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.

The Press - Zest - - Cover Story - – JILL DUPLIEX – NEIL PERRY

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.

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