The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

A Birthday BBQ

The BBQ weekend in August.

My daughter was arriving with her partner on Friday it was to be her 35th birthday party, we had decided to do a BBQ and a curry, in which order I had not decided, I thought I would leave that up to the weather gods. They arrived at just after 13:00, so as I had prepared everything in the morning  and the sun was shining it was thought that evening would be the opportune time.

Up early I had been down to get some wild boar collar from my freezer.

Next it was off to my local Turkish butchers and bought, a small leg of lamb (this was for the curry the next day) which the butcher trimmed and diced for me, giving me the bone (cut) for the stock. I got 1.5kg of 50% beef and 50% lamb mince, 8 large lamb chops, various breads and poppadum’s. Coriander, parsley and various Yoghurts and cheeses.

I next popped into Lidl to get some pork schnitzel meat.

I had bought large frozen prawns from the fishmonger (Gosh) in our local Citti Markt on Thursday these had been slowly defrosting in the fridge.

All of the rest of the herbs and spices I had or would come out of the garden.

The scene thus set, I set about making the koftes.

Turkish Koftes

1 kg of mixed mince
I often make Kofte so I make my spices in quite large quantities and always have it in a large jar.This consists of in volume.
1 sweet paprika powder
¼ chilli flakes
1 dried oregano
½ ground coriander
½ dried mint
½ thyme
¼ dried garlic powder
I mix these all together and store in an air tight container and I always have it too hand when I need (BBQs can come on quite unexpectedly).

I added 2 table spoons of this mixture to the mince, mixing well and adding salt and pepper to taste (yes I always taste my raw mixture). If making for the first time it is also worthwhile frying a small ball of the mixture and then tasting to see if you have the seasoning right, but after a few times you know when You have it to your taste and hopefully everyone else’s

To this I added a chopped shallot, a crushed garlic clove, a handful of chopped parsley (including the stalks), a teaspoon of tomato paste and finely a juice of half a lemon, taste and adjust with any seasoning you wish, if you want them a little more spicy add a tsp of chilli flakes.

Last but not least I added 2 desert spoons of Ajvar, this is a readymade (you can make your own)paprika, aubergine paste, it comes in mild, hot and very hot strengths, if you are feeding young children beware, the very hot does what it says.
Mix all well, cover and let it stand in a cool place (fridge) to allow the flavours to develop.
While this is happening, you can get on with the rest of the feast.

Wild boar burgers

500 g of the 50%/50% mince mixture, to this add 250g of minced wild boar collar (mince it through a 3mm plate on your mincer or mince in a kitchen machine), mix together with a desert spoon of game spices (see my recipe),  soften an onion, but only just to take the rawness off it, mix this in with a crushed clove (or two) of garlic and a slug of red wine (port is better) and some fresh chopped herbs (parsley, thyme rosemary, summer savoury) . Mix well, cover and allow to stand.

Next the pork skewers.
Cut the schnitzel into thin long strips, thread these onto thin metal skewers (thin ones make it easier to thread), turn in neutral oil, dust with Souvlaki powder, I bought mine already made, as Lidl had a Greek week on the go and a squeeze of lemon juice.

The Piri-Piri Prawns.
Now this is not what I would call a true Piri-piri as I added yoghurt instead of oil as a true Portuguese Piri-piri marinade, but I think that yoghurt mellows the sauce and it doesn’t burn the palate quite so much.
Make the sauce as per the one I used for the Piri-piri chicken, but add about a 250g pot of full cream Yoghurt to finish along with a good squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste..
Add the drained, dried peeled prawns to the mixture, cover and allow to marinade in the refrigerator.

Lamb Kebabs

500g lamb steak
4 red onions cut into ¼
Some sweet tomatoes (I used the long plum type) cut into ¼
I used 2 large boneless leg chops for this, marinated overnight in mint, rosemary, thyme, oil lemon juice, the chops should have the fat left on the outside (I love crispy lamb skin). Cut these into good sized chunks and thread onto skewers, starting with a piece of meat, then a piece of tomato, then a piece of onion,  continuing until the skewer is full (again a flat skewer is best)ending with a piece of meat this holds everything in place.

Dry Rub Paprika Pork Belly

Soak wooden skewers in water for a good half hour before starting, dust your pork belly all over with a mixture of paprika, curry powder, coriander, mustard powder,salt and pepper, do not use any oil as the pork belly is fat enough. Push one end of the strip of belly down the skewer then turn the meat around  overlapping as it goes up the skewer, forcing the last end over the skewer point (it will stretch and because of the skin will not break).

You can of course buy these from every tom, dick or harry now, but I much prefer to make my own, you can pick the leaner pieces of pork belly and the spicing is of YOUR own making.

Easy peasy bean salad.

1 tin of butter beans
1 tin of pinto beans
1 tin of red beans
1 tin of chick peas
200g of fresh green beans (flat ones)
1 large onion
1 clove of garlic
2 tbs. of white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste.

Dice the onion not too fine and soften in a little oil, add the garlic, but do not allow to brown, add the white wine vinegar and allow to cool.
Top and tail the green beans and chop into 2cm pieces cook in salted water until just cooked (still a bit of a bight).
Open the tins and wash under running water to get rid of the slime, put all in a large bowl along with the green beans, pour over the onion/garlic sauce, adjust seasoning, that’s it!

Just before lighting the BBQ, form your kofte around the flat skewers, flat because I find that if done on round ones, they tend to spin and you can never get them all browning at the same time.
Cover and set aside while you make your burgers. 

I use a form ring, it makes them all the same diameter and thickness. Pack them well down that way they do not break apart.

Thread your prawns on the skewers (don’t do as I did rub your eye with your finger, ouch).

We also grilled green long sweet peppers

The main accompaniment was Papas Arrugadas (small salty wrinkly potatoes) absolutely perfect for a BBQ, here is how I make them from a previous blog, this also gives the recipe for the Piri-Piri marinade.Papas Arrugadas and Piri-Piri marinade

Now you’re ready to rumble, I have a variety of BBQs but for tonight I used my beast (a barrel type) as it is easy to control the temperature and has a large capacity. I also used my swinging tripod one.
First fired up the beast ,  Beech briquettes into the lighting funnel, place over a couple of fire lighters on the lower ash grid, 5 minutes and they are perfect. 

Pour into the centre of the BBQ, lid down and in a few minutes you have 200°C, you can adjust the temperature by opening and closing the vent on the smoker side box and adjusting the damper on the flue. I have now got the adjustment off to a T and can control the temperature very closely.
The side air vent (we had a few spots of rain, but it didn't damped the evening)

The flue damper and thermometer

I do not BBQ directly over the coals but to the right and left I also BBQ more delicate food stuffs (veg and fish) on the top rack and this I also use to keep food warm.

When the Beast was all aglow, I lit the swinging grill and this was used to do the pork skewers, here the degree of brownness is carried out by adjusting the free

swinging grill by means of a chain, that can be raised or lowered accordingly. The other good think about the flat skewers, is that because of their length, the handles are outside of the BBQ when the lid is down and do not get hot.

So all that was required now was to set the table (the girls done this), get the red wine opened and the cool beer (for Martin) out of the fridge. We ate and drank well into the early hours, discussing this and that, putting most of the world to rights.
Notice the flames, you just cannot trust the youngster to do anything right

The pork skewers
Plating up
Daughter distracting dad
Dad doing it right