Sunday, 1 April 2012

March Barbecue Roundup


After our St David's Day kick off to the barbecue season, the March weather was very co-operative. The upside to being in drought in the UK is that they don't introduce fire bans, so we were able to carry on barbecuing without worrying about starting devastating bush fires.


Paul's slow-cooked pork belly was so good that it inspired more pork bellies. Even the M&S ones which (strangely) are sold without rind, so you don't get crackling, were delicious.


The pork bellies were good, but the lamb breast was inspirational. It was a good example, actually, of how we collaborate in the kitchen. We had a rolled breast of lamb (not stuffed) and thought that such a fatty cut would really repay a very long, slow cook in the Weber. Initially the idea was to do it very much like the pork belly, and serve it with coleslaw, but as the day progressed we decided that it really needed something quite plain to tone down the richness. Paul had the inspiration to add some Asian flavourings which in turn led me to think of boiled rice. In the end, about half way through the cooking time (1 1/2 hours in), we basted the meat with a sauce of yellow bean sauce, soy, garlic and chilli. Almost all the fat rendered out and the meat separated into moist layers with a lovely crisp layer on top and a deep smoke ring. We had it with rice, some home made chilli plum sauce and a simple lettuce and cucumber salad.


While the lamb breast was possibly our biggest revelation so far this month, this last meal was a personal triumph. For the first time EVER Paul actually let me cook on the barbecue. Not build the fire, of course. Apparently that takes a master. But he let me do the actual application of meat to grill and wield the tongs. I grilled pork shoulder steaks, then let them rest in a mixture of honey, soy, ginger and garlic. We had them with sweet potatoes, foil-wrapped with butter, ground ginger and garlic and a wombok salad. Paul says I need practice, but I am not at all sure when he is going to let me have another go!

3 comments:

The Cat's Mother said...

I like that you change your plans as you go along! I do that too - sometimes because ingredients are not available or something seems more suitable, or I just run out of time for Plan A.

Emma said...

The pork(s) look fantastic (great crackling!) but I have to agree with you about the lamb breast - it was my big discovery of last year. I dry-rub it with lots of chinese five spice and get it all crispy and juicy and it's just so good. No doubt the rest of the world will catch on soon and its price will go the same way as pork belly and lamb shanks...

Foodycat said...

Mother - I usually have a pretty clear idea but if Paul doesn't fancy it, things will adapt!

Emma - too true. I mustn't mention it again! can't remember when I last had shanks!

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