Proving only thats its possible to have a quick braai after work, herewith 1/2 kg of some pretty good sirloin steak. Left almost completely unadulterated, a pinch of salt and pepper a dash of teriyaki sauce for a rapid 15 minute marinade. Coals too hot to hold your hand over for long.
Super result, sourced again from the guys at Blue Rock in Bisley.
Perhaps not a purists rendition, but tried my hand at a Portuguese espetada last weekend.
Large chunks of rump steak interspersed with flat mushrooms and peppers threaded on to long flat skewers. What really fuelled my enthusiasm for the dish was the thought of hanging the skewers inside the smoker, but without the water pan, making sure the heat gets way up. Of course if you don't have a tall smoker like bbq within which to hang these beauties they could just go straight on the braai.
For these I used:
1 Kg inch thick rump steak cut into roughly inch by inch cubes
Two or three green and red peppers
8 flat mushrooms
An excessive amount of chopped garlic (almost a whole bulb)
Marinaded the steak chunks in most of the garlic and some olive oil over night. Threaded the skewers as the coals were burning down. Hung them within the smoker using the fish hooks, closed the lid. Put the left over garlic in a small bowl with the butter, melted down to a consistency thin enough to dab on to the skewers with a food brush while they cooked. The coals need to be at their hottest so that vegetables and steak get a little of that seared around the edges look. Took about 15 mins all in, perhaps closer to 8-10 if you did this directly over the coals laid flat on the bbq.
This will probably serve six if you have people around and they have something to go with it, or four blokes with just beer.
After a week of rain, much like Wimbledon, the sun has come out and its time to get out on centre court.
Saturday, desperately tired after a long week so just a quick one, but what a winner. You will need:
4 Chicken breasts, bone in and skin on.
Black pepper, two or three teaspoons ground
Salt (the kind you can grind)
A few tablespoons of Honey
One red chlli
A handfull of fresh rosemary
Prepare the bbq for indirect cooking, while the coals are getting themselves ready there's more than enough time to do all the prep below.
Set aside 3-4 tablespoons of honey and a helathy glug of olive oil in a small mixing bowl. Finely chop the chilli and rosemary, adding to the honey/oil mix.
Grind the salt and pepper in a mortar and pestle, mix in a few shakes of the Paprika. Slash the chicken breasts diagonally across the skin and rub the pepper, salt and paprika mix into the cuts and over the skin.
Once the coals are ready pop the chicken on to the bbq, close the lid and leave for approx 7-10 mins depending on the size of the chicken breasts. Lift the lid and paint some of the honey glaze on to the chicken, lid down again and repeat after a few minutes, perhaps about 5. The chicken skin should start to darken and even blacken slightly as the honey catches. I'd usually keep a close eye on things at this stage to make sure the breasts dont burn.
Served this with a green salad and some excellent Springfield 'Life From Stone' Sauv. Blanc.
In lieu of current bbq activity, I thought it best to raise the spirits with the memories of a proper SA braai from earlier in the year. First off a fillet or two for the extended family - here's one in close up:
Most would say that fillet is not as tasy as other beef steak cuts, but when seared whole with an olive oil, mustard and black pepper baste, served rare, the discovery of fire makes a whole lot more sense.
Two weeks of rain, every minute of every day. At least that what it's felt like. Saturday didn't look like it would provide enough time for a fully fledged three hour outside cooking experience, so I opted for a recipe that involves finishing the main dish off in the oven. Of course, thats a cop out for which I will no doubt have to do penance, particularly since the weather did hold, and it could all have been finished off outside without a drop of rain falling.
By the by, we have Jamie Oliver to thank for this recipe. Its an Italian recipe known as maiale alla griglia e arrosto. (you can either read the rest here or flick over to Jamie's Italy where I got this..)
You will need:
A couple of heaped tablespoons of fennel seeds
2 or 3 red chillies
1x2kg/4 1/2lb pork loin
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 Tablespoons good quality red win vinegar
a bunch of fresh rosemary
In brief, score the fatty side of the pork in a criss cross fashion. Smash/grind up the fennel seed, chillies and a good bit of salt and black pepper. Rub the pork with Olive oil and then rub in the ground mixture of spices into the fatty side of the pork.
Having got the bbq going about half hour before, make sure the coals are hot. Charcoal probably best for this, unless your gas bbq can get really hot.
Whack the pork on skin side down and watch the fun begin! As you can see below the fat really generates some heat so be careful to turn quickly to avoid incinerating the joint.
Once both sides have had the benefit of the bbq for about 10-15 minutes, enough to have acquired an authentic bbq look, transfer the joint to the tray it was originally marinaded in.
Put it in the oven at about 200C/400F for about an hour. After the first 30 mins add the vinegar and rosemary leaves, making sure all the meat is basted with the combination. Put back in the oven for another 20 mins and then take out to rest for the last 10 mins. It looked like this when done:
In keeping with the Italian theme of the evening we began with Prosecco. The bottle or two we shared around between the guests cost less than a fiver, as did the wine we served with the main course. Both excellent dinner party value.
This is one of my favourite dishes done on the BBQ, it's really simple, quick and tastes great too. Take your chicken breast, slice it in half, to leave a nice, large and flat piece of meat to work with.
On this occasion I've roughly chopped some Oregano, Lemon Thyme and Red Pepper. Add some Brie cheese and a few spices.
This is the hardest part ..... roll everything up, then tie the roll in several places with natural string, don't use string that has been treated/ coated with anything. Baste the rolls with some lemon juice and let them sit in the fridge for half an hour (this will give you time to get your fire ready).
You'll want to prepare your BBQ for indirect cooking, or you could use as "water" smoker as I have done. Pop the food (add wood chips to heat source, if you want a smoky flavour) on and cook at 300F for 30 minutes.
Cook the rolls directly over the fire until nice an brown, you'll notice cheese dribbling out, if your tying skills are not up to scratch.