THE CARNIVORE'S ULTIMATE BBQ //
- by Provenance Village Butcher
We’re deep into BBQ season, so if you need some coaching on how to get the best out of coal, smoke, heat and meat, then here are some tips from Provenance Village Butcher’s Head Butcher and Rebel; Struan Robertson.
Free Range for Flavour and Fuel
Make sure the meat you’re putting on the coals is raised right; that means free range, and grass fed where possible. Grass fed beef has more Omega 3 which is good for your heart. Free Range meat also tastes better – obviously – living outside and moving around means the animals muscles use more energy, creating better flavour and texture. Nobody wants to eat a couch potato.
Go Coal or Go Home
If you’re yet to buy a barbecue for your garden, go coal. The natural smokey flavour it imparts on the meat is the essence of summer barbecues. The high heat coming off those glowing coals help to create the desired caramelised crust on the outside of a killer steak. That’s where you’ll find those mouth-watering umami flavours (the fifth taste along with salty, sweet, sour and bitter) that make you dream of barbecues while you sleep.
The Perfect Steak
Prep for a perfect barbecue starts way before the meat hits the grill. Head to your local butcher, or us, and ask for their advice. They’ll know what’s good and be able to guide your choices.
1. Steak Selection
I would suggest going for a thick cut Ribeye steak – thick because it’ll take longer to cook though, giving it more time to char and caramelise on the outside, and I’ve selected ribeye as it’s a prime cut with plenty of fat (don’t be scared, fat is flavour) and is bursting with beefy richness.
Pull your steak out of the fridge a couple of hours before you’re planning on cooking, letting it come up to room temperature. This allows for a more even cook. Think of it like a warm up – you don’t hit your sprints cold, you need to warm up. When your coals are glowing hot, chuck a good pinch of sea salt onto both sides of the steak, and lay it on the grill. The heat is on.
3. Cook it Real Good
Everybody fears overcooking their steak, so reduce your risk by getting physical with your food. Touch is key to cooking a good steak, so don’t be afraid to give it a poke. Put your thumb and middle finger together on one hand and poke the pad of your thumb. That’s medium rare right there. Work your way across the fingers if you like you steak better done. If you’re still unsure, slice into the side of the steak, and see how rare it is. When it’s ready, grab your tongs and take it off the heat.
4. Rest is Key
It’s not just you that needs a rest after a tough session. Giving your steak five minutes to cool down and chill out on a chopping board or plate will result in a more succulent and well balanced steak. Throw some salt on the cooked steak and be patient, it’s worth the wait.
After all that work, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labour! Slice and serve that killer steak. For an extra hit of iron, serve it up with a spinach salad and don’t forget a good glass of red wine.....obviously. I’d suggest a Shiraz from the McLaren Vale in Australia; the perfect complement to a great steak.
Provenance offer delivery to a number of London Postcodes, please check their website for more details.
Provenance Village Butcher open their new Chelsea Store this August at 247 Pavilion Road, SW1X 0BP.
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