Barbecuing in the Isle of Wight

I returned to Bembridge in the Isle of Wight this weekend to stay with Sam. It was heaven to get out of London, embrace the fickle British summer and get barbecuing. In my opinion there are two key aspects to a great BBQ (especially for lots of people):

  1. ensuring the meat is prepared corectly so that it will cook evenly… i.e kebabs, butterflying lamb or spatchcocking chicken; and
  2. a bloody good marinade.

Get these right and your life is made so much easier. We arrived late in Bembridge on Friday so some of us just grabbed some scampi from the local fish and chippy while everyone got settled in and had a few drinks. After a nice lie-in we got stuck into some well received eggs and bacon (the smell of bacon has to be the ultimate wake up!) before playing some tennis and relaxing with the Saturday papers. Bembridge Isle of Wight Sam stepped up first to the BBQ, whipping up saussis and cheeseburgers for the gang, while the girls cobbled together a tomato and mozzarella salad. BBQ cheeseburgers Tomato and mozzarella salad BBQ cheeseburger We picked up the butterflied leg of lamb from the butcher (defs ask them to do it for you!) and quickly got it marinating:

  • Β 2 tbsp olive oil
  • whole bulb of garlic
  • handful of rosemary
  • 1 dessertspoon of dijon mustard
  • 1 dessertspoon of redcurrant jelly
  • Salt and pep

After lunch we all went out on the boats, where it rained! But this didn’t deter some of us from diving in. It was so cold, I felt winded. image1 So it was quickly back to the house for hot baths and tea.Β Then that evening all we had to do was whack the meat on the BBQ for 30 mins and prepare a tabouleh and a green salad. For the tabouleh for 10 you need:

  • 500g bulgar wheat
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 handful fresh mint
  • 1 handful fresh coriander
  • 2 cucumber
  • 1 stock cube
  • 6 spring onions
  • 1 lemon

Boil you bulgar wheat in the stock cube along with the juice of half a lemon and then throw that half of lemon in as it boils. Then simply chop up all the other ingredients finely and combine when the bulgar wheat is cool. Bash out the pomegranate seeds and stir through and then add a decent glug of olive oil and the squeeze of the other half of lemon. Tabouleh

I served the lamb with some natural yoghurt mixed with a large handful of finely chopped mint and also some mint sauce.BBQ butterfly leg of lamb BBQ butterfly leg of lamb The weather cleared up and we managed to eat outside and spent the night around the fire, playing games. Bembridge Isle of Wight Sunday morning got off to a slow start. Some people went for a walk, others like me stayed on the sofa and read the papers and drank coffee. Before we knew it it was time to think about lunch… another BBQ affair, this time spatchcocked chicken. Spatckcocked chicken The night before I had spatchcocked two big chicks, which just means removing the back bone. To do this flip the bird so that its breast side down, and then using scissors cut down either side of the back bone and remove it. Flip the bird back over and press hard with the heel of your palm so that it flattens. Then all you have to do is marinate it overnight in:

  • 3 tbsp of natural yoghurt
  • a whole bulb of garlic separated into separate cloves, slightly bashed but skins can remain on
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • a generous sprinkling of paprika or turmeric
  • Salt and pep

Then lightly oil the BBQ before whacking the birds breast side down and then using the dish you marinated the chick in as a weight to press it down. Depending on the size cook like this for half an hour, before flipping over and cooking for another 15 mins on the other side. Then cut it into leg and breast pieces for everyone to help themselves. Spatchcock chicken I served this with a green salad and my hedgehog potatoes…

  • new potatoes
  • garlic
  • rosemary
  • olive oil

These are super easy but look so much more fun than your average roast pot. Grab a wooden spoon and lay your potato on it, then using a knife cut into the potato several times. The wooden spoon will mean that you wont cut all the way through, so it is kind of essential. Whack them in a baking tray and rub with olive oil, before adding whole garlic cloves and lots or rosemary. Cook for 1 hour at 200 degrees. hedgehog potatoes hedgehog potatoes hedgehog potatoes The sun came out and we all settled into chicken, potatoes and salad before having to pack up and make the journey back. A blissful weekend spent far away from the city. I’d be really interested to know what’s your favourite way to BBQ? Spatchcock chicken BBQ Spatchcock chicken

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