Cooking on charcoal, Part 1

So we’re all trapped inside at the moment, Covid-19 forcing us to remain in doors and amuse ourselves as best we can. It’s somewhat annoying, as Dublin is experience a rare bout if sunshine. Crazy right? I live in little old flat with a few other folk, and we’ve discovered all manner of things in my time here that the last 20 years of people have left behind; DJ decks, fishing rods, what I suspect is either an old CV radio or police scanner, but the best thing is an old BBQ.

Now if you haven’t grasped it from what post that passes for writing, I’m Australian, leaving that sunburnt country in 2016 to travel the world and discover whisky. Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, Ireland again, I’m making good tracks all over and discovering a host of new whiskies along the way. When I found the BBQ, I resolved to clean it and get some good grub. You can take the boy out of Australia, blah blah blah. With the aforementioned sunny days hitting Dublin, I put it upon myself to BBQ dinner every night for a week. While this is part 1, it only occurred to me to write this for the blog today, day 4, but I’ll be updating this series each day for the next few days so hopefully you too can make something.

But what’s this got to do with whisky? BBQs and malt don’t exactly go hand in hand, so what I’ve been doing is adding whisky to each dish along the way, mainly in the vein of marinades. So let’s kick this off, and follow me through these recipes. Hell, if you like them and make them yourself take a picture and tell me how they taste! So lets kick off and see what I did the first day.

Day 1 – Burgers

Burgers are simple, easy to make and difficult to screw up if Im being completely honest. I’ve never understood how some people can ruin them, and also why someone would buy premade burgers from the super market. Here’s a super easy recipe for great burgers.

2KG Beef Mince
3 Eggs
100ML Tomato Sauce
50g bread crumbs
90ml Smoky/Earthy/Peated Whisky (I used Kilchoman)
Touch of salt and pepper

Just combine everything in a mixing bowl, get your hands in there and start combining it all together, press them into pattys and let them rest for awhile, bing bam boom. Its simple, its easy. The eggs help everything stick, the tomato sauce gives flavour, and the bread crumbs consistency. The whisky adds a great touch as well, really bringing out something else. Now I don’t have pictures of this one as most of the rest of the bottle went into me, but I promise you’ll love them. Try them with a fried eggs, some smoky bacon and a few greens. Bloody fantastic.

Day 2 – Steaks

20200405_132645~2.jpg

Damn I love a good steak. On a BBQ they get alot of flavour, much better than a pan inside the kitchen. Now I used a marinade on these ones that I’ve been borrowing from the excellent book The Whisky Kitchen, honestly if you want to cook with whisky I would recommend that as your next essential. Heres the recipe I used

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Ground All Spice
Half a clove of crushed Garlic
20mls Honey
30ml Red wine Vinegar
150ml Vegetable Stock
90ml Lambay Irish Whiskey Small Batch Blend
The juice of one orange

20200405_133424.jpg

If you know The Whisky Kitchen you’ll know this is not their exact recipe, over the years I’ve tinkered and tailored with it to make it more suited to my personal taste. I let the steaks marinade for 4 hours, then onto the BBQ for a few moments each side. Delicious.

20200405_190720.jpg

Day 3 – Steaks

Ok, ok, I cheated with this one. I had some left over marinade so I reduced it on the stove in the morning, added the juice of another orange and let these steaks marinade for 3 hours. I would’ve given them more time but I saw some dark clouds moving over and…. well, the video below explains all of it.

Thats a jury rigged shelter by the way. I’m very proud of that.

Day 4 – Kebabs

20200406_184735.jpg

I love a kebab. Not that ridiculous thing you get at 4 in the morning after a rough night, eat half, leave the rest somewhere in your bedroom and thoroughly regret the next morning, but a proper kebab, skewered meat left to marinade and then cooked lightly with a wee char. Heres what I took

1KG Beef chunks
Juice of 2 Lemons
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Teaspoon Oregano
Whole plump garlic, crushed
Dash of salt and pepper
60ml Lambay Irish Whiskey Small Batch Blend

I trimmed off the outside fat from the beef chunks and made them a mostly uniform size, skewered the lot of them and set them aside in a container. I combined the other ingredients and poured them over, letting them sit for a few hours before BBQing for a few moment with a light flame , charring them outside a bit crispy but the inside nice and tender. 

20200406_191753~3.jpg

I scoffed down the first few as you can imagine, and after took the meat off another kebab, toasted a flat bread and made a souvlaki with some salad. Damn I love me some meat.

So thats it for now. I’ll be making things and posting them for the next 3 days, so stayed tuned, stay safe, and crack out your own BBQ if you can. It really makes something to look forward to.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s