What you should be grilling this Summer

By
Eve O'Sullivan
Added
07 April, 2016

Sick of the same old chicken breasts and pork chops on the barbecue? We asked Ben Tish to tell us what he will be cooking over the coals this summer for a little bit more wow factor.



Bavette steak

Bavette is one of my favourite beef cuts. It’s fairly underused, making it pretty economical, and it has bags of flavour. Don’t expect fillet steak tenderness though - it’s quite toothsome. Marinating it helps tenderizing and I’d urge you to cook it to medium rare, as any more won’t produce a nice texture.


Lamb leg

This is great cooked on a barbecue as it generally has lots of fat to self-baste as it cooks. I like to cook the leg whole, on the bone, over an indirect heat, or you could slice it into steaks and grill quickly over direct heat. I like a sharpish sauce or dressing spooned over cuts through the fattiness of lamb; try my recipes for wild garlic pesto or mojo verde.




Pork ribs

Ribs are a barbecue classic, and I couldn’t resist adding a Spanish twist to them with a  quince glaze. Another great Spanish twist on a glaze is using some dark chicken stock reduced with Pedro Ximinez sherry - the aromatic, fruitiness works so well with rich pork. If you can find Iberico pork ribs then you are in for a real treat; there’s nothing quite like it. Beef short ribs are also great on the barbecue, but require a longer cooking time. Ribs all require a two-stage cooking process. First, long and slow to soften the meat – either poach or slow cook on the barbecue, and then to finish, brush them with a glaze over a fierce direct heat to char and crisp the exterior.




Pizzettes

Once you’ve mastered the dough, the options for pizzettes are endless based on what you like. It’s important to get the grill very hot so it seals the base straight away and ensures a crisp base. As these cook really quickly, make sure the toppings match; very quick cooking, reheating or melting. The ‘nduja and fennel is my favourite here, but a nice alternative and less fiery could be some salty prosciutto or fennel salami. Fig, gorgonzola and mascarpone is another nice combination.


Mussels

Shellfish in general take to smoking well, and in my smoked mussel recipe some hardy herbs thrown onto the coals add a herbal boost. Clams and razor clams are great alternatives to mussels, although a little more expensive. Do make sure you serve them as soon as the shells are open, you don’t want to overcook them.




Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish is one of my favourite things - I don’t know why it’s not more popular. I love the texture; meaty with a good bite to it and it has a more pronounced flavour than squid. It’s best cooked briskly over a very hot grill, but be careful, as just like squid, it can be overcooked quickly and turn rubbery. Octopus is another favourite. Some lighter wood chips such birch thrown on the charcoal whilst cooking add a zingy smokiness.




Chocolate tart

This is quite a surprise I have to say, but the barbecue treatment really adds a lovely smoky, toasty note. You’ll need to be patient though, and using a temperature probe is a must to get the filling cooked just right. Wrapping the base of the tart with foil helps avoid any burning on the underside of the pastry. I use apricots in the recipe in the book, but you could use any seasonal stone fruits, such as peaches, nectarines and plums.


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