Saturday, April 07, 2007

The first barbecue

So the barbecue is dusted off for the first time this year. We are planning a great hunk of lamb for tomorrow but LLcT is has other commitments and is adamant that we can’t have some sort of meat feast without him being party to it. So we have a pre-barbecue barbecue tonight. D is shocked to find that I’ve never knowingly made burgers so we decide to make some Guinness and beef burgers from Charles Campion’s Food from Fire cookbook. And we’ll accompany these with the last of the Jimmy’s Farm sausages.

Making the burgers was great with all that squishing together of the ingredients, all very satisfying. But I was surprised as to the amount of spring onions in the recipe, unless we just had special extra large spring onions. I know that MC seems to have a particular passion for spring onions at the moment but the burgers looked more green than anything else. We made enough for two each for tonight and squirrelled away a second batch in the freezer. We prevaricated over what sort of potatoes to serve with the burgers and sausages, but then MC put in a particular request for wedges so we hit google until we found something that looked interesting.

Rosemary Potato Wedges

4 'Yukon', purple or red potatoes
8 to 12 springs fresh rosemary
4 teaspoons [20 ml] minced garlic
1 teaspoon [5 ml] paprika
1/2 teaspoon [2.5 ml] ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon [2.5 ml] salt
Any desired fat [to grease foil]

  • Preheat barbecue until coals become grey, almost white.
  • Cut 4 square 6” [15-cm] each pieces of foil.
  • Using a pastry brush, lightly grease the centre of each foil square.
  • Well scrub then cut each potato into 4 wedges.
  • Arrange 4 wedges potato into the centre of each greased piece of foil.
  • Lay 2 or 3 rosemary sprigs over each cut potato.
  • Then sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon minced garlic.
  • Evenly sprinkle each with paprika, ground white pepper and salt.
  • Tightly secure each foil parcel.
  • Barbecue bundles over medium-hot coals turning bundles from time for 20 to 30 minutes, until potato pieces are tender to the fork.
  • Remove from heat and unwrap potato wedges (a rather bizarre instruction, as are you likely to open them or serve whilst still on the barbeque?)
  • Serve immediately, garnished to with sour cream etcetera.

Fortunately D and MC's garden is positively awash with rosemary so there's no problem there. We serve our potato wedges with one of our favourites – half fat crème fraîche turned vibrant green with a good stirring of fresh pesto. And all accompanied by the obligatory pile of verdant mâche.

Everything turned out perfectly; the burgers were juicy and not overwhelming spring oniony as I feared. Jimmy’s Farm sausages were really dense and porky, extremely fine sausages clearly from very happy pink and black Essex porkers.

And the potato wedges were tasty also, a good new barbecue potato recipe to add to the collection. I think the only changes we made were cutting the potatoes into more than than for as a quarter would have made them way too chunky and black pepper instead of white. As you don’t liberally cover them with oil, they’re quite dry so they worked very well dipping in the pesto crème fraîche sauce.

A very good first airing for the barbecue this year, and firing up the barbecue didn’t bring the rain on or anything. Maybe that’s only my family tradition for barbecues! I recall when just a conversation about grilling some juicy meat over some hot coals would provoke thunderclouds. It was always considerably more effective than a rain dance if the garden wanted watering!

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