The sun is shining, albeit sporadically , which means its officially BBQ time! I will confess to being a bit unadventurous when it comes to charcoal activity so when I got the invitation to attend a Weber BBQ demo at Hillmount Garden Centre, I was cock-a-hoop. Finally a chance to uncover the possibilities of the barbie!
I had no idea what to expect so I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted with plate of pulled pork, salad, coleslaw and salad being served to all the guests. Fully replete, we took our seats and were warmly welcomed by Robin Mercer from Hillmount who introduced our chef for the evening, Jamie.
Jamie gamely laid out his ambitious plans to showcase gas and charcoal BBQs, demonstrate a range of equipment and share a range of recipes. That’s quite a lot to deliver in one evening session!
Having around 4 different bbqs on the go at once, Jamie was able to show us a variety of techniques. He ingeniously used a waffle iron to make the pudding before the meat got cooked. This was a revelation. Previously, the extent of my pudding creations has been barbecued bananas or at best, bananas split with chocolate down the middle , wrapped in foil and heated through! This was a whole new territory. Not satisfied with just the waffle, Jamie went on to show us how to make a flourless peanut butter cake on a pizza stone in the BBQ.
Equally impressive was the use of a fine mesh basket on the rotisserie arm to cook potatoes (parboiled) with tomatoes, garlic and rosemary. The rotisserie kept rotating them so they were beautifully roasted on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
To cook crispy duck, we were shown how to score the skin of the duck, rub with garlic, lemon zest, rosemary and thyme and cook with the lid on for around 2.5 hours. Other recipes shared and demonstrated were for Chinese bbq style pork, steak with barbecued courgette and fennel salad and some lovely Singapore noodles.
For me though, a highlight of the evening was the preparation and build of proper home- made burgers. It’s all very well trying the impressive stuff but without the humble burger, a barbie just doesn’t seem complete. Jamie made his with nothing but good quality minced steak and some seasoning on the outside. He used a burger press to get the perfect shape and cooked on direct heat. While the burgers were cooking ( and I was salivating) he mixed mayo, gherkin, onion, cayenne pepper, Dijon mustard and seasoning, blitzed it with a hand blender and used it when building the burger with grilled buns, lettuce, cheese, tomato and sliced onions- perfect!
Now all I need for summer is a Weber BBQ, a rotisserie, wire basket and waffle iron!
If you fancy discovering your inner BBQ diva, Iwould encourage you to book in for one of Hillmount’s BBQ Academy sessions at their premises on the Upper Braniel road in Gilnahirk .
What Do You Think?
Recommend this content to other Eating Ideas readers by giving it a thumbs up!
Or why not tell us what you think by leaving a comment?