This is the first post of an occasional mini-blog-within-a-blog: naturally the name has to alliterate. So I bring you Big Bad Barbecue.

I do a bit of cooking. Pies, puddings, bread, cakes, stews, anything with chicken, anything with pork. What I like most at this time of year is barbecue. We Brits tend to think of barbecued food as cooked over coals with direct heat: it’s all merely grilled meat (and quite delicious when properly done, which it never is). Barbecue, for me, is the US model of low n slow n smokey. Love it. Crave it. For a long relaxed Saturday evening I’m on a chicken and burger trip with lots of salad and tomatoes.

My setup is part inspiration and part necessity. Where I live there is no space for an oil drum smoker and barely enough room for the kit I do have: however what space there is is fully utilized. A large, good quality kettle barbecue is my mothership.

 Everything for under £100. The expenses are what you’d normally have (charcoal briquettes, fruit wood chips/chunks) to buy anyway.
Barbecue marinade recipe.

  • 1x500g bottle ketchup
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes

This marinade is well balanced and has depth of flavour. Get all the above well combined in a bowl, slash the chicken deeply, make sure it is coveted in sauce and leave in the fridge for at least two hours.

Wipe off the excess marinade and get barbecuing. I used hickory wood chips for these drumsticks. The spicy flavour is amazing.

About an hour should do it. Just be sure of safety, twenty minutes in a hot oven finishes the job.

Pork & Onion burgers recipe.

  • 750g coarsely minced (ground) pork. Shoulder and belly mixed is good.
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • Handful dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 whole egg
  • Fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Use your hands to mix all the above into a well combined mess (!) Chill in the fridge until ready to shape and cook.

Can’t have a burger without a bun, can you? So I make my own (of course) alongside a mini bloomer for stuffing full of goodies tomorrow.

Topped with poppy seeds and a few sesames for good measure. Soft buns, indeed. As for the pork burgers: they, along with the tomatoes and quartered courgette (zucchini) get the apple wood smoke treatment. Utterly delicious and almost too good. If there was time enough each day I would barbecue nearly all my food. The flavours and textures are superb.

So, do you enjoy barbecue? What are you eating this weekend? Please, let me know in the comments section. Have a great weekend.

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