I do love a good barbecue, but my experience of good ones is somewhat limited. Although I can cook steak or burgers and bangers to perfection on a barbecue (no burnt outside / raw inside for me), some halloumi on the grill is about as adventurous as I get.
Luckily our friends Darren and Laura invited us to their house for a proper barbecue over the bank holiday weekend. Darren is definitely more than a burger barbecuer (in fact, on his Instagram account @altbrioche you will see some of his creations), and I won’t deny that I had high expectations when I went to visit them.
I had already heard about Darren’s famous salmon teriyaki, so was delighted to see this on the menu, and may have gone back for seconds (thirds). The fish was so succulent but the skin was crispy, and there was a great hit of umami saltiness from the marinade. I’d definitely like to try this one myself so will be pestering Darren like a broken tap until he gives me the recipe.
Brisket and pulled pork were also massive winners for us. I love brisket but have only ever made salt beef with it. However, although I would love to eat Darren’s brisket again, realistically I won’t be able to dedicate the hours needed to smoke it (I think he mentioned 8 hours but I can’t be sure as I ran off to get more as he was chatting), so he’ll basically have to make it for me again.
What Andrew and I both really liked about the pulled pork (and the accompanying barbecue sauce) was that it wasn’t super sweet, which can often be the case. There was a kick of chilly with the sauce too, although I had to double check how punchy it was by helping myself to seconds (or fourths, I am not sure).
Now we have our own Weber barbecue, I hope to try and cook more adventurously on it (even roast dinner and pizza). Until I do, I am hoping this glowing review of Darren’s smokey feast will guarantee me another invitation … please!
Although the rest of the week’s menu cannot compare with the barbecue, here’s what I have planned:
- Monday – whoops, meat free forgotten again as the bank holiday confused me! I have defrosted homemade chicken and leek pies for dinner, to serve with mash and veg
- Tuesday – meat free Tuesday! Wild garlic pesto with pasta for a quick and easy meal. I am looking forward to making the pesto for the first time using my froothie blender
- Wednesday – cod and prawns baked with tomatoes
- Thursday – chicken Kiev, jackets and mushy peas
For the rest of the week Andrew has to work (boo) so I’ll be playing it by ear a bit when making dinners for Ioan and me. I suspect that cauliflower cheese (our favourite) will feature heavily on the menu.
What’s your favourite barbecue dish, and do you have any tips for me on how to get started with some more adventurous dishes?