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December 12, 2010 / amyjmcintosh

Barbecuing 101

BBQ steak salad with feta and beans

Racking your brains over what to give your Dad/partner/brother/son this Christmas? Instead of buying them socks, why not send them off to a crash course in barbecuing? Barbecue school is the perfect gift for the man in your life. Not only will they get to master the art of barbecuing in less than four hours, but they’ll get to drink beer while they’re at it!

Not wanting to sound entirely sexist, barbecue school is great for females as well. Paul and I went along to a class in North Sydney earlier this year and whipped our barbecuing skills into tip-top shape. This class should be compulsory for all Aussies since barbecuing has become our national cuisine of sorts. It demystifies the nuts and bolts of barbecuing and teaches you the fundamentals of cooking steak, roasting, marinating and even how to cut meat.

Jason Hannah at bar-be school

Chef Jason Hannah talks us through the fundamentals of barbecuing at bar-be school.

Paul marinating the steaks at bar-be school.

My boyfriend, Paul marinating the steaks at bar-be school. Marinating good quality meat is best done for about 4 hours prior to cooking to maintain its great flavour.

Amy slaving over the barbecue.

I put my barbecue skills to the test under the direction of chef, Gerard d'Ombrille at bar-be school.

A hard day in the kitchen.

Did you know that meat is best seasoned with salt and pepper just before grilling to avoid drying out?

Chef’s tips:

  • Always cut meat against the grain, so the juices will not run as easily.
  • Marinating is best done for about 4 hours prior to cooking to maintain its great natural flavour. For second-class cuts, marinating further or overnight is fine.
  • Meat is best seasoned with salt and pepper just before grilling to avoid drying out.
  • When grilling steaks, be sure to book it evenly on all sides to ensure you have an even cooking degree all the way through. You can always cook meat further, but once over cooked it’s spoilt.
  • The most important fundamental element when cooking meat is to rest it after cooking for at least 10 to 15 mins. This will allow the meat to relax and soften and excess bloods to run off.
  • When carving meat, be sure to cut it against the grain. The will prevent the meat going tough and highlight its beautiful cross section.

BBQ sirloin steak with a salad of oven-dried tomatoes, persian fetta and rocket
Serves three

BBQ steak salad with feta and beans

BBQ steak salad with feta and beans

Ingredients:
3 x 100g beef sirloin
2 sliced brown onions
100g Persian feta
2 x bunch rocket
10 oven-dried tomatoes
10 steamed green beans
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
sea salt and black pepper
marinade of red wine, olive oil and chopped rosemary

Method:
1. Marinate beef for about 4 hours (to avoid food poisoning, put meat in the fridge, especially in summer).
2. Heat BBQ to hot then turn to about 3/4s prior to cooking.
3. BBQ beef for about 3 mins each side until it is tender to touch.
4. Add sliced onions to the hot plate and caramelise. Best cooked on high and tossed occasionally. Season generously.
5. Rest beef for 5 to 10 mins on a tray and retain juices.
6. Combine rocket, sliced oven-dried tomatoes, feta, green beans in a bowl and set aside.
7. Drizzle balsamic vengar and a little olive oil in a bowl with juices from beef and season with salt and pepper.
8. Slice beef thinly and add to salad with your now caramelised onions.
9. Toss lightly and drizzle with dressing to serve.
10. Serve at once.

For more info on bar-be school, check out their website or phone 1300 227 745.

In the mood to barbecue? Check out my seafood BBQ menu.

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