BBQ Tips from the Chef

BBQ Tips from the Chef

Inspired by cuisine from all four corners of the globe, Reekie’s Smokehouse opened in the heart of Edinburgh with the aim of becoming the city’s number one BBQ food spot. Putting a regional twist on grilled classics, it’s the go-to place for delicious flavoursome sandwiches made from high quality Scotch Meat. As experts in the field, we asked head chef, Craig Cameron, for some BBQ hints and tips…

We all love throwing BBQs in the summer, whatever the weather. How will you be cooking Scotch Beef and Lamb on the BBQ this summer?

What we do at Reekie’s Smokehouse with our Scotch Beef Brisket is very difficult to replicate at home on a grill. We smoke it at around 105°C for 20-22 hours- you won’t do that unless you’re very experienced at barbecuing! To do a brisket at home, I’d suggest setting up your grill for indirect heat with your vents almost closed. Aim to smoke an entire flat brisket at around 110°C for 8-10 hours, keeping an eye out for any coals falling out. If you’re worried about the meat being dry, wrap it in foil after the first 4 hours.
Slightly easier but just as rewarding are Scotch Beef back ribs or Scotch Lamb ribs. You may need to shop around to find them, but setting the BBQ as above and giving them around 5 hours is amazing. I like a “dry” rib – no sauce or marinade so you get nice pink meat.

Making your own sausages is also great fun and easier than you think. You do need a meat grinder and it’s much easier using a sausage attachment, which are commonly found on many food processors. I don’t put any breadcrumbs in mine- just meat and spice. Try a mix of cayenne, smoked paprika, coriander seed, fennel seed, mustard seed, loads of garlic and a splash of red wine along with coarsely ground Scotch Beef. You need a lot of fat (around 35% compared to most butchers’ standard 20-25%) so ask for some extra. Cook them as slowly as you can and serve with loads of creole mustard.

What would you usually serve this with?

Slaw, tattie salad and loads of pickled stuff- we love pickling!! Pickled Wild Mushrooms are amazing with BBQ; you can make them with 1kg of mushrooms (use button chestnuts if wild ones aren’t available) cooked for 7 mins in a pan containing 1l white vinegar, 3 garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, 1tsp peppercorns, and 1tsp mustard seeds. Once cooked, drain them and let them dry out on kitchen towel before submerging them in a jar of oil- we use local rapeseed but olive works too.

Another great BBQ side we do at home is salt baked tatties. Use Jersey Royal spuds, or similar, and for every 1.5kg tatties, take 1kg sea or rock salt and mix it with 3 egg whites, 1tsp smoked paprika and 1 tsp ground cumin. Place half the salt mix in the bottom of an oven dish, dot the potatoes into the salt and then completely cover with the rest of the salt mix. Bake at 180°C for around 40 mins (you can do it on the grill indirectly if you have it high enough). The salt turns to a crust and when you break it open, you have the most amazingly fluffy tatties ever. I first had them in Spain and got hooked!

What about a sauce?

Once you’ve got your sides sorted, you’ll want to look at the sauce! We make a whole range of quirky but delicious sauces at Reekie’s. A basic BBQ sauce would be a mix of Tomato Ketchup, dark sugar (or molasses), a few spices, lots of smoked paprika, and some vinegar. You can add all sort, including sodas, fruit (juice or whole to cook down – banana ketchup rocks!), coffee or chocolate. There are no recipes here – simply make your own house special sauce!

How can people make the most of their BBQ leftovers?

One word: breakfast! BBQ and fried eggs is the business. In Morocco, they have a food called Khlie that’s a sundried confit beef fillet preserved in fat. They fry it quickly until it crisps up and then throw a couple of eggs in to the pan to cook in the fat. You can do the same with chopped brisket, rib meat, pork or any BBQ leftovers.
Another idea is chilli. Again, this will work with almost any BBQ leftover meat. Just adjust the amounts to fit the amount of meat you have left! Here’s how to make it:

Leftover Scotch Beef Brisket Chilli

  • 1kg leftover BBQ Scotch Beef Brisket, chopped into bitesize chunks
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1tbsp. cayenne
  • 1tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2tsp. Mexican Oregano
  • 4-8 Dried Chillies, depending how hot you like it (ancho, chipotle, guajillo, or a mixture)
  • 1 tin black beans
  • 1l passata
  • 500ml Beef Stock
  1. Deseed the chillies (keep the seeds), and roast them in a dry frying pan on high heat for 2 minutes on each side. Place in a bowl of boiling water for 30 mins to rehydrate before dry-frying the seeds and setting them put aside. Dry-fry the cumin seeds until they release oil but don’t burn.
  2. After the 30 minutes are up, blend the chillies with the toasted seeds and cumin, adding a little of the chilli water if required to make a paste.
  3. In a large pot, fry the onion for around 10 mins before adding the garlic, cayenne and smoked paprika. Fry for another 2 mins before stirring in the beef.
  4. Add the chilli paste, passata and beef stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and add the oregano and the black beans. Simmer for 20 mins
  5. Serve over rice, nachos, or as part of a big burrito!

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