water and reserve the ribs.
While the ribs are simmering combine the barbecue sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer gently for 15 – 20 minutes. If using wings, coat in some of the barbecue sauce and marinate for 30 minutes, reserve remaining sauce for basting.
Pre heat the barbecue; use a medium flame.  Brush the ribs all over with sauce and cook, basting with sauce and turning frequently during cooking till dark coloured and starting to blacken in places. for wings, baste and turn ensuring the chicken is thoroughly cooked and no pink juices are evident.

1 comment:

  1. You seem to have omitted putting on the 'steak sneak technique' - or I'm blind... can you help me out please! :o))