A Sweet and Savory Menu for Your Summer Barbecuing

Fire up the grill and take to these three recipes that will upgrade your typical burger and hot dog.

Now that it's unofficially summer, barbecues are making outdoor dining perfect for sharing time with family and friends. Rather than resorting to old-fashioned hamburgers and hot dogs, kick your grilling game up a notch with this simple yet impressive sweet and savory menu. Get ready to fire up the grill!


BBQ Corn with Bacon and Chili


Barbecued Corn with Bacon and Chili Butter

What You'll Need:

  • 4 corn cobs, in their husks
  • 8 rashers smoked streaky bacon
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the chili butter:

  • 100 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • zest of 1 lime
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Prepare your barbecue for cooking over a medium heat.

Prepare the corn by pulling back the outer husks and removing all the strands of fibre, but without removing the husks.

Place a bacon rasher on either side of each cob and season with pepper. Wrap the corn cobs back in their husks and secure with string at the top and bottom.

Cook the corn cobs for 30 minutes, continually turning them to prevent the husks burning.

Meanwhile, make the chilli butter by combining the butter, chilli and lime zest, and seasoning with salt and pepper.

When the corn is cooked, remove to a serving dish, untie the string and peel back the husks. Serve with a dollop of chili butter.


Texas Beef Brisket


Beef Brisket Texas-Style

What You'll Need:

  • 3 kg untrimmed brisket, the fattier the better
  • 250 ml (1 cup) beer or water

For the rub:

  • 1 tablespoon rock salt
  • 3 tablespoons soft brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried chillies
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice

Directions:

You'll need to have half a dozen cups of woodchips on hand for this recipe.

Combine the rub ingredients in a bowl.

Trim the brisket of any dry and unclean parts of meat. Cut the fat with a sharp knife in a crisscross fashion to allow the fat to render down and also so the rub can penetrate.

Rub the brisket with the sugar mix and leave to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Remove the brisket from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.

Now, the big job is getting the fire right. Whether you're using coals or gas, make sure you have enough fuel! Prepare your barbecue for indirect cooking over a medium–low heat, adding a handful of coals every hour to maintain the heat. Place the brisket in a roasting tray, fat side up, in the centre of the barbecue, away from any direct heat. If the fire is initially too hot, pour on a little beer or water into the tray to prevent any burning and also to help maintain the moisture in the brisket. Add ½ cup of pre-soaked hickory or mesquite chips to each side of the coals and pull down the hood on the barbecue. Now you just need to maintain the heat and add some woodchips each time you replenish the coals.

If using a gas barbecue, light the outer gas burners. Heat some pre-soaked woodchips in a smoke box prior to adding the brisket with the gas on high; when the woodchips start to smoke, turn the heat down, place the brisket on the grill racks between the gas burners and cook on a medium–low heat.

Cook the brisket for about 5 hours, basting with the tray juices until the meat is nice and tender and flakes under a fork. Once cooked, you can pull the meat or thinly slice it.

Pour the tray juices over the meat and serve.


Grilled Pineapple


Pineapple with Rum, Ginger and Lemongrass Syrup

What You'll Need:

  • 1 pineapple, skin removed, flesh cut into quarters lengthways

For the syrup:

  • 200 ml water
  • 100 ml white rum
  • 100 g sugar
  • 3 cm piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1 lemongrass stem, bruised
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 dried red chilli

For the spiced sugar:

  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 2 teaspoons crystal salt
  • 3 teaspoons caster sugar

Directions:

To make the syrup, place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil, making sure the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool, then strain.

Marinate the pineapple in the syrup overnight.

To make the spiced sugar, pound the dried chilli and salt in a mortar until you have fine flakes of chilli. Add the caster sugar.

Prepare your barbecue for cooking on a medium–high heat. Place the pineapple over the heat and barbecue until caramelised, turning the fruit as required.

Once cooked, skewer the pineapple with bamboo sticks and serve with the spiced sugar as a dipping condiment.


The BBQ Companion Cover


Recipes courtesy of The BBQ Companion by Ben O'Donoghue. Published by Published by Hardie Grant Books. Buy it on Amazon.