Being from Northern Ireland, the first sign of sunshine usually leads to one question – BBQ today? We’ve been pretty lucky in the past few weeks to have a spell of great weather, and living by the seaside, this can only mean one thing; time to get the BBQ out of the shed and head to the shop for supplies.
Theres something special about the whole idea of a BBQ. It often involves groups of people, whether it’s family or friends, gathering around a table and enjoying a feast of food. An experience that has been shared by generations for hundreds of years. With the weather on our side, and the warm sea breeze blowing in, we sat down to our first BBQ of the year.
The all important BBQ meat
So, what was on the menu for our BBQ? When it comes to cooking on a BBQ, we are certainly fans of meat, meat and more meat, so meat was the order of the day. Beef burgers and pork sausages are usually the order of the day at many Irish BBQ’s and while they were certainly part of ours, we added a few extra bits to the party.
The meat list:
- Beef burgers
- Rosemary marinated pork chops
- Chinese spare ribs
- Cajun crusted pork sausages
- Spicy buffalo chicken wings
- Homecut chips
- Rocket and apple salad
Preparing and marinating the BBQ meat
We marinated our meat over night to allow the full flavour to come through in the meat.
Chinese ribs – For the sauce for the Chinese spare ribs, we mixed 100ml hoisin sauce, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp vinegar and some Chinese five spice (about 1 tbsp). Mix this about and baste over your pork ribs. Leave in the fridge overnight.
Buffalo wings – For the buffalo wings you will need to marinade chicken wings in the following – 3 crushed garlic cloves, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp cider vinegar, 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp chilli powder, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce and 3 tbsp of natural honey. Combine the ingredients and rub over the chicken wings. Again, leave these overnight to marinade.
Cajun sausages – For the sausages, create a cajun crust with breadcrumbs, flour and cajun mix. Ensure this binds by dipping the sausage in flour and egg first. For best results, make this mix on the day of your BBQ.
Rosemary pork chops – For the rosemary marinated pork chops, simply mix lemon juice, olive oil and rosemary. Apply this to the pork chops and leave to marinade with the rest of your meat.
Safely cooking meat on a BBQ
If you are cooking your meat on a BBQ like we did, ensure the coals are glowing red with a powdery grey surface. This means they are piping hot and ready to cook on. Be sure to turn your meat regularly and cook evenly around the surface of your BBQ. It’s always important to be safe when cooking on a BBQ, so be sure that your meat is cooked through before serving. This means three thing:
- Piping hot in the middle
- No pink meat visible
- All juices are clear
It’s also important to be careful with raw meat when cooking on a BBQ. Do not sit raw meat and cooked food together as germs can spread easily, and also be sure to wash your hands after handling raw meat. For more information on cooking food safely on a BBQ, visit the NHS BBQ advice page.
Serve and enjoy
Cook your meat until cooked through and serve up and enjoy. Serve your meat with additional sides and get ready to enjoy a wonderful summer BBQ feast. Here we opted for homemade chips and a rocket salad with tomato and apple.
What’s your BBQ favourites?
We all love to enjoy a BBQ, and whether we’re cooking for guests or simply enjoying the cooking of others, it’s a real celebration of food. Let us know your BBQ favourites by commenting below or sharing with us on Facebook and Twitter.