Monday, 26 May 2014

Bank Holiday Weekend Barbecue

A bank holiday weekend, is there much anything much better to do than a barbecue?! 

For the first time I decided to make my own burgers with a bit of assistance from a recipe from a chef called Jamie Oliver, not sure maybe some you will have heard of him he's quite good.

The recipe I used can be found here

I used it fairly loosely and made some burgers with and without mustard, to be fair there wasn't much difference in taste just colour, appearance and texture as the mustard ones were lighter in colour and slightly softer due to the added moisture.

So if you love a barbecue or are looking forward to having one this summer feast your eyes on the following documentation of my burger making process and subsequent barbecue. 

Carnivores beware you will be licking you lips in anticipation by the time you get towards the end! 

First step; finely chop some onions and lightly fry, for my first batch I used a normal onion but for take two I used a red onion and I think a regular probably worked best.

The onions were fried in some cumin as well to add a little extra flavour and kick which I think worked really well.

Next finely chop some flat head parsley, I tried to take a lot of care and attention in my fine chopping of both the onions and parsley and think it is definitely worth doing this so you get nice small pieces distributed throughout your burgers.

Time to start mixing up the ingredients, this is the mince mixed in with the onions and parsley. 

Next breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan, I know Parmesan in a burger! Wow did it work out well! It added so much to the texture and brought a soft dreamy feel to the bite of the burger the way that only melted cheese can. The Parmesan also provided the most deliciously pleasant after taste that lingered so delightfully at the back of your mouth after every burger.

Once everything was in the mixing bowl it was time to crack an egg in and season with a little salt and pepper, then it was time for the best bit!

Getting involved! 

I love getting involved with the meat whether its getting you hands right intoa mixture like this or preparing a nice chunk of roast beef or feeling up a chicken with herbs and marinade in preparation for a roast dinner.

The end result, some lovely little balls of meaty goodness.

I experimented with slightly different shapes and sizes and made a few massive burgers that weren't far off an inch thick and filled a burger bun from edge to edge.

However I felt smaller fairly thick burgers worked best and although that left a lot of excess bread around the burger they were best for cooking and were the right portion size.

I prepped my burgers in the morning so in the afternoon I had time to sort out the actual barbecue and entertain our guests. 

I am not an incredibly macho guy but the lure of making fire and cooking in this way does bring out a massive primeval urge in me and its something I really love doing. The eternal mysticism of fire never fails to captivate.

Fire under control and the coals burning nicely, the time has come to get cooking!

Having only a teeny tiny barbecue the grill was pretty fully loaded as you can see which worked OK but just required a little rotation to move things in and out of the hottest areas to get more consistent cooking. 

The end result, I was so busy enjoying it I almost forgot to take a picture!

My major discovery was the revelation that is brioche buns. I am a massive fan of brioche as a breakfast treat but have never had it before as a burger bun and cannot recommend it highly enough! The sweetness of the bun mixed with the creaminess of the parmesan from the burger worked like a dream.

It wasnt all meat though we did serve up some healthy veggie stuff in the form of peppers stuffed with rice and feta cheese. Not only are roasted peppers ridiculously tasty they add that nutritious balance as well as adding a vibrant dose of colour.

A picture of my barbecue in full flow, a magnificent sight!

And of course we made sure we had a bit of liquid refreshment to help wash all the food down! 

What summer barbecue would be complete without a glass or several of Pimms?!

All in all the barbecue was a culinary triumph for the tastebuds and one I look forward to repeating again soon once I have recovered from eating the burger shaped equivalent of a small cow!