Summer is the perfect time to pull out the BBQ and try some new recipes. But have you ever thought about the produce that you’re using in your cooking? There are many people who will opt for ‘organic’ items, and others who will only by items such as RSPCA Approved chicken, but there are not yet enough people who will focus their buying habits on a ‘sustainable’ or ‘ethical’ basis.
The word ‘ethical’ can be manipulated by companies, as what is considered ethical by one person may not be ethical to another. Regardless of the different jargon used by companies, animal welfare is at the forefront of the production of both ethical and sustainable produce. This includes raising animals that are able to naturally graze as opposed to being on feeding regimes, and are free range, allowed to live in family groups on pastures in low enough densities that they’re able to live a natural life and express instinctive behaviours like bathing, scratching, jumping and herding, which they cannot do inside sheds.
Consumers have the choice to eat consciously through seeking out produce that uses these sustainable farming methods, and by buying meat from butchers that produce farm-to-tail produce, where they purchase whole animal bodies and aim to reduce waste by using as much of the animal as possible in their cuts. For example, Feather and Bone in Marrickville, Sydney has built their business on this premise, and there are many more like them around Australia.
For these recipes, we recommend you consider using sustainable produce – the ethical and healthy choice.
Following on in our series of becoming barbecue-ready, we thought we’d share some of our favourite recipes to try out this summer. So invite your friends and family around for an outdoor feast, and prepare to impress them with these five simple yet delicious BBQ recipes.
1. Spicy barbecue steak
Add a little spice to your beef with this quick and straightforward recipe. Serves four and is ready to eat in 15 minutes. This vibrant and tasty recipe is courtesy of taste.com.au.
3 green shallots, thinly sliced
2 1/2 tbl grape seed oil
3 tsp rice wine vinegar
3 tsp mirin seasoning
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely grated
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
4 (200g each) porterhouse steaks
500g of rice – cooked
Steamed vegetables of choice
Mix the shallots, grape seed oil, rice wine vinegar, mirin seasoning, ginger and wasabi in a bowl and season well.
Preheat your grill to medium-high level. Cover your steaks in oil and season.
Cook the steaks to your desired liking, turning as needed. Once cooked, leave to rest for 2 minutes before slicing thickly.
Divide the rice evenly amongst four plates. Top with the steak and drizzle generously with the shallot and wasabi mixture.
Serve with steamed vegetables.
2. Sweet and juicy barbecue chicken skewers
No BBQ is complete without grilled chicken skewers. They’re practically mandatory! Preparation time is just over one hour (to marinade) and this recipe makes 8 pieces. This is courtesy oftaste.com.au.
225g of tinned pineapple slices in natural juice, strained, juice reserved
2 tbl tomato sauce
1 tbl soy sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 large red bell pepper, halved, deseeded, cut into 2cm chunks
4 shallots, trimmed, cut into 3cm pieces
550g of fresh chicken breast diced
Olive oil spray
Mix the pineapple juice, tomato sauce, garlic and soy sauce in a bowl. Add the chicken and coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
Thread the peppers, shallots, pineapple and chicken alternately onto the skewers and spray lightly with olive oil.
Cook on preheated BBQ for ten minutes until golden, turning occasionally. Ensure chicken is cooked well through before serving.
Note: Soak wooden skewers in water for 15 minutes before use to prevent burning.
3. Smoky-sweet barbecued pork loin
This tender pork loin is packed with sweet, spicy and smoky flavours, perfect for large crowds. Preparation takes 1 hour with another hour and a half for cooking. But we promise, it’s well worth the wait. Serves 12. This recipe courtesy of taste-masterJamie Oliver.
1 tsp of fennel seeds
1 tsp of allspice berries
1 tsp of coriander seeds
1 tsp of ground nutmeg
1 tsp of smoked paprika
1 tsp of mustard powder
2 kg of skinless, boneless fresh pork loin
BBQ sauce of your choice
Make the rub by blending the spices together with a pestle and mortar (or use a blender). Season with salt and pepper and add two tablespoons of olive oil.
Trim the fat off the pork and rub the spice mix evenly over. Marinate in the fridge for one hour.
On a preheated BBQ, sear the pork on a high heat for five to ten minutes, occasionally turning until evenly grilled.
Cover with tin foil and cook on a medium heat for an additional 40-60 minutes, turning every five to ten minutes.
Drizzle the meat with BBQ sauce and allow it cook for the final few minutes.
Once cooked through, allow the meat to stand for 2 minutes and apply a final layer of BBQ sauce before serving.
4. Thai-style barbecued seafood
Try something a little different with this mix of Thai-flavoured seafood. Preparation time is 4 hours (refrigeration) and serves four. This flavour-packed recipe courtesy of taste.com.au.
1 (200g) salmon fillet
1 (200g) blue-eye fillet
1 kg of medium green prawns, peeled, deveined, tails intact
4 cleaned calamari hoods
Steamed Oriental rice and barbecued lime halves, to serve
2 tbl soy sauce
2 tbl brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3cm piece fresh ginger cut thinly
1 stick lemongrass (white part only), finely chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
4 kaffir lime leaves, vein removed, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fish sauce
Make the marinade by mixing the ingredients in a large bowl.
Cut the fish and calamari into mouth-sized chunks and add the prawns.
Combine the marinade and seafood in a large bowl and toss until evenly covered. Cover and refrigerate for four hours.
Cook over a preheated BBQ grill (or chargrill pan) until seafood is cooked through.
Serve with rice and barbecued lime halves.
5. Tabasco grilled vegetable skewers
For vegetarians and vegetable lovers alike, these spicy skewers are a great way to add some punch to the BBQ. Preparation and cooking time is only 15 minutes and serves two. This delicious recipe courtesy ofCountry Cleaver.
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
1 eggplant diced
3 tbl olive oil
1 tbl Tabasco sauce
½ tbl sugar
3 tbl coriander
Soak the skewers in water for 15 minutes to prevent burning.
Whisk together the olive oil, Tabasco, sugar and coriander and season with salt and pepper.
Alternate the tomatoes and eggplant onto the skewers and baste with the marinade
Grill on a preheated BBQ until soft, turning as needed. Serve and enjoy.
Creating delicious barbecue meals doesn’t have to be difficult. These five easy recipes are guaranteed to impress your friends, whatever their choice. The best side dish is a healthy portion of laughter, and is best enjoyed on a lazy Sunday afternoon with your nearest and dearest.
And if you enjoy BBQing during the summer time, make sure to check out our BBQ Guide piece – it has everything you need to know about barbecuing, from how to set up your new BBQ to tips for using wood chips to give more flavour to your food.