So, where is your BBQ hotspot?
Marinated meat, colourful salads, and adventurous dressings are all very well – but they’re useless if you haven’t got a good barbecue spot.
Like building up your briquettes, staking out a top BBQ location is fundamental if you want to offer up smoky, succulent, and crispy pieces of meat, fish and veg on a summer’s day.
According to research, more than half of us do not even know that there are locations all over England where it is legal to barbecue (although apparently that hasn’t stopped 26 per cent of us having a barbecue where we know we shouldn’t!)
Happily, finding local venues to barbecue is becoming easier every day, thanks to groups such as Red Tractor (an independent organisation set up to encourage good agricultural practice) who are working hard to open up the world of cooking.
The latest campaign from Red Tractor beef and lamb is called Grillocations.
“If you’re short of garden space or simply fancy a change of scenery... Grillocations shows you public places all over England where it’s legal to barbecue,” says spokesperson and TV presenter Andi Peters.
Visit www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk/grillocations to discover your nearest barbecue-friendly spot.
The website also gives visitors handy information on issues such as whether dogs are allowed, and if there are any toilets, playgrounds or parking close by.
“Good weather in England is hard to come by, so when the sun does shine I’m encouraging everyone to make sure they are ready to take full advantage,” says Andi.
We asked Fernando Trocca of the Gaucho group, an Argentinian restaurant chain which prides itself on its grill, what to do when the weather, and the barbie, heats up...
Why not try this fabulous recipe from Simply Lamb and Beef’s Grillocations . . .
GOURMET RIB-EYE BRUSCHETTA WITH BEETROOT AND LEMON MAYONNAISE (Serves 4) Cooking time: (Based on a 2cm/ ¾inch thick steak) Rare: 2½ minutes on each side Medium: 4 minutes on each side Well done: 6 minutes on each side Ingredients
■ 4 lean rib-eye, sirloin or rump steaks
■ 60ml/4tbsp fresh thyme leaves
■ 30ml/2tbsp basil or olive oil
■ Salt and freshly milled black pepper
■ 1 small ciabatta loaf, sliced
■ 2 small garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half lengthways
■ Extra olive oil, for drizzling
■ Juice of 1 lime
■ 1 x 100g bag salad leaves For the Beetroot and Lemon Mayonnaise:
■ 120ml/8tbsp reduced calorie mayonnaise
■ 2 small cooked beetroot (not in vinegar), peeled and finely chopped
■ 60ml/4tbsp freshly chopped chives
■ Grated zest of 1 lemon Method
■ To prepare the beetroot and lemon mayonnaise, place the ingredients into a large bowl, season, mix together and chill until required.
■ In a shallow bowl mix together the thyme leaves, basil or olive oil and seasoning.
■ Coat the steaks on both sides with the mixture and set aside.
■ Place the ciabatta slices on a clean chopping board and rub on both sides with the garlic. Drizzle with the extra olive oil.
■ Lightly toast the slices on a prepared barbecue, turning once.
■ Cook the steaks on a prepared barbecue according to your preference. Remove from the heat, squeeze over the lime juice and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
■ Transfer the bread slices onto 4 warmed plates and spread with a little of the mayonnaise. Garnish with a few salad leaves. Slice the steaks and arrange over the salad leaves then finish with a spoonful of mayonnaise.
Grillocations shows you lots of places for a