Sunday, 10 June 2012

030 - Souvlaki Lamb Skewers


I love cooking on the BBQ…

Nothing like stating the obvious! But as much as I love letting large cuts of meat cook on the BBQ for hours, tending to the coals, topping up the wood and basting the meat… sometimes I just don’t have time. So number 30 in the list of 100 things to BBQ are quick and simple lamb skewers with corainder and garlic. This recipe is from Weber’s Complete BBQ book.

Prepping the skewers can be done while you are waiting for your charcoal to get up to temperature. So if you only use half a chimney of briquettes, you can have these skewers ready to eat within half an hour of starting!

I prefer to use the Smokey Joe for quick grilling cooks, since it uses a lot less charcoal – which means it takes less time for all of your charcoal to get up to temperature.

The recipe called for a whole leg of lamb, which is then diced into bite sized pieces. But since I was only cooking for 2 people and didn’t need a whole leg I just bought some pre-packed diced lamb. The cubes of meat are threaded on to skewers, alternating with cherry tomatoes and pieces of green pepper. The whole skewer is then brushed with a mixture of chopped fresh coriander, garlic, olive oil and seasoning.

These were then grilled over a medium to high heat, keeping the lid on as much as possible but turning once or twice, for 7-8 minutes. Served with a tzatziki-style cucumber salad, these make a really tasty and really quick summer evening meal.

Since the grill time was so short, I was able to extinguish the briquettes and re-use them the next time I got the BBQ out… which was the very next day! :-)

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

029 - Pork Belly Ribs


I realised yesterday that it’s been over a month since I added something to the list of 100 things to BBQ… what a slacker! If you follow me on twitter, you’ll have seen that it’s not because I haven’t been using my BBQ – quite the opposite. I guess I’ve just been too busy BBQing to write about it :-)

So, with that in mind – number 29 in the list is a Rib-in Pork Belly Joint.

Back in April I visited one of the town’s butchers and asked if he had any ribs in stock. Apparently, it was too early in the summer for him to start stocking them fresh but he did have some in the freezer. The rack he offered me still had the belly cut attached, which wasn’t really what I was looking for, so I just took half of it (about 5 ribs worth).

One of the most popular items on the list so far, based on visits to that page is the Roasted Pork Belly with Crackling I posted in January. I decided to cook this in pretty much the same way, although since this joint already had the skin removed there would be no crackling.

I started by scoring the fat on top of the joint to help it render down during cooking and then removed the membrane from the bone side. Then I used some California Ranch Wild Hog rub to season the meat liberally on all sides before leaving it at room temperature for half an hour while I set up the BBQ.

I piled a chimney full of briquettes against one side of the BBQ, and placed a foil tray with some water in on the other side. The tray helps to catch any drips from the meat, and water creates steam which helps to keep your meat moist. Then I added a couple of chunks of wood to the charcoal, added the cooking grate back in place and placed the pork belly above the foil tray.

Total cook time was somewhere between 3-4 hours. I adjusted the top-vent to keep the temperature around 250F. I’d mixed some California Rancher Oaky Smokey BBQ sauce with a little apple juice and applied this all over the joint a few times during the cook – and added more wood after the 1st hour.  Most importantly, I let the ribs rest, loosely covered in foil after I took it off the BBQ.

These were juicy! We served with a baked potato, a simple green salad and some more of the warmed sauce on the side. The left overs kept us in sandwiches for the next couple of days!