Just a few years ago I would never have considered putting a big joint on the BBQ, scared of serving serving raw meat, that fear meant I stuck to a wide range of burgers, joints of chicken and colourful kebabs.
Don’t get me wrong I have been pretty vocal on this blog about I love for burgers and kebabs and am not unadverturous with fish on the BBQ , Mediterranean vegetables like courgettes and peppers char beautifully on the grill and most vegetables will cook well wrapped in foil with seasoning and water. even obscure ingredients like liver have found their way onto the BBQ grills.
However I hope many people are familiar with the scramble to find extra food to feed as a mammonth BBQ constructed by a zealous firestarter. Running to the shop for extra food just not wanting to let the coals go to waste. I have always looked with envy at those American and European BBQs with whole joints of meat that can give plenty of tasty leftovers.
A few years ago the first joints went the BBQ first started in the oven and finished on the BBQ . Later the whole cooking took place on the BBQ, ribs of beef , racks of pork ribs & legs of lamb but still careful that joints could cook over the grill. You need joints that are thin enough to cook fairly quickly and ideally with some bone running through to conduct the heat so you end up with tender cooked meat on the inside and gentle , and I emphasise gentle chargrilling on the outside
Our current BBQ is a Weber Charcoal Grill with a lid , this gives the opportunity to experiment with a whole other level of BBQing , using indirect heat. In direct grilling the more common method food is grilled directly over hot coals, with indirect grilling, once hot coals are pushed to the sides of the BBQ (held back in cages if available) . The meat grills on the space above the parted red (white hot) sea of coals. You need to place a a tray filled with water underneath the meat to catch drippings add moisture. You can also add another with a tray of wood chips soaking in water to create a smoke . The combination of these two trays means once the lid is closed ( making sure vents are open) you have a smoky broiling atmosphere that will slow cook joints of meat for hours , literally you can continue to add coals if you want to cook say a whole suckling pig
One of the best things about cooking in this way is once the BBQ is going & the lid is on and you don’t need to touch it, in fact the saying goes “If you’re looking you’re not cooking!”
Our other perfect addition for great BBQing is chimney for lighting this removes any anxiety in lighting a BBQ a little paper at the bottom, fill the metal tube with coals and light the bottom
This past weekend my lovely boyfreind spent Friday evening cooking a boned rolled shoulder of pork , rubbed with a mix of sea salt , fennel , black pepper and paprika, it was on the heat for two and half hours with a bowl of wood chips and nicely charring,not quite cracking but not far off , the meat was still moist tasty, the smoked flavour permeating the meat.
I promise there were plenty of salads with the meat , fresh tomatoes with thyme and sliced of smoked garlic and plenty of leftovers for sandwiches. The pork was so good I was dispatched back to the butcher on Saturday morning for more joints. I looked pretty strange while everyone put in their BBQ orders for steak and sausages, buying normally slow roasted or boiled joints-
BBQ Indirect Heat Two – Gammon
BBQ Indirect Heat Three – Smoked Beef Brisket