Okay, now what do I feed these people?
Nine friends will raid your backyard in 24 hours. Michelin-starred chef Fabio Trabocchi has you covered with his favourite outdoor cuisine: gourmet cheesesteaks. Here’s your plan:
1 DAY BEFORE
Go shopping. Your list: BABY MARROW ORGANIC TOMATOES ONIONS BELL PEPPERS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL; BAG OF CHARCOAL BRIQUETTES BEEF TENDERLOIN STEAKS (220G EACH) ALUMINIUM FOIL A BOTTLE OF YOUR FAVOURITE GIN LITRES OF TONIC WATER CUCUMBER A HANDFUL OF JUNIPER BERRIES (OPTIONAL) MEDIUM-THICK SLICES FONTINA/PROVOLONE/ GOUDA/GRUYERE CHEESE LARGE CRISPY ROLLS BASIL FOR GARNISH
1 HOUR TO GO
Ignite the briquettes in a chimney starter. While you wait for red-hot coals, slice the baby marrow, tomatoes, and onions into one-centimetre-thick disks. Slice the peppers into thick strips. Toss them in a big bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Drink a beer while doing this.
45 MINUTES OUT
Pour the coals on one side of the braai; this creates a searing area and a warming area. While the grid heats up (15 minutes or so) set your oven to warm. Take the tenderloins out of the fridge and season both sides with salt and pepper.
30 MINUTES OUT
Oil the grid. Braai the vegetables on
the hot side of the grid until you see black char marks, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer pieces that look done onto a baking sheet as you go. Cover the sheet with foil and leave it in the oven.
Set the table with some glasses, a bowl of ice, a tot glass, the bottle of gin, the tonic water, and
the cucumber (sliced) and juniper berries.
While your friends are making their own G&Ts to their preferred strength (garnishing with cucumber and berries – or not), braai the steaks over direct heat to medium rare, about 4 minutes per side. Never more.
10 MINUTES IN
Take the meat off the flame; rest it beneath foil for 5 to 10 minutes. Fix yourself a drink. Mingle.
22 MINUTES IN
Slice the meat against the grain in one-centimetre-thick pieces to the same length as your rolls. Set the strips in groups of four on the warming side of the grid, with a slice of cheese on. Toast the rolls on the other side. Pull the veggies out of the oven, garnish with basil, and serve with the sandwiches.