Plan your winter barbecue party now
It may not be immediately obvious to many get-togethers of friends and families these days, but barbecue parties can still be great fun. Just think of Bonfire Night celebrations for instance where there’s a ton of enjoyment comes from standing around eating hamburgers and drinking hot soup.
So what would you need for a winter barbecue? Well, first off you’d certainly need to dress up a bit warmer – quite a lot warmer – than you would in the summer time or spring. That means beanies or hats, gloves, scarves and heavy jackets as well as denims or trousers with tights underneath (we know many footballers who dress like this for the stands). Just make sure your clothes aren’t the type that could catch fire easily.
You should also ensure you choose a day where there isn’t a lot of wind otherwise it’s going to blow the grill’s flame out just as you’re ready to cook.
Just as if you’re getting the grill out to cook for the first time in spring, it’s always essential to have it clean for a winter party too (chances are it’s been sitting in the shed for the previous two months). Do this by cleaning any rust off with a wire brush after heating the grill up for ten minutes or so (you’ll find ingrained food will come off more easily).
Just like cooking in the summer, it’s important to get the food to a decent ‘room temperature’ before placing it on the grill, otherwise a too-cold steak will turn tough when cooked.
In terms of lighting for your barbecue party, there just isn’t enough day light around in the winter months so you’re going to have to supply your own. Candlelight is a great way to create a cosy atmosphere at a barbecue so get plenty of large lanterns and tea-lights lit and dotted around the garden or back yard.
Obviously you’re not going to be serving up salads and cool dishes at a winter barbecue party. Instead warming foods such as baked potatoes, winter vegetables (courgettes, carrots and aubergine) and pasta dishes are best. A warm rum punch is also a good idea. You can serve vegetables up as a stew (cook indoors then heat up in a pan over the flame) or as a side dish – barbecued corn with butter and served in tin foil is a great dish for winter parties.
Meanwhile, here’s one of favourite winter barbecue sweets:
Bananas with Rum
Ingredients: 6 bananas, 15 ml lime juice, 50 ml rum and 3 tablespoons of muscovado sugar.
Preparation: Mix together the rum and lime juice and heat up in a pan. Add the muscovado sugar and stir for a couple of minutes. Next, unpeel one side of the banana and place the other side – with the peel – down onto the barbecue. After 15 minutes switch for one minute with the flesh side down then remove and give the bananas to your guests, peel intact, together with a scoop or two of ice cream and pour over the rum sauce. Enjoy!
Use a gas barbecue for quick, efficient heating any time of the year!