Barbecue 26: August 31

Right! Out with the slight failure of a part of Barbecue 25, and on with the entirely successful barbecues 😉 Barbecue 26 was where I finally got around to making the lamb kofta kebabs I’ve been on about. Worth. The. Wait.

Weather

A lovely late summer’s evening. The last day of August… hopefully my September barbecues won’t be entirely blighted by rain!

Food

Right then, we’ll start with the simple stuff. Pork chops are fantastic on the barbecue – they cook well because they’re thick, and they end up juicy and tender. Plus, the bone helps to provide flavour to the meat (don’t take it off). So, we went for a couple of those. The only other thing was my fantalicious (new word. Like it?) Minced Lamb Kofta Kebabs. I promised a while ago I’d do them, so here they are. I grabbed some minced lamb from the supermarket, mixed it with a few herbs and an egg, and formed the mixture around wet kebabs (except I forgot to wet them. You shouldn’t). Really delicious, and perhaps even a contender to my original Greek lamb kebabs. Go try them out before the summer leaves! Great with the cous-cous and salad we had, but also nice on a pitta with a little tzatziki.


So, barbecue 26 was a tasty, but short affair. Join us again for another barbecuing adventure :)

P.S.: that burger in the picture? It’s left over kofta mixture. Also great as a burger 😉

Minced Lamb Kofta Kebabs

I promised a while ago that I’d follow up on a recipe inspiration I had for minced lamb kebabs. They’re a little more traditional, and if you’re a fan of meat (you might have guessed that I am), you’re in for a good time.

Ingredients

  • One 500g pack of minced lamb
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2tsp each of fresh thyme and oregano, finely chopped
  • 2tbsp fresh garden mint, finely chopped
  • One egg
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 2tsp rock salt, 1tsp black pepper

Recipe

Combine all of the ingredients, at first with a fork and then using your hands (go on, get in there). Now, grab some skewers. This is the difficult part. It’s probably a good idea to soak your skewers for an hour before cooking (otherwise they’ll burn on the grill). You’ll probably get five kebabs out of the meat you’ve got, so divide the mixture. With each fifth, shape around the skewer into a sausage shape. Don’t make them too thick, and try to keep the thickness even throughout the kebab:

Enough for four big kebabs, and a burger to spare!

(The sticks are at the top of the picture). Go get those babies on the grill! They need to be turned at least twice so that each side is browned. Seriously delicious, and great with tzatziki.
Mmmmmmkebabs.

Barbecue 20: At long last!

Deary me, it’s been a long time, hasn’t it readers? The weather in Birmingham has been frankly very un-summer-like for quite a while, and both Gemma and I have been busy enough that having a barbecue just hasn’t been practical.

But at last, we’ve done our 20th barbecue. This one was actually a week or so ago; I just haven’t had time to post it. It wasn’t a particularly fancy one – as usual, a spur-of-the-moment thing, but I was so taken with the mushrooms from the last barbecue that I tried a little twist on them. So anyway, onward!

Weather

Not bad! When we left the house it was cold and unpromising – luckily by the time we finished work it was hot and sunny enough to justify at least an attempt at a barbecue. Good times.

Food

Mainly stuff that we bought and stuck on the grill, I’m sorry to say! I amended my Garlic and Chilli Mushroom Burger recipe so that the butter on top of the mushrooms contained coriander, chilli, garlic and a little parsley, finely chopped. This again worked very well, and gave the mushrooms a little eastern twist.

Lamb kebabs (big recipe inspiration there), half a burger and a mushroom.
Other than that, we bought some sirloin steak – just simply salted, and 4 minutes per side on the barbecue for medium – and some lamb kebabs. This sort of kebab just had minced lamb and mint moulded over a skewer, which is of course quite traditional. Very delicious, too, so expect a similar recipe soon.

And of course, we had to have a burger. Just one, that we split between us. You know my feelings on barbecues without burgers.

Mmm, steak...

So that’s it for barbecue 20! Now how about you do some thinking for me? I’m always looking for new ideas, new barbecue themes, new recipe suggestions, and so on. Drop me a comment below if you think of anything, or if you tried anything you liked. Watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives last night I had some inspiration for a stuffed burger, so watch this space for that. See y’all soon, grillers :)

Barbecue 17: June 24

Hot off the heels of our June 23 barbecue, we cooked for Gem’s mum and sister this time. I even made some new beef burgers (I know, you’re excited)!

Yeah, yeah. It's hot, we know.

Weather

The usual gorgeous sunshine. Ah, the perils of barbecuing in summer. But wait – in Barbecue 18, there’s rain!

Food

Enough to feed a small army! But no complaints. We bought some lamb loin steaks from our usual orange-branded-supermarket-where-life-tastes-better, along with some chicken legs and thighs. The lamb can be cooked straight away on the barbecue, and took about six minutes per side for medium rare. Chicken with bones in, however, is a pain on the barbecue, as I’ve mentioned before. I’m willing to bet at least one person reading this has felt the ill-effects of undercooked chicken as a result. So, I’m always careful to precook chicken – I give it about 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees celsius in the oven. This is enough to colour it well, and cook it almost completely. Then it goes on the barbecue for about 8 minutes, turning once – that way, you get the charred meat and smoky flavour (nice), but you lose the salmonella (always good).

And of course, I couldn’t do a barbecue for other people without making some effort. So I came up with Italian Melting Mozzarella Burgers (hardly a genius flash of inspiration, but they tasted bostin’), which were very popular.

We rounded this off with our trademark cous-cous, guacamole (goes great with chicken) and salad. All in all, a really nice afternoon!

Cous-cous, guacamole, and... oh yeah. Great meats :)

Mexican Lamb Burgers

It wouldn’t be a barbecue without a burger, right? And I haven’t made any lamb burgers yet, so I thought I’d set me a challenge: Mexican lamb. Everyone at the barbecue seemed to love them, which is always nice.

Ingredients

Makes 8-10 burgers

  • 1kg minced lamb. Lamb is a very fatty meat, which means the burgers are very succulent (and you don’t need any oil, eggs, etc)
  • One red onion, chopped very finely
  • One green bell pepper, chopped finely
  • One large red jalapeño chili, or a normal large red chili, chopped very finely
  • A large handful of coriander (cilantro), chopped
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1/2tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1tsp salt, more to taste

Mexican Lamb Burgers. This was the only one left, within 2 minutes of cooking.

Recipe

Combine all of the ingredients! Quite a few of my recipes start this way. As I said above, if you use your hands to mulch all of this together, you should have something that holds well enough to not need further moisture (or any breadcrumbs). Be sure to combine the coriander leaves well, because they’ll clump together if you’re not careful.

As usual with burgers, form a tennis ball-sized sphere, and compress on top and bottom, pressing in a little in the middle. These will take about 5 minutes per side on the barbecue – watch out, as the fat from the lamb will make the coals spit.

They really go very well with my pico de gallo, and perhaps a slice of Mexicana Cheese (thanks Jen), though burger cheese works just as well.

Quite honestly I’m more pleased with these burgers than any others. Do try them, they’re great.

¡Buen provecho!