In the next installment from our Devon-based BBQ supremo, Marcus Bawdon shows off his plans for this coming Fathers' Day.
It doesn't involve gardening.
OK, everyone knows that grilling burgers and sausages on the BBQ can be pretty boring, right? Haunted by sad offerings of cheap, nasty snags and fat-laden patties from yonder, no doubt many of you have had your taste buds burnt in the past. In more ways than one.
However, I still like the contemplative aspect of flipping and turning them on the grill. Especially on Fathers’ Day, with a beer in hand and a little helper by my side. You know, getting in some real quality time.
Better still, with a few simple tweaks and additions, I also believe that you can take even the simplest of cuts and turn them from ‘boring’ into something spectacularly filthy and worthy of the ‘Gram.
So here are a few suggestions for you to take away in time for Fathers’ Day that dress up Turner & George’s Butchers Dogs and Black Label burgers - which can also be found in their range of BBQ boxes. And fair play, they are great products in their own right.
Use simply and cook well, you are already streets ahead.
But if you want to take them to a higher and (dare I say it) dirtier level, this is the way forward and this is definitely what I will be doing on June 21st.
Sweet, sweet allium
Caramelised onions add so much to both burgers and hot dogs. By adding sweetness and charred flavours, they are a must. The trick is to slow cook in a pan or on a hotplate, with a little butter until turning dark and sticky. Do not rush this!
Black pudding crumble
Doreen’s black pudding triangles are legendary in their quality and a slab of this is ideal. Crispy black pudding crumble works wonders as a topping. Start to cook on a hot plate or pan and use a fork to break the black pudding down into a coarse crisp crumble.
Gravy makes everything better, right? Think then about adding some Beef Bones Gravy to the mix. There is something quite majestic about pouring it over a bun, so that it soaks in and oozes out, adding a delicious savoury element that coats everything and drips over your fingers. Simply warm up in a pan on the BBQ.
Slow down Buster!
Butcher’s Dogs are best cooked and slow indirect at 140-160°C, until the internal temperature reaches 74°C. Cook too fast and hot and they may just split, losing all their tasty juices.
Bring on the crust
Burgers can be grilled direct but tend to lose all their juices to the fire, causing it to flare up. Personally, I love a chapa (hot plate) burger, as I find them juicier with a good crust. Place the hot plate over the hot coals until it is sizzling hot and cook the burgers that way. My preference is slightly pink (or 60-65°C for internal temperature) with wonderful cheese squares melted, or beer steamed under a cloche. Try an upturned stainless mixing bowl with handle attached and splashing in some of that pale ale you'll be drinking.
Once you have your burgers and hot dogs ready, load up into quality buns. I like a demi-brioche bun and when it comes to Butcher’s Dogs, I like to make my own extra-large demi brioche hot dog rolls. Then just start piling up with the onions and black pudding crumble, before spooning the rich gravy all over. A little mustard and some pickles for the win and you are there.
Enjoy with beef gravy dribbling down your grinning chin.
Happy Fathers’ Day