It’s that time of the year in Australia (well coming to it) when families want to move meal times from inside in the warmth to outside in the heat and BBQ. So we hunted down Robyn Verrall from Bullys Beef who raises Dorper Sheep and Angus Cattle on pasture at her Fleurieu property, meaning there are no grain fed short cuts, hormones or confined growing conditions. It’s a natural farming process which is important to her, and she knows exactly what you should be looking for when it comes to a great BBQ!
The best thing about Summer is the food; we go from comfort food in bowls to meat and salads and one of the two biggest questions I get asked it how to tell if the meat is fresh and what to cook? When buying meat there are 3 things to look for when buying packaged meat.
- Smell: never eat anything you think is ‘turning’. Meat should have hint of a smell a little like blood or stronger if its game. It should smell pleasant and nothing much more.
- Red Meat should look red, pink if pork and white if chicken. It may sound simple but some meats can have a slight tinge of purple in them this is ok, but it means the meat is beginning to have sat for a long period of time and needs to be used immediately or frozen.
- Check the hydration of the meat, gently push your finger into the meat and once you have taken it away it should spring back and the only evidence is a slight indentation on the packet, if it stays deflated then I wouldn’t buy it.
Buying from a butcher or farmer direct the same rules apply and many should be able to tell you a kill date. Take it back if you think it has a smell or looks to be turning. Don’t just give rotten food to your animals either, it will make them sick too.
What are the best meats to cook in a BBQ? I say all of them, from beef to lamb to chicken, grilling brings a different flavour to roasting or frying. A BBQ is an Australian tradition and home chefs are only limited by their imagination and time. There is nothing nicer than having friends and family over to share a meal, where everyone can sit and enjoy each other’s company and eat some of the best meats in the world.
As well as doing the traditional lamb, beef or chicken roast, a staple in the Australian BBQ is the classic sausage sizzle.
It is hard to walk past a BBQ cooking beautiful sausages, they don’t always have to be beef or lamb there are now so many flavours available to all tastes including vegan and vegetarian. Gourmet butchers have fabulous ranges as well as supermarkets.
Depending upon the event, breakfast, lunch and dinner can be cooked outside and eaten with family, friends and or by yourself. Depending upon your time and budget there are many things to cook in a BBQ, here are some of my favourites:
- Any kind of steak: Rump, T-bone, Oyster blade, Scotch Fillet, each will have a different texture and will require different cook times depending upon how you like it.
- Chops: I love nothing more than lamb on a BBQ, Loin, forequarter, Beef or pork, try saying no to beautiful pork ribs slow cooked on the BBQ.
- Sausages: beef, lamb, chicken, vegan & vegetarian as well as all of the gour met ones available.
One thing when it comes to the hot plate – never let raw meat, poultry or seafood touch cooked meat or any ready-to-eat foods, as this can cause cross-contamination. Food borne pathogens from the raw meat can easily spread to ready-to-eat foods and cause food poisoning. For that reason, always use separate plates, cutting boards and utensils to keep raw meats, poultry and seafood separate from ready-to-eat foods at every stage of the cooking process.
Find Bullys Beef on Facebook or email [email protected] for home delivery order form into Adelaide. If you’re going to BBQ this Summer, make sure your meat is grown and sourced locally and responsibly!