Saag Aloo

Saag Aloo

  • Prep Time15 min
  • Cook Time45 min
  • Total Time1 hr
  • Yield4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of ghee or butter.
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons Garlic/ginger paste (5 or 6 garlic cloves and a thumb of ginger)
  • 5 green cardamom pods, cracked slightly
  • Stick of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
  • Two bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 onions finely sliced
  • 1 x 400g tin of good tomatoes
  • 1 Pint of stock with a teaspoon of garam masala and a clove added
  • 500g potatoes (waxy)
  • Big bag of fresh spinach.

Method

1

Set the Weber up for indirect cooking- coals left and right with central sanctuary.

A wok type pan with small handles that fit inside a closed lid, cast iron Dutch Oven or the Weber GBS pan would work best. (You’ll need a glove)

2

Start with the pan over one of the fuel sides and add the ghee/butter.

3

Fry the spices for a minute being careful not to burn.

4

Add the garlic/ginger paste and cook for a further minute, stirring continuously.

5

Add the onion, and cook for a few minutes until soft and glossy but not too brown.

6

Add the potatoes and turn everything around to coat.

7

Add the tomatoes and most of the stock. You want to try and cover the potatoes.

8

Place the pan in the centre of the grill, lid on and vents wide open to simmer. This should take 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

9

Whilst the potatoes are cooking, wilt the spinach down in an inch of boiling water with a teaspoon of salt and half teaspoon of turmeric added. (If you’re hardcore, you can do this on your ‘other’ BBQ. I did this on the stove)

10

After a couple of minutes, drain the spinach and let cool enough to squeeze much of the water out.

11

Chop through the spinach and add to the potatoes just before they’re cooked through.

12

Mix well being careful not to break up the potatoes

13

Let the Saag Aloo reduce to your desired thickness. Add your reserved stock if needed.

14

Serve with Naan

Recipe by Mike Cheryl Saunders

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Saag Aloo

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Char-Broil Kamander – Review by ArtustBBQ

Kamado style barbecues are having a bit of a boom in the UK at the moment. In a market that has always been a choice between green or red (Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe), there now seems to be a new option wherever you look. Even the supermarkets are getting in on the action this year selling unbranded and unknown brand kamado style grills at seemingly very competitive prices. There must be over 15 different brands and models available now in the UK market, most of which seem to be coming from imported brands with no presence behind them. So whilst paying sometimes less than a quarter of the cost of the main two players for what looks like a similar grill may seem like a good deal, is it really? One thing we have learnt over the years about ceramic is that it is delicate, and heavy. Very very heavy. So you pretty much need to pick a spot for your ceramic grill and not consider moving it for a while, and of you do decide on a change of spot then proceed with caution as knocking that grill over is not an option.
But what are your other options? Well, in the last few years an alternative to ceraminc kamado’s has also stepped forward in the form of the double walled steel versions with insulation in-between. So is this a good alternative? We were very kindly sent the Charbroil Kamander to test out and see if it stands up to the test.

It’s always a good day when a new grill arrives and when this bright yellow Charbroil box arrived on a pallet it was smiles all round. There were two of us unpacking and building the Kamander and it took us around 45 minutes to put together and was pretty straightforward as we actually followed the instructions for once. I know the usual process is bin the instructions and see what happens and keep them for fire starters later, but we wanted to do this by the book. There is still a little weight to the unit so definitely worth having that second pair of hands available. The pay off was the first feast off the grill for helping out which was deemed to be more than a fair trade.

