Whether you consider us a nation of food lovers or dog lover there is one side of of Britain that no one can deny, and that is when the sun come out we go crazy. Whether it’s wearing shorts in the early April sun or going topless and lobster red in June. We inflict our obsession for it on everyone around us and none more so than the infamous burnt sausage.
I’ve, like most, loved BBQ’s since I was a child. It was a time when the whole family got together and talked while cooking as well as eating. Being outdoors it was a time when everyone stepped away from the day to day life and let go even if only for a little while. Now as an adult (and man!) I am left to tend the BBQ at those family gatherings. It’s all too easy for this to become an easy option with a couple of burgers and may be a banger or two. I’ve experienced both the highs and lows of BBQ food, from the fake smile as you stick another lump of dried out burger in your mouth to blissful moments of hot tasting goodness.
On my travels around the world the hotter the country the more they cook outside and the wider the range of BBQ food becomes. In Lanzarote I watch fresh fish being cooked over an inactive volcano, unfortunately I didn’t get to taste it but I doubt sulphur adds much to sardines! In Australia I learnt that you can cook a lot more than just sausages on a BBQ, from frying potato slices to make chips to corn on the cob. Although as a Christmas dinner I’m sorry it’s not the same. The best BBQ food I have ever experienced was American, Texan to be exact. The first experience was pulled beef tacos which gave me a taste and subsequently took a trip to Iron Works BBQ and enjoyed the beef ribs and aside from being enough meat to feed a small family it was mouth watering. The meat was tender, sticky and flavoursome and million miles from the burnt British sausage.
This summer I will be running some experiments to re-make that mouth water Texan meal and already have grand plans that involve a welding touch and plasma cutter. To get me in the mood I decided to cook some slow cooked shoulder of lamb. It’s the closet I’ve come to good BBQ food and still not a patch on it.
Half a shoulder blade of Lamb
3 – 4 cloves of garlic
A large handful of fresh Thyme
Generous amount of Pepper
A good slug of olive oil
Crush the garlic, leaving the skins on. Then mix all of the ingredients together.
Taking a long length of foil, at least twice as much as is need to wrap the lamb. Double the foil over placing the lamb on it and smothering with the ingredients from step 1. Wrap the lamb up tight so that nothing can escape. I left my lamb over night in the marinade but due to the length of time cooking you could skip that step if you were in a hurry.