Recipe: Barbecued ribs in the CharBroil Big Easy

Barbecued ribs in a Chinese-style marinade

I love a good rack of ribs. Earliest memories take me back to a Greek restaurant in Harare, Zimbabwe called the Acropolis where we’d tuck into huge plates of ribs. It was a real treat eating with our fingers until all that was left was the piles of bones eaten clean. A somewhat messy business – which seems to make it all that much more enjoyable. And I guess the fact that we so rarely visited restaurants also helped make for an amazing experience. A bit different from my frequent restaurant going days now!

One of the beauties of ribs is that you can marinade them to produce many different dishes, there are so many potential flavours. Today my mixture infuses lovely Asian flavours. I like to marinade them overnight to the flavours really infuse.

The Big Easy offers a unique way to cook ribs. You suspend them from the side of the basket using the handy hooks supplied. The come out beautifully moist and flavoursome with a slightly crispy exterior. Genius!

This recipe uses 12 ribs which is great for two people with the tasty coleslaw accompaniment.

CharBroil Big Easy: Chinese-style ribs

The beautifully browned ribs

For the marinade

100ml hoisin sauce

2 tbsps soya sauce

2 tbsps sweet chilli sauce

1 tbsp runny  honey

2 tbsps teriyaki sauce

Mix all the ingredients together and place in a dish. Add the ribs and make sure they are thoroughly coated. Cover and put in the fridge for at least 3 hours, ideally overnight.

The instructions

Slice between the first and second ribs about 20cm in and use the hooks from the Big Easy kit to hook onto the basket that slots into the barbecue.

Turn the barbecue on to three-quarters heat and leave to heat up for about 15 minutes.

Place the basket into the barbecue and cook for 30-35 minutes until the ribs are browned and slightly crispy.

CharBroil Big Easy: Coleslaw accompaniment

Crispy, spicy coleslaw

For the spicy coleslaw

2 cups of white cabbage, thinly sliced

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

Half a cucumber, thinly sliced

4 tbsps mayonnaise

1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

Mix the mayonnaise and chilli sauce together and combine with the vegetables.

CharBroil Big Easy: ribs in basket

The ribs clip easily onto the basket

The CharBroil Big Easy is the UK’s first three-in-one barbecue which you can roast, grill or smoke in. Find out more about this amazingly versatile barbecue by clicking here.

Recipe: Smoked roast ham in my CharBroil Big Easy barbecue

It’s hard to beat a good roast ham. It’s something usually associated with Christmas or special occasions but it doesn’t have to be. It’s always a great thing to have in the fridge – and even better if you’ve cooked it yourself!

I roasted and smoked this one in my CharBroil Big Easy barbecue. The glaze gives it a beautiful sweetness and you could really taste the smokiness from the alder wood chips. I’m lucky enough to have two large bay trees in my garden so I snipped off some fresh leaves to add to the smoker which definitely added flavour.

Make sure you score the fat of the ham before basting. This helps the flavours really soak through.

The meat thermometer is a handy way to help gauge when the ham is ready. If you’re not sure it is done, keep roasting for a bit longer – as long as it’s not burning it will be fine as the basting keeps it moist.

Roast smoked ham

With an orange and Honey Jack Daniels glaze

Place the alder wood chips and bay leaves into the smoker compartment and turn the CharBroil Big Easy barbecue to a low/medium setting. I chose to cook the ham on a lower setting for longer and it came out lovely and moist.

Leave the barbecue to heat up for about 15 minutes.

Place your ham in the basket and cook it for 25 minutes per pound.

Baste it with the sauce using a brush every 15-20 minutes.

Before taking it out, check the internal temperature of the meat has reached 140C.

Baste it one more time and leave it to rest for at least half an hour before carving.

CharBroil Big Easy

The beautifully browned smoked ham

For the baste

Half a cup of fresh orange juice

Half a cup of honey Jack Daniels

1 cup of brown sugar

1 tsps of ground ginger

Mix everything together thoroughly and baste the ham regularly using a brush.

To smoke

Alder woodchips

6 fresh bay leaves

 

CharBroil Big Easy

The luscious, thinly sliced ham

Competition: Win a Char-Broil Big Easy barbecue

Competition: Your chance to win a Char-Broil Big Easy barbecue

You’ll no doubt have noticed that I’ve been getting all excited about a new barbecue in my life and trying all sorts of new dishes. Well, I still am, the Big Easy has a lot of tricks up its sleeve – it’s an amazingly versatile piece of cooking equipment.

So I’m thrilled to tell you that you have the opportunity to win one of your very own. Right here on eatingcoventgarden.com

The Char-Broil Big Easy is the UK’s first gas three-in-one barbecue from US barbecue brand leader Char-Broil. It’s gas-fired for convenient cooking and is a smoker, roaster and grill all in one package. It’s perfect for roasts – even for large gatherings as it has the capacity to cook up to 11kgs. And there’s a grill on top, ideal for steaks, chops and salads.

I also love the smoking aspect. You fill the pull-out smoker box with wood chips and while you’re cooking add a smokey flavour at the same time.

