Tips for barbecuing steak and pork from half way around the globe
While we sit preparing for the worst of the winter – we’ve already experienced the hurricane winds here in Scotland this week – that nation of down-under barbecue lovers are just gearing up for summer.
Australia can safely be named the home of barbecue (well, together with the more southern north American states) as let’s face it, which Australian national doesn’t enjoy a barbecue on the beach on Christmas Day?
And so we tread thousands of miles across land and sea to find the finest Aussie barbecue ideas and tips for you.
The best tip any barbecue novice can get, of course, is to have the grill piping hot (between 300 and 350 degrees) before starting to cook. Hearing the meat ‘sizzle’ when it hits the grill shows you’re spot on temperature-wise.
Cooking on a very hot grill will ensure your meat (particularly steak) is seared on the outside and retains all its flavoursome juice on the inside. And while you’re pouring yourself that beer or sipping quietly on a nice glass of red, it wouldn’t do any harm to pour some on the grill as a marinade, especially if you add olives and garlic to the beer.
When eating barbecued steak in Australia it’ll more than likely come medium or medium-rare so if you’re looking for well-done it’s worth remembering to put in a special request to the ‘chef’. He or she will then cut the meat thinner rather than keep it on the barbecue longer where it’ll just become tough rather than crispy. It should also be left to ‘rest’ for a few minutes prior to serving. This is to let the muscle fibres in the meat relax after the intense heat. It also means the juices will flow back into the meat.
It’s also a good idea when cooking steaks not to ‘crowd’ the grill. Having too many steaks on at the one time reduces the temperature of the grill pans and means the meat won’t cook property throughout. They’ll also lose juices and end up tough.
- When it comes to using oil on their barbecue’s most Australians opt for canola rather than olive oil. This is because it has a higher burning point and less acidity than the latter
- Always use tongs when removing meat from a barbecue. Forks can pierce sausages etc causing the juices to run and the meat to end up tough
- When covering meat with foil to keep warm do so loosely rather than tight. If the meat sweats it’ll lose moisture and dry up
Char siu pork
Staying on the other side of the world, we couldn’t resist trying out a few Chinese recipes too. One of our favourites was Char siu pork. This mouth watering and versatile dish can be served on a cold platter of vegetables, with noodles or rice, or even in steamed buns as dim sum.
Your basic ingredients are five spice, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, white pepper, shaoxing wine and, of course, the pork itself – either as belly, tenderloin or shoulder.
This is such a fantastic taste for such a simple recipe that we’d recommend everyone tries it – at least once.
First, heat everything together with the exception of the garlic and pork. Next mince the garlic and slice the pork. Marinade the meat in the sauce and garlic overnight. Store in a fridge.
Prior to serving roast the pork strips in the oven for 15 minutes then skewer and finish off on the barbecue. It’s quick, it’s easy – and it’s absolutely delicious. Enjoy!
And if you haven’t got a barbecue yet then take a look at our charcoal barbecues here.