How to barbecue on a week night

It’s finally arrived… sunshine and heat! Make the most of these rare balmy evenings and get cooking outside.

Midweek grilling needs a different approach to a weekend lengthy grillathon; you don’t have to break the bank with expensive cuts or labour for hours over your grill before you can eat anything. By choosing the right cuts from your local GP butcher, you can have tasty, affordable and speedy midweek barbecue dinners easily. Read on for some of our simple midweek dinners from the grill and some tips to boot.

No matter when you’re grilling, midweek or weekend, remember to follow our two golden rules:

1. Always buy the best meat you can afford. Despite what popular practice infers, cooking outside does not magically turn cheap nasty supermarket sausages and burgers into a gastronomic delight. Don’t skimp on your ingredients! Choose high quality meat from naturally reared, slow growing native breed animals.

2. Be sure to rest your meat after cooking by covering in tin foil and leaving for the same amount of time as it has spent on the grill. When meat cooks, the moisture on the outside evaporates, and the heat forces the meat’s remaining juices to the centre. Letting the meat rest before serving allows the juices to redistribute throughout the cut and be reabsorbed. As a result the meat will lose less moisture when you cut it, and be far more tender and juicy to eat.

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Beef burger

A Ginger Pig favourite. We make our burgers fresh in the shops every morning, using prime cuts from our dry-aged, grass fed, native breed beef. Grill for 4-5 minutes each side and fry off a couple of rashers of smoked streaky bacon too if you like. Pile high inside a brioche bun with our homemade bread and butter pickle, or punchy chilli jam.

Moxon burgers

Marinated lamb leg steaks

Spot on if you’re after a succulent lamb dish quickly. A marinade needn’t take hours to work its magic. For four steaks we recommend mixing 5 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt with half a tablespoon of a good quality harissa paste and a crushed garlic clove. Let the steaks sit in the yoghurt mixture whilst you get the barbecue going, and then grill for around 8 minutes, flipping and turning throughout. Serve with couscous seasoned with the juice of a lemon, good quality olive oil and a sprinkling of coriander.

Leg steak lr

Sweet chilli pork burgers

For four burgers, remove two traditional pork sausages and three sweet chilli sausages from their casings. Combine with ¼ teaspoon of chilli flakes for an extra kick if you wish. Divide into four patties and place in the fridge whilst the barbecue heats up. Grill for 5 minutes each side, or until cooked through and serve in a ciabatta bun with Ginger Pig bread and butter pickle, mayo and sweet potato wedges on the side.

Spatchcock chicken

You can use any of our smaller birds (small chicken/coquelet/poussin) to put on the grill. You want to ensure fast and even cooking so ask your butcher to spatchcock the bird for you. This means taking out the spine to flatten the bird, and will result in a cut that’s much easier to handle on the barbecue.

To cook, rub good quality olive oil, chopped thyme* and salt over the skin, and place on a hot barbecue for 4-5 minutes, then flip over and grill on the other side for the same amount of time. Move the chicken over to the cooler area of the grill and cook for a further 30-35 minutes (or 20 mins if you’re grilling the smaller coquelet or poussin) turning regularly and basting in between with water (or beer!) to stop the skin from browning too much. To check the meat’s cooked through, use a meat thermometer by sticking the prob into the thickest part, making sure not to touch the bone. For perfectly cooked poultry the thermometer should read 75˚C.

Take the bird off the heat and wrap in tin foil and a tea towel – rest for 10-15 minutes, before cutting into portions, drizzling over lemon juice and seasoning well.

* TIP: Use any spices that take your fancy, paprika and crushed garlic, five spice or Cajun will all work well.

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