Burning the Charcoal


OK, you’re just going to have to bear with me on the barbeque posts. It’s early summer, we’ve got a long way to go yet, and I have to warn you now – there are going to be a lot of them. I’m sure I’m not alone, no scrap that, I know I’m not alone in loving a barbeque in the summer months. Really, what’s not to love? That smell; the fresh air; the relaxed; party atmosphere; the easy cooking with big rewards.

The weather was rather temperamental in London town today. I walked to the station feeling hot in the muggy air, despite the early hour, but then by the time I got into town I was feeling decidedly chilly, wishing I’d brought a jacket. By mid afternoon the weather had turned again and I walked back to my office from a meeting with the sun beating down on my back. I had to cool off with a Starbucks frappuccino – had to, you understand.

My journey home on the train was unbearably hot and uncomfortable, and when Rob picked me up from the station and suggested barbequing the chicken we had in the fridge I lit up. What a great idea and why not? Sure, it’s only the two of us and it’s an otherwise average Tuesday evening, but I have to tell you, sitting here in the garden in my shorts, typing away whilst sipping a glass of rose and smelling the charcoal slowly burning, I feel in the holiday mood. You should try it – don’t wait for an occasion or friends to come over to light the coals.

So what’s cooking tonight? We have the usual offering of sausages, burgers and salad, and the chicken is currently marinating in a little barbeque mix I cooked up. I’ll share it with you now, but I should warn you this is only the second time I’ve tried it. I mixed it together the other weekend and it tasted pretty good, so I’m giving it another go tonight.

Barbeque Marinade

1 chopped onion
2 crushed garlic cloves
200ml tomato ketchup
2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons of runny honey
The juice of ½ a lemon
1 teaspoon of Worcester sauce
2 tablespoons of Jack Daniels, bourbon or whisky

Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes. Next stir in the rest of the ingredients, mix well and simmer for a few minutes. Allow to cool, then smother it over meat and allow to marinade for at least half an hour (but the longer the better).

EDITED: On a second attempt at this I changed the 4 tablespoons of tomato puree to 200ml tomato ketchup to give more sauce.


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