Here are our tips on a stress free and enjoyable BBQ!
1. Don’t be afraid to improvise.
The British weather is famously unreliable so be prepared to bring the party indoors, or keep a decent gazebo on standby! Worst case scenario – you can always cook in a griddle pan or under the grill straight on the metal racks to emulate the desired chargrilled effect.
2. Marinate your meat and fish the day before.
To get the most flavour into your meats, marinate in the fridge over night. Simple marinades include fresh chilli and yoghurt for chicken, soya sauce and and a shot of coffee for beef and a spicy harissa for fish. Try making seafood skewers by marinating queen scallops (the smaller ones) and prawns in harissa and threading them onto skewers with small chunks of chorizo in between. Avoid using salt in your marinades as this tends to dry out the meat.
3. Get your five a day.
Wrap your potatoes in foil and cook them directly on the hot coals. You can then serve them with a simple topping of soured cream with chives. If you grill other vegetables be sure not to overcook them; just grill them enough to get some colour on them. No need to flavour them before cooking, just have a dressing ready for when they come out a they will absorb lots of flavours when hot. Some of our favourite combinations:
– Grilled courgettes with fresh garlic, chilli, lemon juice and olive oil
– Cucumbers with dill, cider vinegar and black pepper
– Corn on the cob with chilli and lime
We recommend including a few salads too, such as:
– Sliced tomatoes, lemon zest, fresh oregano and a lashing of olive oil
– Sliced watermelon with feta and mint
– Thinly sliced fennel, orange segments, black olives and rocket
– You can also try courgette, cherry tomato and red peppers and harissa skewers
4. Don’t forget the ‘important’ stuff!
Remember to get a few beers and/or lemonade in the fridge. We have a delicious new cocktail for you to try as well – an Absinthe aperitif. As for dessert, you can marinade peaches with lavender and grill briefly, serve with goats cheese and honey or vanilla ice cream. Grilled pineapple is also an absolute treat served with a light and simple ice cream (coconut, for example).
5. There’s nothing wrong with the classics.
You can buy some wonderful ‘gourmet’ sausages and patties at the butchers or even the supermarket these days, so don’t shun hot dogs and burgers. Just throw in a few salads and perhaps a home made slaw and you have yourself a real feast.
For a home made coleslaw:
1 small red cabbage, cut into thin strips
2 carrots, grated or cut into matchsticks
1 green apple, cut into thin strips
100g creme fraiche
2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
Combine all the above and season with salt and pepper to taste!
Enjoy the barbecue!