    So let’s start with the weight. The Kamander comes in at around 52kg which is about a two thirds of the weight of its equivalent in a ceramic kamado grill. So a fairly hefty chunk lighter but don’t forget the Kamander also comes set into it’s own wheeled cart with folding side shelf. Figure that into the equation and you start to see this is a fair whack lighter than similarly sized ceramics. But does lighter mean a drop off in performance? We have put the Kamader through a whole host of different cooks to see. The cart the Kamander is set in is pretty sturdy, if you clip the lid shut then then large handle acts as a grip to lift and roll the whole unit around with on its back wheels. The Kamader grill has been stored a few meters away from the cooking area and moving it across the patio and grass was easy thanks to the large rubberized wheels. The side table on the cart pulls out and drops to the side whilst remaining attached so that the storage space needed for the grill set in its table is less when stored and covered. This handy side table is helpful for many things including preparation, holding ingredients or fuel or even your BBQ cookbook of choice. There are also a number of tool hooks off to the side of the table making it handy to hang your tongs and grate tool etc. These are a little fiddly as they sit underneath the lip but a few attempts has your tools safely stored and out of the way. But the side table in this instance serves a bigger purpose, as a quick glance shows a daisy wheel vent housed to the back right of the grill itself inset into the table. This is part of the very clever vent system that Charbroil has used on the Kamander making it easy to make temperature vent adjustments without having to lean under the grill. Whilst not an issue for most to lean under a grill, anyone suffering with back issues could find this really useful when combined with the lighter weight of the unit itself. All the usual features are there such as a temperature dial that reads up to 425c. Yes that’s Celsius not Fahrenheit. A giveaway about how hot this unit can get with its insulation. The gasket between the lid and the main bowl is not of the felt variety that has been seen on most kamado units until now, but is the new style and harder wearing braided unit that compresses when the lid is clipped shut to form a tight seal and also acts as a cushion should you drop the lid. There is a latch to clip the lid shut to form an airtight seal and a large lifting handle. As the grill is steel construction and not ceramic the lid does not weight a ton making them hard to lift one handed as with some grills. The cooking grates are porcelain coated cast iron so hold heat in really well for those classic grill marks on steaks but also remain easy to clean too. The grate comes with another neat feature as it is in 2 parts. There is a very small section at the front that is removable with a handy tool CharBroil include that means you can easily top up on fuel or smoking wood mid cook. This doesn’t fit 100% tight for the first few cooks and feels like it could slip, but get a few cooks through the grill and it holds much tighter in place. There is also a very handy removable step up grill included with the kit there are 2 slots (left back and right back) that this can be slotted into, and then there are also 2 heights that the step grill can be set too. Very handy for those cooks where you need some extra space or it can also be used to separate food types if needed or also as a warming rack. But another neat feature of this is that is can swing out to the side of the grill giving you total access to the food on the main grill or act as a super cool zone away from the grill surface if needed. Underneath the grill there is a hanger in which you can place the drip pan which also acts as a diffuser for smoking creating an indirect cooking set up, but also can be used as a water pan if you so wish. The pan isn’t very deep so would probably require fairly regular top up’s during those really long low n slow cooks. We have been foiling it during cooks to keep it clean. Working your way down you have the charcoal grate, then at the very bottom of the grill sits the ash pan which has the air flow holes drilled into the sides at the top. Thankfully this pan is very deep meaning you can crack though a fair few cooks before it needs emptying. But they have thought the design of this through well and it has a lifting handle across the middle for easy removal.

    So having had the Charbroil Kamander unit in the line up for 3 months now and having cooked upwards of 20 cooks on it, I have to say I am very taken with it. Having yearned for a ceramic kamado grill for a number of years getting the opportunity to try the Charbroil Kamander was one I grabbed with both hands. I have cooked everything from a 14hr low and slow pork shoulder, chilli brisket, spatchcock chicken and lamb ribs right up to high heat steaks, seafood and even some brownies and it has coped well with everything I have thrown at it so far. The side table really plays a big part here with having somewhere to rest plates, rubs, glazes and tools which is something none of my other barbecues have. The built in tool hanger is very handy in keeping the table surface clear or tongs and lighter. It has taken some adjustments in my cooking technique to learn just how much heat these type of grills retain but learning is what makes BBQ fun. You definitely need to light less charcoal or briquettes on start up with these types of grill as once the insulation kicks in the temperature will climb rapidly and given the chance it will shoot over your desired cooking range. So some minor adjustments where needed in my cooks to ensure the temps stays level as the grill does want to cook hot. Briquettes are definitely recommended for low n slow cooks to keep in that 107c/225f-135c-275 sweet spot. The pork shoulder was cooked using heat beads briquettes and it sat in this range for the whole 14hrs with minimal vent changes during the cook. The one thing you will find is that the vents need to be shut down a lot lower than on some grills due to the nature of the insulation, again too much air going in will make the temperature rise above you desired cooking range as with any grill. For higher heat cooks this grill comes into it’s own. The charcoal grill is a little lower from the cooking grates than on some grills but this doesn’t seem to affect it. A good covering of some good quality lump charcoal on the grate can be lit and have you up to those 425c-797f high heats for the perfect sear in no time at all. One simple cook of some Sherwood foods Tomapork with a simple salt and pepper rub and some oak wood chunks had one guest asking how it was possible to get so much flavour into pork. That was a good moment and cemented the fact that the Kamander has it’s place in the barbecue line up.

