“It’s summer for another year” is undoubtedly one of the most consistent and repeated phrases among the British on August 10.e forward. The typical four-day summer heatwave has passed us and won’t return until we see the return of Easter next year. Is this statement true, however? Let’s be honest we all love to complain about the weather here in the UK it gives us a lot to talk about. In fact, research suggests that nine in ten Britons have spoken about the weather in the past six hours. This means that at any given time, a third of the nation is talking about the weather.
One thing is certain. As soon as the sun comes out, we Brits head straight for the local butchers, followed by bakers, picking up everything needed to whip up a storm on the barbecue, let’s not forget the bottled gas or charcoal for the barbecue. We might not live in Australia, but taking the opportunity to eat outdoors is what we do best. During the holiday season in 2017, the UK equaled the same temperatures as the Spanish capital, averaging high temperatures of 13 degrees during Christmas week. It’s a fact that winter in the UK is getting warmer and hotter, despite what Deirdre might suggest. With that in mind, we thought why not extend the barbecue season?
No one is suggesting that you sit in the back garden until midnight, covered in sunscreen with your short shorts in mid-September. But enjoying another form of cooking once a week can spice things up for the taste palette. Here with Flogas, which sells a range of gas grills, we show you how to make Christmas on the grill.
For many of us, the highlight of the year when it comes to the food calendar is the Turkey being carved on Christmas Day. Succulent slices of slowly cooked meat dripping with sauce, topped with cranberry sauce are enough to have the most salivating. However, we’ve all been guilty of the slightly overcooked bird, which requires that extra glass of wine to help digest. The barbecue, however, does not provide the chef with such judgmental concerns, nor those who consume it when it comes to choking. Just over two hours on the grill and there are some golden, juicy segments of it waiting to be torn.
A bunch of thyme
A bunch of rosemary
Butter – 200g
Lemons – 2 of
Turkey – 1 x 5kg
We suggest letting the bird soak overnight in salt water. For a 5 kg turkey, use about 10 liters of water and 800 g of salt. Once you wake up from your night’s sleep, the desalination process begins, otherwise it won’t just be your taste buds that get a shock – your cholesterol too. Place the turkey in clean water, changing the water every fifteen minutes or so. Repeat this process four times before placing the thyme, rosemary, and lemon in the turkey cavity. Brush with butter and it’s barbecue time.
Unlike cooking a steak, this is a delicate process, so you don’t want flames attacking the surface. Make sure the coals are scattered on either side of the barbecue and place a bowl of water among them – this may require refilling during the cooking process. Season as usual using butter, lemon, salt and pepper.
Place the bird on the grid and cover. Make sure to keep the barbecue vents open, allowing enough air to escape – we usually suggest three-quarters be open. Using an oven thermometer, regularly monitor the temperature at 180 degrees, adding coals as necessary. With the rest of your butter, rosemary and thyme, make a basting sauce to coat the turkey during cooking. Constantly check the internal temperature – 65 degrees at the thickest point and you are ready for a delicious Christmas treat.
Sweet carrots wrapped in bacon
Certainly, pigs in blankets feature high on most peoples’ lists when it comes to the “best part of Christmas dinner”. But after trying these alternatives, you would be forgiven for changing your mind.
Washed and peeled carrots – 1kg
Bacon – 500g
Maple syrup – 60 ml
Take the carrots and wrap them generously in bacon. Preheat your gas barbecue to 200 degrees. Place carrots on a baking sheet on a wire rack, bake for about 25 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp and the carrots begin to soften. Halfway through cooking, drizzle the carrots with maple syrup. For an extra boost, replace the maple syrup with Dijon mustard.
Honey Onion Slices
Onion adds flavor to any meal – we all know that. But what about an onion with a twist?
Honey – 60 ml
Onions – 2, large
Butter – 2 tbsp.
Worcestershire sauce – 1 ½ tsp.
Dijon mustard – 60 ml
Rather than finely chopping your onion as you often would, slice it slowly, holding the ring on each slice.
In two separate bowls, whisk together oil and butter, then mustard, honey and Worcestershire sauce. Heat the barbecue to a medium to high heat. Using two thin metal skewers, pierce the onions about an inch and a half of a portion. Place on the grill, before brushing with oil. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the onions are golden brown. Turn, cook for another ten minutes and brush with the mustard mixture.
There. Here’s a warmer winter recipe that can be served on Christmas Day, straight from the BBQ!