Everyone loves a traditional BBQ burger and the like, old classics that feel like summer the moment you take your first bite. But if you have grown tired of the usual BBQ suspects or just fancy getting adventurous with your grill you might want to consider these tasty alternative cuts and ideas to liven up your Summer dining – variety is the spice of life!
Set aside any squeamish pre-conceptions you may have about offal, some of the most flavourful cuts can be the last ones you would dream of eating. While this suggestion makes me sound like Snow White and the Huntsman’s evil Queen, bear with me and try out Ox Heart.
Heart takes some trimming, but once this is done you will be left with an innocuous looking cut and your guests will be none the wiser to look at it. The key is to cook this quickly on a screaming hot BBQ, no more than 3 minutes a side for the perfect medium rare finish. Garnish as you would steak and see how many people you can convert.
A more straight-forward beef option but a twist on your usual striploin/fillet, flank, bavette and onglet are tougher cuts which require a little marinading, ideally overnight. While they are higher maintenance, give them that extra bit of attention and they will repay you with phenomenal flavour which easily surpasses more expensive cuts. Carved thinly against the grain into luxurious ruby rare ribbons, flank will feed more mouths and leave them all with a smile.
Whole Crab and Lobster:
A BBQ doesn’t have to be exclusively a carnivore’s domain, pescaterians will delight at the addition of crave-worthy crustaceans. Think melting garlic butter and a bucket-full of crimson shells to get hands-on, up close and personal with. As these will be pricey, a great idea is to serve them alongside some flank steak for the ultimate surf and turf – an unmissable BBQ feast!
We all know and love pulled pork, but this summer why not try Jamie Oliver’s favourite cut – lamb shoulder. Slow cooked, it barely needs pulling, the meat will be meltingly tender and cooked on the bone to add an extra layer of flavour, basted in the natural fat coating the shoulder. This is a serious BBQ upgrade and will come in at a very reasonable price compared to leg of lamb, from your local craft butcher.
Lambs Liver Skewers:
Another often overlooked cut of lamb, liver packs a serious flavour punch as well as being nutritionally dense with huge stores of Iron, and like most offal is cheap and cheerful too. Valentine Warner believes lamb liver skewers are one of the most delicious things you can pop on your BBQ but don’t just take his word for it, give it a go and see for yourself how tasty offal can be.
Cider Can Duck:
You may have heard of the Aussie phenomenon of beer can chicken, where a whole bird is unceremoniously perched atop an open (take not to avoid explosive poultry) can of beer and placed on the BBQ. This creates a luscious steam, cooking the chicken from the inside while the outside soaks up the smokey BBQ flavour. Shake things up by using a whole duck and a can of your favourite cider, which will impart a very subtle apple sweetness to the tender duck meat – perfection!
Growing up with the name Darina, I was constantly asked if I could cook like my namesake. With that (and greed) as the ultimate motivators, I quickly realised that home-baked goods make excellent bribes and an obsession was born! With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in law I undertook a PhD, but a preference for cookbooks to textbooks persisted. As a (self-confessed!) demon in the kitchen, I am the only person to have contested both Masterchef and the Great Irish Bake off, which fuelled my desire to set my focus on food in a serious way. Working with The Taste allows me to satiate this craving and marries my food fascination with my love of writing and ranting. Follow me as I share my food adventures and hopefully inspire others to indulge their passion for cooking and food in the process!