    Conclusion

    The big players in the market make amazing units and have great reputations for quality and after care, but the cost makes them prohibitive for most people. The Charbroil Kamander comes in with a recommended retail price of £699 in the UK making it very very competitive against most other brands out there. But there is one small sticking point in that this grill sells at a lower price in the US. But that said, taking into account that mark up applies to every other grill and product imported into the UK, you can see that it’s something you have to swallow and that it’s still a very good deal. Also, if you keep your eyes peeled there have been some deals around for as low as £499 saving you a massive £200 and making the Kamander a no brainer in its market.

    Once again the Kamander grill was supplied to us for review but we are free to add our own thoughts and have been honest and fair in our review.

    http://www.charbroil.eu/

    http://www.charbroil.eu/kamander-140-870

    Jumbuck Rondo – Review by Ady

    For this years UKBBQWEEK I decided yet again to try out another affordable BBQ.

    I had a look in several stores and online and decided to purchase a Jumbuck Rondo Rotisserie from Homebase. They are usually on sale at £65.00 but I fell lucky and picked one up for the bargain price of £50.00 !!! I swiftly returned home and opened the box, nice easy to understand instructions, really easy to build.

    So the hardware.

    • Easy to build.
    • Nice and solid when built.
    • Very workable grilling area.
    • Rotisserie motor is really quiet and powerful, with the added bonus of a balance weight.
    • Could easily be popped in the boot of a car and taken on a picnic or camping trip, all you would require is a battery rotisserie motor.
    • Superb value for money.

    Right, all looking good,so how does it perform?

    The first cook,

    I marinaded overnight some boneless, skinless chicken thighs using the Tandoori Chicken recipe by Dan Toomes (@thecurryguy)

    Amelia lit two Heat Beads firelighters and a chimney starter was placed on top filled with half a chimney of Heat Beads. Whilst the Heat Beads charcoal briquettes was coming up to temperature I threaded the chicken on to the rotisserie. I then placed the rotisserie on the Rondo without the motor and span it so it ran freely and let it settle, then place the weight on the opposite side and spin until balanced. I then dumped the coals on to the heat deflector and I used a foil tray to creat a two zone set up.

    The skewer was placed on to the rotisserie and engaged into the motor, switched on the rotisserie and let it do its thing.

    After 30 mins I realised that I didnt need the two zone set wasnt necessary, because it doesn’t have a lid the direct method works a treat. I tested the temperature using a thermapen until it read 74c in several locations, switched off the rotisserie and removed the chicken. I removed the skewer and the holding forks and placed on a plate and covered loosely and let rest.

    Popped a flatbread on the Jumbucks grill and warmed through, popped on some of the chicken and voila.

     

    Conclusion

    The Jumbuck Rondo is and amazing priced piece of BBQ equipment, and the price point is a bargain I’d happily give it 8 out of 10, but if Jumbuck gave this little grill a lid it would be a 10 out of 10.

    Just for clarity I purchased all of the equipment and the views are my own.

