It’s all in the DIY sauce
IT’S STRANGE that barbecues have become so popular here, given that we are a northerly country positioned precariously between the Atlantic and the North Sea. This form of cooking rightly belongs in the steamy deep south of the US and the beach in Australia. But in the UK? Really?
The fact is that the barbecue has become our symbol of defiance against the weather. In any British suburb, if it’s July or August and the drizzle has abated, it will not be long before the unmistakable smell of charcoal and firelighters begins to waft over the garden fence.
How tragic then that when the sun comes out and we finally fire up our grills that the results are so disappointing. The average British barbecue tends to consist of poor quality burgers and bangers which are charred on the outside and raw on the inside, all encased in burger buns whose texture is somewhere between cotton wool and cardboard, served with cloyingly sweet, artificial tasting supermarket barbecue sauce.
It doesn’’t have to be this way. Barcecuing can be easy and delicious and the quality of the meat is paramount. First of all make sure your barbie is hot enough. Use charcoal — if you have a gas barbecue you might as well use the grill in the kitchen. If you are having chicken, use fillets, preferably thighs which are more succulent on the grill. Any lamb is fantastic barbecued — chops are perfect, and before you start cooking, marinate them in the classic Greek combination of oregano, lemon juice and olive oil.
And above all, make your own barbecue sauce — it can be done in 10 minutes and used either as a marinade or a dipping sauce for the meat. It couldn’t be easier. Into a saucepan, put 100g of tomato ketchup, a tablespoon of dark brown soft sugar, two tablespoons of cider vinegar, a teaspoon of Jamaican hot pepper sauce, a teaspoon of garlic granules, a teaspoon of English mustard and two teaspoons of light soy sauce, (if you can find vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, add a dash also). Add 50mls of water, mix together and bring to a simmer. After two minutes take off the boil and leave to cool.
Now all you need to do is stare at the sky waiting for the rain to stop. Don’t worry if it doesn’t. The sauce will keep for a few days in the fridge.
The average British barbecue uses artificial tasting supermarket sauce