We hear you have two barbecues at home? Can we ask why?
Yes, I have a gas BBQ for quick weekday dinners and a charcoal BBQ for weekend cook-ups. That one takes a little more time to get going, but it’s worth it – it adds a heap of flavour to the food and a delicious looking char from the coals.
What’s your favourite thing barbecue for the quick family weekday dinner?
I’m a huge fan of a good-quality thick pork sausages, cooked on my gas barbie and cut into bite-size rounds, sprinkled with fresh rosemary, lemon zest and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Then I toss with some chunks of capsicum, zucchini and sweet potato cooked on the BBQ, and add fresh rocket and herbs to make an easy warm weekday salad.
And for a special occasion?
That would have to be slow-cooked ribs cooked over the charcoals, and a few potatoes tossed with waygu beef oil and wrapped in foil. I serve it up with a crisp apple and fennel slaw.
Can you give us any tips for feeding a crowd?
The trick is to make it easy so you get to enjoy yourself, too. Maybe a slow-cooked shoulder or leg of lamb you can start nice and early – cook it for hours until it’s falling apart, then just turn up the heat and sear to finish. Char some pita bread for wrapping and serve with hummus and lemons wedges to squeeze over the top. Perhaps a couple of simple salads. Add a few little marinated chicken skewers for the kiddies and then everyone helps themselves.
Top tips for barbecuing meat? Do you marinate?
The trick to a great barbecued steak is all about the resting and slicing to achieve maximum tenderness. In a perfect world, I’d sous-vide my steak first and just finish it off on a chargrill BBQ, but not everyone has a sous-vide machine!
I actually don’t often marinate. I’m more of a sauces guy! I like a flavourful chimichurri or a simple garlic and herb butter to elevate that steak to the next level.
Top tips for barbecuing fish (which we secretly find a bit scary)?
It’s easy! The trick to cooking a perfect whole fish is a clean grill plate and not moving the fish until the skin is nice and crisp.
What do you cook for vegetarians?
For my vego friends, I like to cook a root veg hash on the flat plate, and serve with a charred cherry tomato, corn, watercress and pickled cucumber salad on top. Or I do half a honey-glazed butternut pumpkin on the chargrill and stuff with harrisa lentils and zesty tahini to finish.
What’s your favourite BBQ dish on the DL menu?
At the moment I am in love with our turmeric chicken thighs with green chili sauce. They go so well with a fresh crisp noodle salad – I would eat a whole portion just by myself! With extra green chili sauce, of course.