The barbecue as it is an absolute requirement for my kitchen. Indeed, my barbecue season begins on pancake day and ends on fireworks night (I am also known to cheat and have the odd barbecue in the off season, but that because of the beauty of the hot, dry British weather!).
Now to be clear by a barbecue, I am not referring to an outdoor hob. Barbecues needs charcoal, otherwise they are not barbecues. If you want a kitchen outdoors, fine, just don’t pretend it is a barbecue, say it with pride: how about cooking the sausages on the outdoor hob! You can’t beat the taste of steak cooked on an outdoor hob.
My barbecue is a Weber, but any kettle barbecue with a lid will do. That is how you control the heat. If you need it very hot, open all the vents and keep the lid off, if you need it cooler, close the vents and put the lid on. You can also just use half the barbecue for direct cooking and half for roasting by keeping the charcoal on one side.
And then there is the charcoal, it must be lumpwood, and for me it must be proper lumpwood. There is a fantastic Turkish deli in East Dulwich that sells – Big K Restaurant Quality Charcoal. It comes in large 12kg bags, but the difference is obvious the minute you open the bag. Large lumps of charcoal – with rings on that mean you could count the age of the tree – not the rubbish charcoal dust that is sold to consumers everywhere.
So if that is the barbecue what about the recipes. I will start with one from yesterday –