    Competition Style Pork Spare Ribs

    Competition Style Pork Spare Ribs

    • Prep Time30 min
    • Cook Time4 hr
    • Total Time4 hr 30 min
    • Yield2 Servings
    • Cooking Method
      • Indirect & braise

    Ingredients

    • 1x Rack Pork Spare Ribs, trimmed St. Louis style
    • American style mustard or olive oil.
    • BBQ rubs of your choice, I used a light layer of Meat Church BBQ "Honey Hog Hot" and a top layer of Killer Hogs "THE BBQ RUB"
    • 50g Brown sugar
    • 25g Runny honey
    • 25g Unsalted butter
    • 25g of Kansas City Style BBQ sauce mixed with 25g White wine vinegar.
    • 50g of Kansas City Style BBQ sauce, warmed through at the end of the cook to glaze.
    • Kitchen foil.

    Method

    1

    Allow ribs to reach room temperature.

    2

    Check the ribs and remove and sharp pieces of bone or flappy bits of meat that will burn.

    3

    Remove the membrane off the back side of the ribs, this is easily achieved by sliding a blunt knife under the membrane and pulling off with kitchen paper.

    4

    Apply a small quantity of american style mustard or oil on one side of the ribs.

    5

    Apply a light coat of the first rub, don’t rub the rub in the ribs let it tack up itself.

    6

    Flip the ribs over and repeat.

    7

    When the ribs have tacked up apply the second layer a little heavier, then flip over and do the other side.

    8

    Leave the rubs to do there magic whilst you prepare your Smoker or kettle with a lid, aim for 250 / 275°F (121 / 135°C)

    9

    Put the smoking wood on the coals about two chunks of fruit wood, i prefer apple, pear or cherry.

    10

    After 30 mins lift the lid and quickly spritz the ribs with water, and keep spritzing every 30 mins or so.

    11

    Whilst you are waiting lay 1 large sheet of kitchen foil down and place 50g of sugar 25g of butter in a line down the foil, then drizzle the honey evenly over the sugar and butter.

    12

    At the two hour mark remove the ribs and place meat side down on the sugar, butter and honey, pour the bbq and vinegar over the backside of the ribs straight down the middle.

    13

    Wrap the ribs well making sure the bones dont pop through.

    14

    Return to grill smoker meat side down, check again after a hour, the bones should have about 13mm pull back and the back of the ribs will have degraded. if not cover up and remove when they are.

    15

    When removed open the foil to let out the steam and slow the cooking process down, leave for 15 minutes then discard the foil and juices and pop the ribs back on the smoker or grill and a apply the bbq sauce as a glaze.

    16

    Leave for 15 mins and remove, allow 15 to 20 minutes to relax and enjoy.

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    Competition Style Pork Spare Ribs

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    Beef Tri Tip

    Beef Tri Tip

    • Prep Time10 min
    • Cook Time30 min
    • Total Time40 min
    • Yield8 Servings
    • Cooking Method
      • In-Direct and Reverse Sear

    Ingredients

    • 2kg Tri Tip
    • Salt
    • Pepper

    Method

    1

    Tri Tip is a great bit of beef and only really needs salt and pepper, although you can add anything you would normally add to beef. Apply this an hour in advance of cooking.

    2

    Prepare you barbecue with the coals on one side and a medium heat.

    3

    Cook the beef indirectly until an internal temp(IT) of approximately 42c/105f. This will give you some room to grill up the outside and generally take 25/30 minutes.

    4

    Put the beef directly over the coals turning every 2 minutes replacing the lid in between to avoid flare ups. Once the IT is at 52c/125f take of the heat as it will continue to creep up during resting.

    5

    Tri Tip has two muscles. For Best results cut between the muscles and then cut across the grain of each.

