Tag Archives: Black pepper

Recipe: BBQ Sauce

BBQ Sauce
BBQ Sauce

Ingredients;


1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
10 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 fresh chillies, stalks and seeds removed
Olive oil

10 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
10 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
Small bunch of fresh coriander
10 bay leaves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
6 cloves
Zest of 2 oranges

Juice of 2 oranges
200g soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon of Molasses
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
200ml tomato ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons English mustard
200ml apple juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Line

Continuing on from the BBQ Rub last week we have the second crucial element for making great BBQ meat, the sauce! This recipe makes about 750ml of sauce so make sure you have a few glass bottles or jars available to sterilise and store it, unless you’re planning to use it all in two or three days. Why make such a large quantity? Easy, it takes just as long to make half the amount and you’ll want to have it again and again so why not make plenty to start with :)

There are a lot of ingredients so before you begin, take them all out and prep them, I find this helps me to make sure I don’t accidentally forget something.

To start, take your onion, garlic and chillies and blitz them together in a blender or food processor until you have a paste. Then take a pan add some olive oil and get it on to a low heat. Add the paste and fry it for about 5 minutes.

While that’s happening take your thyme, rosemary, coriander, bay leaves, cumin, fennel, paprika and cloves place them in your blender or food processor. Next add the orange zest, you don’t wan’t the pith (white bit) and blitz this to a purée.

Once the paste has had it’s five minutes add the purée and cook for another minute. Next add the sugar and molasses, stir them in well and continue to cook it for another few minutes until the sugar dissolves and you have a thick brown paste.

Now add 285ml of water stiring it in well and let it heat slowly for another two or three minutes. Now add all the remaining ingredients, stir it well and bring the lot to the boil. Now take a deep breath, turn the heat down a little and let it simmer for about five to ten minutes until the mixture starts to thicken a little.

Grab a large bowl and a sieve and pour the sauce through the sieve (depending on how thick it has gotten you may need to “encourage” it with the back of a spoon) into your bowl to filter out the larger bits, and throw away the bits left in the sieve. Repeat this process a couple of times until you’re left with a silky smooth looking sauce.

Leave it to cool completely. Then either, use it straight away like a glaze (just brush it over your meat of choice in the last few minutes of cooking) or pour it into your sterilised glass jars or bottles to stored for use later.

How do I sterilise glass jars or bottles?

The easiest way I’ve found is to fill the kitchen sink with boiling water from the kettle and submerge the jars/bottles and their lids in it for about ten minutes. Once you remove them add the sauce immediately and get the lids on tight.

Once they cool they can be stored in a cool dark place or the fridge. The sauce should keep for about six months.

Oh and just to keep it in perspective, this recipe should be enough to do about eight full racks of back ribs. But we’ll get into that more on Friday, so y’all come back now! :)

Recipe: BBQ Rub

BBQ Rub
BBQ Rub

Ingredients;

1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons paprika
Zest of one orange, finely diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon brown sugar
A good pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, peeled

Line

This post is the first of 3 recipes that will be coming over the next few days, the 3 together make the best BBQ Ribs I’ve tasted, yes better than anything I’ve been served in any restaurant, anywhere, so do try this. Alternatively, it can be used on almost any meat to add a massive flavour boost.

Pound your fennel seeds to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar and mix with all the other ingredients (except the Garlic) until you have a deep red powder. I find the best way to do this is to add the lot to a small Tupperware box, seal it and then shake it (like a Polaroid picture 😉 )

Next you want to add your garlic, you will need to either finely grate the garlic or use a garlic press to mince it up real good, then add this to the other ingredients and mix it again.

Finally, apply this to your meat, rubbing it in well (get your minds out of the gutter down the back) then wrap in cling film and store in your fridge overnight, before cooking.

Kitchen Essentials: Herbs, Spices and other things in the press

One thing that I’ve found makes cooking regularly a lot easier is having a “stock” selection of certain items close to hand in the kitchen at all times. I’m going to list the ones I always have some of below.

