Ok, hands up, who had a barbecue over the Bank Holiday weekend?
Is there an actual law that says you have to have barbecue over a three-day weekend. Well, it seemed rude not to, especially when the weather was so good.
As we wipe the last remnants of ketchup from our chins following the last long weekend until August (Noooooooo!) we should pause to appreciate the mighty beast that is BBQ.
This month has been Barbecue Month, and for once it seems to actually have been appropriately timed. We’ve had lovely weather (mostly) and as always, it seems us Brits can’t see a bit of sun without the need to get the charcoal flaming for a spot of alfresco cooking.
As far back as 2013 the Brits were named as Europe’s leading barbecue fanatics. We hosted a quite startling 125 million barbies – beating the Germans into second place for the fifth time.
Apparently the average family hosts nine BBQs a year now, up from just 2.5 a decade ago – 2.5? How do you have half a barbecue? The rain must have come on…..
BBQ & at-home eating & entertaining is now the UK’s No1 summer home leisure activity, with three out of four households now owning some type of BBQ grill and he overall BBQ & alfresco eating & entertaining market in 2017 was worth just over £7.6 billion, up from £150 million back in 1997. Wowsers – that’s a lot of burgers.
While more and more of us hitting the grill, there are more and more gadgets on the market to make it easier for us to do so. Worried about the meat temperature (food poisoning can really put a dampener on a family weekend of fun)? There’s an app for that (through a digital thermometer that connects to an app on your phone).
Don’t have a garden to gather in and grill? There’s indoor smokeless BBQ grill for that.
What about everyone’s worst bit of the barbecue? No, not corn-on-the-cob…cleaning it. Well, apparently there are robotic cleaners for that.
What are we eating? US Style Low&Slow smoking has become very fashionable with pulled pork particularly popular along with the hot and spicy flavours of South Africa, the Caribbean, Mexico, North Africa and Southern US styles such as Cajun & Creole. All sounds very nice.
But let’s face it – we’d be just as happy with a good old-fashioned burger or banger, of good quality beef or pork (or veggie of course!), a toasted bun, dollop of ketchup and something cold and fizzy to drink, wouldn’t we?
BBQ baby back rib
For the sauce:
1 small onion, chopped.
Salt and pepper
Using a charcoal BBQ:
Mix together the brown sugar, mustard, paprika, smoked paprika, black pepper and garlic salt together in a small bowl.
Rub the ribs with the seasoning on both sides. Wrap in foil and cook in the BBQ for around an hour, turning occasionally.
While the ribs are on the grill make the sauce by heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and stir until softened. Add the vinegar, ketchup, sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cayenne pepper and some salt and black pepper. Simmer until the sauce thickens.
Remove the ribs from the foil so the fat drains off, then return directly to the BBQ and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until they are sizzling and slightly charred.
Let the ribs rest for a few minutes; serve with the sauce, coleslaw, fries and an ice cold beer.
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