    Recipe from Tim Donald of Silverback Grillers

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    Tri Tip

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    Spanish Paella

    Spanish Paella

    • Prep Time10 min
    • Cook Time30 min
    • Total Time40 min
    • Yield4 Servings

    Ingredients

    • 1 sachet Schwartz Paella Recipe Mix
    • 2 chicken breasts, diced into cubes
    • 1 red onion, diced
    • 100g (4oz) chorizo, diced
    • 325g (11oz) paella or risotto rice
    • 1 litre (1¾ pints) water
    • 1 red pepper, diced
    • 200g (7oz) raw prawns, defrosted if frozen or seafood selection (Sainsbury’s)
    • 100g (4oz) frozen peas
    • 1 lemon, cut into quarters

    Equipment

    • Chimney Starter (Optional)
    • Paella Pan

    Method

    1

    Using a chimney starter, place half chimney of charcoal or briquettes and light the starter.

    2

    Tip the fuel into the center of the bbq or into coal baskets, arrange centrally.

    3

    Add a splash of vegetable oil in the pan and fry diced chicken breasts, onion and chorizo for 6-7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add rice and cook for a further minute, stirring.

    4

    Mix sachet contents with water, stir into pan with red pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer stirring occasionally for 20 minutes, or until water is mostly absorbed and rice is cooked.

    5

    Add prawns and peas, cook for a further 3-4 minutes, or until prawns are cooked through. Ensure chicken is cooked through before serving.

    6

    Serve immediately and serve with the lemon quarters.

    Recipe from @BBQStuUK

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    Spanish Paella

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    5 Top Tips for BBQ from Marcus Bawdon of Country Wood Smoke Fame

    Tip 1 – Use a digital probe thermometer. E.g a Thermapen, this will give confidence to know that the food is cooked how you like it and is safe to eat.

    Tip 2 – Set up the bbq for 2 zone cooking, more heat (i.e coals) on one side and lower heat on the other this way you can have a good degree of control over the cooking.

    Tip 3 – Use your lid, if your bbq comes with a lid then use it, it’s not just to keep the rain off, it will turn your grill into a smoky oven.

    Tip 4 – Make sure the lid vent is over the indirect side this will give more even cooking

    Tip 5 – Keep well hydrated when bbqing, it’s thirsty work so make sure you have your tipple of choice chilled and close to hand.

    For more top tips visit his web site @ http://countrywoodsmoke.com/

    Follow Marcus on social media
    FB:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/CountryWoodSmoke/
    You Tube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/CountryWoodSmoke
    Twitter:  https://twitter.com/devonwoodsmoke#
    Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/countrywoodsmoke/

    Lennox Hastie – Red Mullet Esabeche

    Lennox Hastie – Red Mullet Esabeche

    • Prep Time30 min
    • Cook Time10 min
    • Total Time40 min
    • Yield4 Servings

    Ingredients

    • 8 red mullet
    • zest and juice of 8 oranges
    • zest and juice of 2 limes
    • 1 lemongrass stem, bruised and chopped finely
    • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
    • 1 bunch baby carrots, peeled and finely sliced
    • 3 baby fennel bulbs, outer layers peeled and finely sliced
    • sea salt
    • 4 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
    • 100 ml (3½ fl oz) olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
    • ½ bunch fennel fronds, picked
    • 1 head fennel flowers

    Method

    1

    The grill should be hot around 250°C/480°F+

    2

    Scale and gut the fish, and remove the gills. Rinse quickly and dry well.

    3

    Butterfly the fish. Use a sharp knife to make an incision along the skin on the back of the fish to one side of the dorsal fin. Following this line, run the knife horizontally from the head to the tail, going halfway to the backbone. Move the knife through to the underside of the fish, then run the knife along the whole fillet. Turn the fish over and repeat on the other side.

    4

    With a pair of scissors, carefully cut the backbone free behind the head and in front of the tail. This will enable you to easily remove the backbone while retaining the head and tail, which hold the fish together during grilling.

    5

    Trim the belly. Locate the bones running along the middle of the top half of the fillet and carefully remove them using tweezers.

    6

    Prepare the escabeche vegetables. In a small saucepan, combine the zest and juice of the oranges and limes, the lemongrass and the fennel seeds. Bring to the boil and simmer until reduced to approximately 200 ml (7 fl oz) of liquid. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve and, while warm, pour over the sliced carrots and fennel. Leave for 40 minutes to macerate.

