As the weather begins to get warmer, it’s time to take to the great outdoors and dine al fresco! Although they’re part of everyday summer life today, barbeques actually originated with European explorers and the New World. In fact, the word itself comes from the Spanish ‘barbacoa’, which denoted a structure on which meat could be dried or roasted.

Nowadays you don’t actually have to just barbeque on the traditional model! There’s a fantastic range of outdoor cooking devices available now – from wood-fired ovens like the Fornetto (main pic above) www.cdsf.co.uk, to funky, fluorescent portable BBQ models, to the new ‘smokers‘ like the Kamado Joe (www.cdsf.co.uk), which allow you to sear your steak until it’s sizzling!

The number one tip for the perfect barbeque is to keep it simple! Choose from succulent steaks, salmon, good quality sausages and burgers, and add plenty of salads and some delicious breads. Remember though to slow the cooking time right down. You don’t want to embarrass yourself with food that’s black on the outside and raw on the inside!

Vegetables can also provide a fantastically tasty alternative to meat dishes. Simply thread them onto a skewer by themselves, or with some tofu and brush with oil. If kids are present, it’s a good idea to give them a choice of hamburgers or hotdogs. Serve with dishes of salad and carrot celery sticks so that they can serve themselves.

If you’re cooking for a large group of people, you can make it easy on yourself by picking up barbeque packs of meat, pre-cut veg and prepared salads from your local supermarket. Many shops also now carry ready-to-grill kebabs, marinated chicken and fish. This will allow you to cut down on your preparation time and increase your fun time! Now all you need is to gather family and friends around and let the fun begin!

BBQ Pulled Pork with Tangy Cabbage Slaw and Chipotle Sauce Burgers

(makes 16 with leftovers)

2.5kg boneless pork shoulder, skin removed, 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp Spanish paprika, 2 tsp mustard powder, 1 tsp garlic salt, 1 tsp onion salt, chipotle sauce and 16 burger buns

Place the meat on a wire rack in a roasting tin. Mix the paprika, mustard powder, garlic and onion salt, and brush all over the meat. Add a cup of water to the roasting tin, cover very tightly with tin foil and roast in the over for four hours or until the meat is falling apart. You can then finish it off on the BBQ.

To make the slaw, slice 1/4 head white and red cabbage very thinly. Julienne 2 carrots and dice 1 large red onion and 2 sticks celery. Mix together 250ml mayonnaise, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, 2 tbsp cider vinegar, 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard and 1 tsp celery and mix with the prepared veg.

To assemble: place pulled pork onto sliced bap, arrange large spoonful of slaw on top and finish off with a dollop of chipotle sauce.

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