Bring on the barbie
Barbecuing works at any time of the year, but the sheer casualness of the post-Christmas New Year period suits it particularly well. Here’s a new recipe to try and some old tips to recall.
TASTY BARBECUED LAMB CUTLETS
Who needs fancy moves? Marinated lamb cutlets with a little salsa on the side are simply delicious. Use the salsa over anything and everything – roast leg of lamb or beef sirloin, whole roasted snapper, pork cutlets. You can substitute the almonds with macadamias or hazelnuts, or add some basil for an extra flavour hit.
To change the texture of the salsa, try adding some beautiful sweet cherry tomatoes. Just crush them lightly.
BARBECUED LAMB CUTLETS WITH TOMATO, ALMOND AND CHILLI SALSA
3 cloves garlic sea salt 2 long red chillies, split and deseeded 80ml extra virgin olive oil 16 lamb cutlets freshly ground black pepper lemon slices
TOMATO, ALMOND AND CHILLI SALSA
6 cloves garlic 2 teaspoons sea salt 4 long red chillies, split, deseeded and roughly chopped 100g almonds, roasted 4 large vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and diced 4 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely shredded splash of red wine vinegar 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil freshly ground black pepper (Serves 4) For the salsa, pound the garlic with half the sea salt in a large mortar and pestle, followed by the chilli. Add the almonds and pound until well crushed, then add the tomato and remaining salt and gently crush. Transfer to a bowl, add the parsley and red wine vinegar and stir through. Drizzle in extra virgin olive oil and add a grind of fresh
RULES FOR A WELL-DONE BARBIE
Do use additives Keep the meat simple, then use spices, relishes, chutneys and chilli sauces to intensify flavour without adding stodge. Think harissa, sambal, tahini. Yoghurt is brilliant as a marinade. Do get barbie-literate Learn how hot your barbecue is by holding your hand 10cm from the grill bars. If it is hot, you should be able to hold it there for up to 3 seconds. If it is medium-hot, up to 5 seconds. If it is medium, about 8 seconds. Do leave well enough alone Don’t poke and prod and flip. Cook your meat until 80 per cent done on one side, then turn and finish to your liking on the other. Use tongs rather than a fork, which can pierce the meat and spill those precious juices. Do have a drink Rehydrate constantly with water between drinks. For something different, try Australian sparkling shiraz. Being red, it is good with meat; being sparkling, it is good for celebrating; and being cold, it is perfect for a summer day. Don’t just butter corn Most people just grill corn cobs on the barbie and slather them with butter. Instead, add that essential dude food touch by slathering it with sriracha chilli mayonnaise and topping it with fluffy grated cheese. Don’t try too hard We like taking things easy. So do that. Open a bag of chips, set out a bag of bread rolls and a bottle of tomato sauce for the snags. Don’t overdo it Judge when meat is done by touch. Relax your left hand and poke a forefinger into the fleshy part between your thumb and forefinger – that is what rare meat feels like. Spread the fingers and poke again – that is medium rare. Make a fist and press the same area for medium. Don’t forget the lemons Lemons are crucial, whether to freshen up prawns and seafood, make vinaigrettes, add to cocktails and relishes, or heat through on the grill for their warm, dribbly juices. It is like adding sunshine to your food. . ground pepper. Spoon over salsa and serve immediately with a lemon slice on the side.
Zing alert: Spicy lamb cutlets – a simple marinade and a salsa brings lamb alive.
Low and slow: Cook sausages properly to keep them juicy.