    7

    Season the flesh of the fish with sea salt, and grill in an enclosed grill rack over intense embers for 2 minutes, skin side down, until beautifully caramelised.

    8

    Meanwhile, drain the carrot and fennel (reserving the liquid) and grill for 2 minutes with the spring onions until lightly charred. Season, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with half of the fresh fennel fronds.

    9

    Transfer the fish to a clean tray, add the reserved escabeche liquid and allow to rest for 1 minute, during which time the acidity will finish cooking the fish.

    10

    Gently heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and pour it over the red mullet. Strain all the liquid back into the saucepan, whisking continuously and allowing a light emulsion to form.

    11

    Place the pickled and grilled vegetables on a plate, top with the fish and pour the emulsion over. Finish with the remaining fresh fennel fronds and the flowers. Serve immediately.

    Incorrectly classed in the UK as mullet, red mullet is actually a member of the goatfish family and a favoured part of the Mediterranean diet. I worked with red mullet for years in Europe and it was only when I came to Australia, where they are often sold under the Greek nomenclature barbounia, that I realised the fish was not a true mullet. They were so valued in ancient Rome that they sold for their weight in silver. Though small, red mullet has a sweet and delicately flavoured flesh, and fine oil running under the skin that crisps up beautifully on the grill. In this recipe, the escabeche refers to the pickled vegetables; the acidity completes the cooking of the mullet as it comes off the grill. The vibrant combination provides a taste of sunshine no matter what the weather.

    Recipe kindly supplied by Lennox Hastie from Finding Fire: Cooking at its most elemental (Hardie and Grant £30)

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    Red Mullet Escabeche

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    Kadai Fire Bowl – Review by Chillin n’ Grillin

    After cooking on a wide variety of BBQ’s and smokers including a pellet smoker we decided that we would like to go back to basics and try some cooking over a wood fire. A bit of research led us to the Kadai Indian Fire Bowl. We were lucky to get it in the end of season sale and as a result we also purchased the cooking tripod with chain and the cooking bowl. They recommend putting some sand in the bottom to protect the bowl, we did this along with a sheet of tinfoil.

    We contacted our local stove supplier to see if we could get logs to burn and where lucky to get a barrow bag of silver birch for £35. A barrow bag is about the size of a wheelie bin. To light the Kadai, we use a flamer, a little charcoal and a few twigs from the hedge at the bottom of the garden, this makes the logs very easy to light. We have been starting with three logs and adding as needed depending on the length of the cook

    Our first foray was to hang a chicken over the grill. We had seen Marcus from Country Wood Smoke cooking a leg of lamb in the same way. The chicken turned out lovely and moist as they normally do when cooked outside. We have since cooked a casserole using our dutch oven, a chilli using the cooking bowl and after purchasing a hacienda swing grill, spatch cock chicken, harrissa lamb and shawarma cauliflower.

    All in all the Kadai is a great bit of kit and good fun to cook on, in the cooler weather I still prefer one of the bbq’s that have a lid to preserve the heat but we will definitely get good use of the Kadai.

    Thermaworks Smoke – Review by Marcus Bawdon

    The Thermoworks Smoke is recently available in the UK. It is a definite upgrade for those looking for something a bit more substantial and easier to use than a maverick.

    The main screen is a great size with large numbers…meaning a glance at the temperatures are often enough. But if you are moving further away from the bbq…then the range is impressive…easily a few hundred feet. The length of our garden and inside the kitchen. At £78 delivered it’s a real contender.

    The portable receiver unit is well designed easy to read and solid. The whole thing reeks of reliability and long use. It’s a 2 probe thermometer. Ideally the option for a third or fourth probe would make a good upgrade. The probes themselves are robust and come with one ambient and one for the food. Alarms are easy to set and very loud.

    This is my favourite thermometer at the moment and has been well thought through for the bbq market. A WiFi bridge is soon to be available here in the UK which will mean you’ll be able to monitor your cooking from down the pub…