I’m going to start off with dry herbs and spices. If you have these to hand in the kitchen you can almost always make something from the odds and ends in the fridge, what to do with them has come with experience for me but I hope I can prevent some people from having the kitchen disasters I’ve had with my experiments over the years, Citrus stir-fry anyone? that’s how I learnt that tasting as you’re cooking is essential.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, first up the essential dried herbs and spices in no particular order…

  • Table Salt
  • Rock Salt
  • Pepper
  • Black peppercorns
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Cumin Seeds
  • Ground Cumin
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Ground Coriander
  • Chilli flakes
  • Ground Ginger
  • Sesame seeds
  • Paprika
  • 5 spice
  • 7 spice

I keep others as well but these are the ones I use the most.

Next, the bottles…

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (usually a generic brand, I gave up on buying separate Olive Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil a long time ago, as Olive Oil seems to be only available in the supermarkets from the premier brands so why pay €10+ for 1L Olive Oil when I’m paying a quarter for the Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • Sesame oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Dark Soy Sauce

When it comes to Vinegars I just can’t get enough, I’ve listed the essentials above but we have a broad selection of Balsamic vinegars, thick ones, thin ones, mature ones, regional ones I’m estimating about 10 different Balsamics in the press, cause I’m too afraid/embarrassed to count them all :)

So what about fresh stuff, I’ve listed the ones I try to always have below, it’s not always possible but these are rarely off the sopping list.

  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Chilli
  • Chives
  • Celery
  • Carrot
  • Parsnip
  • Potatoes

And yes feel free to point and laugh because I buy fresh herbs instead of growing them in a pot but truth be told I’ve never managed to keep them alive for terribly long, any gardeners out there fancy sharing some hints and tips I’m all ears.

Other Items I like to keep handy are…

  • “Ready for the oven bread rolls” (Fresh bread + selection of oils, vinegars, cheeses and dried meats = ultra quick meal)
  • Fresh Pesto
  • Italian Tomato Sauce
  • A Jar of Pickles or Cornichons
  • Eggs
  • A few different Cheeses
  • Dried meats (Salami, Chorizo, Pancetta, Parma Ham)

Now I know this is a long list but if you are cooking regularly, it won’t be long before you find that you have most of these already, so rather than rush off to the shops and buy them all in one go, build them up as you use them, but once they’re in the collection don’t let them run out :)

Recipe: Italian Tomato Sauce

Italian Tomato Sauce
Italian Tomato Sauce

Ingredients;

1 anchovy fillet
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 large handful of basil, stalks and leaves separated and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
4 x 400g of tinned plum tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
salt
pepper
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar

Line

Chop the garlic as finely as possibly, remove the leaves from the basil and roughly tear them up, take the green part of the Basil stalks and chop them up reasonably fine. Open the tins of plum tomatoes.

Heat a large saucepan and pour in roughly 2 tablespoons of oil, once this has heated add the anchovy and garlic, you want to stir fry these gently till the garlic starts to colour slightly and the anchovy starts to break up.

Next add the plum tomatoes, oregano, about half the basil leaves, all the chopped basil stalks and stir gently being careful not to break the tomatoes if at all possible. Put a lid on the saucepan and bring to a gentle boil and simmer for at least an hour stirring occasionally. I have let this sauce simmer gently for anything up to 3 hours depending on how much time I have on my hands, this makes the sauce a bit thicker and the flavours stronger.

At this point you can start to break up the tomatoes with a spoon or alternatively use a hand blender to blend it into a nice thick sauce.

Next add the remaining basil and taste the sauce. Then season with salt and pepper to taste, add a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and stir them in well.

I’ve found from experience that the better the plum tomatoes the thicker the sauce, however if you find that your sauce is not as thick as you like it, simply simmer it for longer the next time you try.

Recipe: Pesto

Pesto

Ingredients;

1/2 clove of garlic, finely diced
3 large handfuls of basil
1 handful of lightly toasted pine nuts
1 handful of parmesan, freshly grated
extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice
salt
pepper

Line

Pound the garlic with a pinch of salt and the basil leaves in a pestle and mortar.

Add the pine nuts and pound again.

Next, add half the parmesan. Stir gently and add olive oil – just enough to bind the sauce and get it to an oozy consistency.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add most of the remaining cheese. Pour in some more oil and taste again.

Keep adding a bit more cheese or oil until you are happy with the taste and consistency.

Finally, add a squeeze of lemon juice and you’re done.