Posts Tagged ‘bbq’

The Korean GP – Bulgogi (BBQ Beef!)

October 20, 2011

Before looking for dishes for this GP I didn’t really have much of an idea of what Korean food was.  A quick search revealed a nation that loves its BBQ and its beef so Bulgogi seemed the quintessential meal to make.  Bulgogi actually means ‘fire meat’ and refers to the method of cooking since the chicken, beef and pork versions each have a different marinade.

The beef version consists of sirloin or rump steaks marinated for several hours and then grilled or BBQ’ed.  It was recently voted number 23 in CNN’s 50 most delicious foods, so even though I had never heard of it before it must be pretty popular!

I was making enough marinade for two bits of meat, although seeing what it made I think it would also coat 3 very well and 4 at a push!  The marinade consisted of:

  • 2 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • Approximately 1 inch cubed of ginger – grated
  • 1 very large spring onion (2/3 normal spring onions) finely chopped
  • 50ml of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • ½ tablespoon of sesame seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coarsely crushed black peppercorns.

    the ingredients for the marinade

These were all mixed in a bowl.  I then scored my steaks (a little too thickly if I’m honest – I made more of a slash than a score!) and placed them in the marinade where they stayed for 3 hours.  They went in the fridge for 3 hours but I got the mix out half an hour before cooking so it could get to room temperature.

the beef in the marinade

To cook the meat I used a very hot grill pan as I don’t have a BBQ (plus it wasn’t really the weather for cooking outide!).  Most pictures I’ve seen of this dish have the meat cooked through, but personally I hate fully cooked beef unless it’s been stewed for several hours, so my steaks were cooked for ¾ minutes each side so that they were caramelized on the outside and pink in the middle.

starting to cook the beef

the beef nearly done

After cooking I let the steaks rest for a little while and then sliced them up.  I served the steak with some Thai jasmine rice and poured the cooking juices from the resting plate over the top to give a little sauce.

the finished dish

This was another really fragrant dish.  I was worried from the colour of the marinade that the say sauce might be overpowering but in the end it was quite mild.  There was no chilli but the black pepper gave everything a nice mellow heat.  The grill pan had cooked the meat nicely, but you could tell that the smokeyness of a real BBQ would have really enhanced the flavours that were there.

Now that the World Championship is over, it was thought that Vettel might give everyone a chance at winning. The young German champion, however, had no intention of doing so. The out of form Lewis Hamilton, who has struggled for at least half the season, raised his game and managed to put the Mclaren on pole, closely followed by Vettel and then team-mate Jenson Button.

Vettel blew past Hamilton on the first lap and then was unassailable in the lead. Lewis and Red Bull’s Mark Webber then joined a great race-long battle for second place, including through the pit-stops, which Lewis won by holding Mark off for at least fifty laps. Both drivers, despite a gripping battle, looked upset at the their lack of success at the race’s end.

Meanwhile, the unfancied Torro Rosso team managed to get both cars in the points, beating one of the Mercedes cars on pace. Michael Schumacher once more got taken out, this time by Visaly Petrov who missed his braking point down into turn seven and destroyed his own car as well. All in all, a surprisingly hard fought race. No rain like last year though…

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Enjoying the Australian Grand Prix – Pavlova and an almost BBQ

March 27, 2011

Last year I blogged about a collection of snack foods that I had made for the Belgian GP on which Matt, from Food for Friends Yeah, commented that his friend had been cooking a meal for each stage from the country in which the GP was held.  I thought this was a great idea and so this year I decided to steal it!

The Bahrain GP was cancelled following unrest in the country, and so now the Australian GP would be the first of the season.   The Australian GP takes place at rather inconvenient hours if you live in Britain with Qualifying beginning at 6am on the Saturday and the race at 7am on the Sunday.  Given that I didn’t fancy cooking my food just before the race I decided to cook the Australian dessert pavlova and eat it for breakfast instead (there is nothing wrong with dessert for breakfast now and again!)

My pavlova recipe called for the use of 3 egg whites and served 6 -8, so given that there would be just the two of us I decided to scale this back to 2 egg whites.  I whipped these up to the stiff peaks (using an electric whisk – no hard work early in the morning!) before incorporating 4oz of caster sugar in small bits.

Combining the egg and sugar

Once all the sugar had been added I continued to whip the mixture for a couple of minutes till it was lovely and glossy.  I then added 2/3rd a teaspoon of cornflour (which makes the cooked meringue all lovely and marshmallowey inside), 2/3rd a teaspoon of white wine vinegar and a couple of drops of vanilla essence before giving it all a final whipping.

Adding the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla essence

Next I had to build my nest.  I started off by making a thin circle of the egg mixture about 7 inches in diameter on some baking parchment.  I then pilled the remaining meringue on top of the edges of the circle before spiking up little peaks with my fingers.  My nest went into a low oven (130°C) for an hour and a quarter to bake.  It came out slightly brown and crisp, and came cleanly away from the parchment – perfect!

The pavlova before and after the oven

When the meringue base had cooled it was time to top it.  I whipped up some double cream with a little drop of cassis and piled this in the middle of the pavlova.  Finally I used up some blackberries that my partner and I had picked last autumn and frozen.  I warmed these through with a little more cassis, allowing the alcohol to burn off and the liquor to reduce down and become syrupy.

Adding the cream and cooking the berries

Unfortunately I forgot to let this cool down before I put it on the meringue (my enthusiasm got the better of me) and the fruit melted the cream a little and sank down.  It may not have looked quite as pretty as I would have liked, but for an early morning effort I don’t think it was too bad!  It tasted great too, and the sugar rush from the meringue helped to keep me alert through-out the race.

The finished pavlova

A nice slice for breakfast

There is now some debate surrounding the origins of pavlova, with both the Aussies and the New Zealanders claiming it as theirs.  In order to make sure that my Aussie food requirement was fulfilled I had planned to have a BBQ on Sunday lunchtime as well.  However life got in the way (I had around 12 hours of rehearsals for an am dram play I’m in next week and a birthday party as well as the F1 – busy weekend) and so I was forced to have my bbq using the grill pan indoors.

There was not too much cooking required for this, we had some lovely (and huge!) Moroccan lamb sausages from a local butchers, a couple of Aberdeen angus beef burgers from Sainsbury’s and some chicken thighs skewers I put together that were marinated in soy, orange and ginger.  A very filling lunch to set us up for the rest of the day.

The indoor bbq

As for the race, it was fairly exciting and a much better race than last year’s season opener in Bahrain.  I’m not sure all the new technologies this year (KERS and moveable rearwings) helped much, there’s a lot more fine tuning needed until these really become race winning weapons.  However there was plenty of overtaking and the tyres seem to be making things interesting.  My hope are high for the rest of the season.

The grid waiting to set off