Char-Broil Big Easy

The top of the barbecue is perfect for grilling

I’ve created several recipes for you to try on your new Big Easy – should you be the lucky winner – and there’s more to come. Here’s what you can find so far on EatingCoventGarden.

Ideas with Roast chicken

Hot smoked salmon

Roast vegetables

Peri peri chicken legs

Char-Broil Big Easy

Or how about roasting a juicy chicken

You can find out more about the Char-Broil Big Easy by clicking here.

The prize

One Char-Broil Big Easy SRG barbecue with a value of £299.99

Competition: Char-Broil Big Easy

Here’s some inside information on the fabulous Big Easy

How to enter

1 Follow eatingcoventgarden.com by entering your email in the box at the top in the right hand column.

2 When you receive the email (which should be immediately), confirm that you want to subscribe.

3 Like Char-Broil on Facebook by clicking here.

3 Answer the following question in the comment section of eatingcoventgarden.com

What three ways can you cook in the versatile Char-Broil Big Easy?

A Boil, roast and fry

B Roast, grill and smoke

C Grill, smoke and boil

D Steam, grill and roast

Terms and conditions

Competition only for residents of the UK.

Closing date for entry will be Monday 31 July 2017 at midnight.

The winner will be chosen at random after the closing date.

The winner will be notified by email.

No cash alternatives to the prize will be offered. The prize is not transferable.

Prize does not include the gas canister.

The editor’s decision is final.

Recipe: Hot smoked salmon in my Big Easy barbecue

Okay summer still hasn’t really arrived in London – sometimes it never really does – but I am certainly not going to let that prevent me from getting out into my garden and lighting the barbecue. Especially now that I have my brand new Char-Broil Big Easy barbecue which has the power to roast, smoke and barbecue. You can read all about the UK’s first three-in-one smoker, roaster and grill in one package here and also discover some lovely roast chicken recipes to try out.

Today I’m getting more adventurous (as promised) and trying something for the first time. I’m going to hot smoke some lovely fresh salmon. First step is to make a marinade and give the salmon 2-3 hours to soak up the flavours.

Getting ready to marinate in front of my CharBroil Big Easy

Honey Jack Daniels marinated smoked salmon

Serves 2

The marinade

3 tbsps Honey Jack Daniels

2 tbsps brown sugar

2 tbsps soya sauce

1 tbsp dijon mustard

Mix all the ingredients and marinate one piece of filleted fresh salmon per person for 2-3 hours

Recipe: Hot smoked salmon

Give the salmon fillets time to absorb the flavours

While the salmon is marinating get your smoker ready. There is a pull out box on the side of the Char-Broil Big Easy where your wood chips go. You can buy a range of wood chips from many places. I got mine from smokingwoodchips.co.uk and today I’m using some of the plum chips.

Measure out the chips you need and soak in water for about half an hour. This is to ensure you get a lot of smoke for your cooking. Drain, spoon the chips into the smoker box and insert into the barbecue.

Light the barbecue and put it on to high. Leave for about 10 minutes or until you can see smoke start to appear.

Fold tin foil into sizes slightly bigger than the salmon, take the salmon fillets out of the marinade and place on the foil. Place on the rack inside the barbecue and cook for about 15 minutes – checking regularly.

The sugar and honey in the marinade will make the skin crispy and add some slight blackening, which I love. You’ll find that the salmon is beautifully flakey and moist inside.

Beautifully soft and flavoursome salmon with chilli corn and potatoes

Today I served the salmon with some Jersey Royal potatoes (they are in season after all) and lovely sweetcorn which I cooked on the grill section of the barbecue above the smoking rack. Plus I made a simple sour cream sauce. Here’s how.

Sour cream sauce

150ml sour cream

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

3 tbsps chopped fresh dill

Mix all the ingredients at least three hours before serving and keep cool in the fridge. This amazing and simple sauce is wonderful with all kinds of fish – and tastes amazing on potatoes, too.

This sour cream and dill sauce goes perfectly with the smoked salmon

Sweet chilli barbecued sweetcorn

2 ears of corn

2 tbsps sweet chilli sauce

A few knobs of butter

Place each ear of sweetcorn on a piece of foil large enough to wrap it in.

Spread the sweet chilli sauce over the sweetcorn with a knife. Add a few knobs of butter to each parcel.

Wrap the corns up fairly tightly and place on the grill of the barbecue which is at the top above the smoking .

Put them in at the same time as the salmon and they will be perfect by the time your salmon is cooked.

 You can read all about the fabulous Char-Broil Big Easy – the UK’s first gas three-in-one barbecue at www.charbroil.eu 

And watch this space for more great alfresco cooking ideas. Next week I’m going to be roasting some vegetables Moroccan-style (yes, in the barbecue) to match with our delicious local lamb chops. My mouth’s already watering just thinking about it.

Barbecue, roast and smoke in the Char-Broil Big Easy

So today I’ve got something new and different for you. Isn’t that exciting? I have recently been delivered the UK’s first Gas three-in-one barbecue. It’s called the Char-Broil Big Easy and it’s a neat grill (barbecue), smoker and roaster with a stylish somewhat sci-fi look to it.

