It's Scotland, it's February, the temperature hasn't reach double figures but.... it's not raining therefore it's BBQ time! We use our kettle bbq as an extension to the kitchen and need very little excuse to break out the charcoal, even Christmas lunch is bbq'd weather permitting. Today is Sunday and being a traditional sort of family, we tend to have a roast most Sundays.
It's not hard to use a BBQ as a second oven but there are a couple of things we do to make it work for us. Firstly, you need a kettle BBQ, ours is a Weber 47cm which is a good size without being massive and has the relevant racks inside for keeping the charcoal off to the side easily. Using a chimney starter filled to the brim, wait till the charcoal is white before putting them around the side with the drip tray in the middle, do not put the meat directly over the coals. To avoid having to top up the charcoal later, we put the hot charcoal on top of cold ones.
The two ribs of beef we had today were cooked to an internal temperature of 50 degrees Celsius using a digital BBQ meat thermometer and rested for an hour whilst the roast potatoes and yorkshires were cooked. The drip tray catches enough fat from the beef to ensure crisp, smokey and packed full of beef flavoured roasties.
We use a Redicheck meat thermometer to get rid of the "is it done yet" worry. The probe goes into the meat on the BBQ's and talks via wifi to a second screen and an alarm goes off when either the temperature starts to drop (time for more charcoal) or when the meat reaches the required internal temp.
Chicken Supper for the Terminally Lazy
For someone who is passionate about cooking I am, rather more frequently than I care to admit, occasionally adverse to preparing supper for my loving family. It's more begrudgingly thrown together than prepared with love, care and attention. However, because I am very greedy it has to taste good too.
Feeds 4, skill - easy, prep time 15 minutes, cooking time 75 minutes
Heat the oven 180 degrees
4 whole chicken legs jointed
8 small potatoes cut into 8 lengthways
1 lemon, juiced and cut into 8
1 yellow onion cut into 8
1 bulb of garlic, peeled and each clove lightly crushed
Large handful of thyme
Salt to season
Mix everything together in a bowl making sure the thyme gets really bruised, I tend to take the large stalks out at the end of cooking.
Season and mix again then put into your oven dish.
Cover with foil (this ensures the potatoes cook properly) and place in the oven for 45 minutes, uncover and return to the oven for a further 20-30 minutes to crisp up the skin and give the potatoes some colour. Check the chicken is cooked properly by cutting along the bone and making sure the juices run clear.
You can also add a glass of white wine at the beginning too.
We had some sauerkraut from Dorset Charcuterie at Christmas and it was sublime, so good I was eating it neat out of the bag. This is my attempt to replicate it.
1 mason jar throughly sterilised
1 Chinese cabbage, finely shredded into a bowl.
Add three teaspoons of salt and rub into the cabbage, you'll feel,bit starting to break down as the salt draws the liquid out.
Add one teaspoon of caraway seeds and mix well.
Cram the seasoned cabbage into the jar really packing it in.
Leave for 10 days.