With the warm season upon us, many Australians are firing up the barbecue.
And if you have guests to entertain, making sure everything is cooked through can be a challenging task.
But Australian top chef Shane Delia has shared his cooking tips for barbecuing meat to perfection this spring – and get the most out of your outdoor grill.
Top chef Shane Delia has shared his cooking tips for barbecuing meat to perfection this spring
With the warm season upon us, many Australians are firing up the barbecue (stock image)
Five best lamb cuts for the barbecue
- Forequarter chops – Packed full of flavour and perfect for marinating, chops stay moist as they cook making them great for the BBQ.
- Lamb leg – Did you know you could slow cook on the BBQ?! Pop the hood down to slow cook your lamb leg, or opt for a butterflied leg for a quicker cooking time. This cut is great for feeding a whole group and won’t break the bank!
- Lamb sausages – a classic that’s sure to please everyone. Don’t pierce the skins when cooking as the juices will escape causing the sausages to become dry.
- Lamb ribs – An incredibly juicy and flavoursome cut that is perfect for the BBQ. Cook them as is, or marinate, for a mouth-watering treat.
- Loin chops – known as the lamb ‘T-bone’, the loin is an incredibly tender cut that is suited to cooking over high heats.
‘Australians love to be outdoors and will use any excuse to fire up the BBQ as soon as the weather warms and the days get longer,’ Shane, who has teamed up with Australian Lamb to share his top tricks, said.
If you’re entertaining guests at a public area such as the beach or park, the owner and head chef at Maha Restaurant and Biggie Smalls said it was best to stick to cooking cuts that are ‘suited to grilling hot and fast’.
‘As [public] BBQs don’t have hoods, stick to… cutlets, forequarter chops, loin chops, lamb mince patties, sausages and kebab,’ he explained.
‘As with all barbecuing, ensure you’re cooking on a very high heat to seal in the juices and create a delicious crust.
‘Do as much prep as possible before you leave for the beach to make your life easier. For lamb kebabs, cut the lamb up and place in a snap lock bag with the marinade so you only need to thread the meat onto the skewers when you’re ready to cook.
‘We’re all for mixing and matching flavours – but when they’re yours. Make sure to clean the BBQ well before and after use, scraping off any material with a spatula and wiping down with a paper towel.
‘For a simple cleanup, place foil or baking paper on the cooking surface before grilling your meat.’
If you’re entertaining guests at a public area such as the beach or park, Shane said it was best to stick to cooking cuts that are ‘suited to grilling hot and fast’ (lamb loins with Asian slaw)
For those who don’t have an outdoor space, Shane said there are plenty of ways to enjoy a barbecue in the comfort of your home (Malaysian-style BBQ lamb salad)
For those who don’t have an outdoor space, Shane said there are plenty of ways to enjoy a barbecue in the comfort of your home.
‘Not all of us have outside space. Don’t have a BBQ? Don’t fear! You can achieve the same great results from your kitchen,’ he explained.
‘By cooking in a pan using a high heat, you’ll trap in the juices and create beautiful searing and caramelisation.
‘If you are using a pan on your stove top, heavy-based cast iron pans work best as they ensure the high heat distributes evenly.
‘This will result in a delicious crust on your meat, similar to what you would get on a BBQ hotplate.’
And if you want to cook a barbecue meal midweek before the sun sets after work, Shane shared some of his quick and easy recipes.
‘With daylight savings, we’ve all gained an hour of evening light, enabling us to still BBQ after work – give lamb mince patties on the BBQ a go or visit your butcher for pre-marinated and butterflied lamb legs to feed the whole family,’ he said.
‘Preparation is key. Pop your desired quick-cook meat cuts into a marinade and place in the fridge in the morning.
‘As soon as you get home from work you can take the meat out and have dinner cooked in no time.’
Butterflied lamb leg with kale salad
A fresh springtime take on the lamb leg roast that takes a fraction of the time.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 1.5kg lamb leg, butterflied
- 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
- 2 red onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup currants
- 1 bunch kale, washed, trimmed & finely sliced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled & grated
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 cup (260g) Greek style yogurt
- 2 tbsp finely chopped mint, with extra sprigs to serve
- Sea salt flakes, to taste
1. Preheat barbecue to medium and cook the butterflied lamb leg, covered, for 25 minutes, turning halfway. Transfer to a clean plate, season, loosely cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice lamb.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large non-stick frypan, over medium heat. Add onions and currants, season and cook for 10-12 minutes or until onions have softened and caramalised. Cook for a further minute, then remove to serving bowl. Serve with sliced lamb, yoghurt sauce and mint springs.
3. For the yoghurt sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl with half a teaspoon of sea salt flakes. Stir to combine, adding enough warm water to give it a thick creamy consistency.
• Ensure the thickness of the butterflied lamb leg is even by slicing and opening out the thicker half. This will ensure even cooking.
• Any leftover lamb can be sliced and added to a salad with sliced baby cos lettuce and tabouleh.
• You can also make sandwiches with any leftover lamb; other fillings can include pickles and sliced tomato, or hummus and sliced cucumber.