It’s now occupying pride of place in my garden and over the next few months I’m going to be telling  you all about it and publishing recipe ideas for this wonderful addition to my cooking alternatives. And you all know how much I love cooking outdoors – must be in my blood.

Ready to go and looking good: My new Big Easy

Roast, smoke and grill

Okay, so here’s the low down. First up is the roasting option – and with the capacity to cook up to 11kgs of meat and vegetables in the basket insert you’ve got those large family gatherings covered. There’s also a special way to cook spare ribs by hanging them on four integrated stainless steel hooks – but more of that later.

For hot smoking, the Big Easy has a pull-out box to fill with wood chips of your choice – and who knew how many different types there were. I’ve ordered a selection in anticipation of some serious smoking coming up.

Finally, if all you’re after is a quiet barbecue, the Big Easy has a handy grill that fits to the top.

Rotisserie-style roast chicken

Today I decided to start with the simplest of tasks. My love of rotisserie chickens and my consumption of them (particularly in Spain) is widely known. And I had the thought that cooking a chicken in the Big Easy’s roasting basket would be a very similar process. So, keeping it simple like I said, I rubbed my chicken thoroughly all over with a little olive oil and propped it up in the basket. At 15 mins per 450g it was ready 35 minutes later. And perfectly ready! The aromas as I lifted the lid washed over me and transported me back to those rotisserie sellers in my favourite Spanish markets.

Char-Broil: chicken in the Big Easy

The chicken browns in the roasting basked

You can see from this picture how large the basket is. Having said that, it roasted with my smaller chicken (big enough for 4-5 people) perfectly. It’s also a really healthy way of cooking as your chicken isn’t sitting in any oil though it still comes out with lovely crispy skin.

Char Broil: Roast chicken in the Big Easy

Close up on the roasting chicken

Change the flavours of your roast chicken

Be adventurous and add international flavours to your chicken but making a butter or olive oil rub. Add fresh ingredients to butter, blend together and smear under the skin of your chicken or mix ground ingredients with olive oil and rub over thoroughly. Here are some ideas to get started.

Thai butter

Blend ginger, garlic, chilli and basil leaves with butter

Mediterranean oil rub

Mix lemon juice and dried oregano into olive oil

Moroccan butter

Blend dried cinnamon, cumin, saffron strands and fresh mint with butter.

Indian oil rub

Mix ground cardamom, cloves, coriander and curry powder with oil oil.

Watch this space for plenty more ideas on cooking with the fabulous Big Eas.

Up next I’m going to be smoking salmon – with some very special ingredients.

Find out more about the Big Easy and Char-Broil’s other products by clicking here.

Korean-influenced delights at Bo Drake in Soho

Today we’re heading back into the buzz of Soho, to the Soho Square end of Greek Street. Greek Street is famous for its amazingly cosmopolitan selection of restaurants. Along this not-very-long street you will find restaurants serving Hungarian, Thai, Italian, Chinese, Moroccan, Lebanese and French food. There are also two famous pubs which have been there in some form since the early 1700s. There’s the small and intimate setting that is The Pillars of Hercules and the well-known Coach of Horses which used to be primarily famous for the rudeness of its former landlord Norman.

One of the latest additions to this street overflowing with eating and drinking choices brings a Korean influence to the mix. Bo Drake is a small, contemporary bar and restaurant with lovely smiley service and an exotic-sounding menu offering small courses for sharing or larger ones. Tapas-style eating is everywhere these days, hooray!

The East Asian restaurant describes itself as having lots of sweet and pickled influences (there’s the Korean influence) combined with slow-cooked barbecue methods. It’s a combination that works beautifully.

We shared four of the smaller dishes – not that they were that small, portions here are pretty generous, even for sharing.

The KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) was a revelation – these are seriously the king of chicken wings. Crispy, sticky, sweet and juicy, I could definitely demolish an entire bowl myself.

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On today’s specials board was a tomato salad with tomatoes done five different ways, including smoked. A beautiful plate with a light taste of summer.

IMG_2547

Delightful tomato salad with a Korean twist

The wild mushrooms came with seaweed, tofu and gochujan, served on toasted sourdough. Gochujan is a savoury, spicy fermented Korean condiment made from red chilli, glutinous rice, fermented soya beans and salt.  It seems there’s a lot of fermentation going on in Korea and this combination made for an amazingly exotic version of mushrooms on toast topped with a delicate, savoury foam.

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Mushrooms on toast Korean-style

A bowl of sweet potato chips came with kimchi island dressing. Sweet potato chips are truly delicious and this amazing sauce was so good we had to keep ordering more.

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Crispy sweet potato crisps and creamy sauce

bodrake

The welcoming bar and restaurant that is Bo Drake

Today’s price point

We paid £31 for our four dishes.

A bottle of Rose wine costs £26.

Bo Drake is at 6 Greek Street, Soho

Square Meal