So a couple of weeks ago Weber held this most incredible winter feast in my pad. I know I told you all about the party the other day but today I have to talk about the food. It was scrumptious so I really wanted to share with you guys. Especially as we are all now about to go into holiday mode with the big day looming and guests travelling and staying over.
I’ve shown you guys the full menu to drool over above. It was all (even the cheese and the puddings!) cooked on various barbecues outside. I’ve been out in the garden most nights trying to recreate it, it was that amazing. I think the slow smoked beef short ribs was my all time fave – they came with this most incredible marinade to baste them in as they cook, and the meat was so melt in your mouth tender it was falling off the bone. Argh! So good. But then so was the hot beechwood smoked salmon – just fabulous.
There was even an full rotisserie – which has now become my latest obsession since the meat constantly rotates over the heat, meaning it self-bastes for a crispy outer & succulent inside. It’s unbelievable I tell you! I’ve already broken it out for the team Christmas party, and will be using it tons over the holidays too.
There is something incredibly romantic about cooking outside in winter. The Americans are dab hands at it, so my grill obsession probably started during my time in the States. It’s hard to explain how truly fun it really is until you give it a whirl. I’ve had my outdoor kitchen for years now, because I always knew I wanted to recreate that sense of food and fun outside. Being all wrapped up outside gives me this incredible sense of comradeship, conviviality and contentment rolled into one. Does that sound weird?
The busier and more stressful my life gets, the earlier I get up, the more on call I am and the more deadlines I have looming makes this very simple concept of cooking outside and slowing down really fundamental. So the crazier it gets here in the day the more I hanker and carve out time for simple things in the evening, like lighting a fire, starting up the barbecue, dotting around flickering t-lights and cooking up simple recipes, wrapped up in a blanket in my pjs, sipping hot cider, with some jazz al fresco.
Oh, and a note on booze. At the party we washed everything down with hot mulled cider, mulled wine and some bubbly. I have to tell you guys about the dry option too because it was a huge hit with our guests, which is never the usual way of things! It’s an infused botanicals drink called Seedsip – the best way I can describe it is like a G&T without the G. So just as yummy and refreshing as the alcoholic version, but no hangover the next day. Win win.
You can find all of the recipes online at weber.com. I’m trialling all of these for Christmas – the two simplest ones I can recommend were amazingly more-ish devils on horseback (bacon wrapped over a date) and an applewood smoked Vacherin for an easy but super impressive cheese course. Delish!
For something a bit fancier, I wanted to share the ultimate showpiece recipe with you – the whole rotisserie roasted duck. It looks amazing but is actually a cinch to do. Hope this inspires some alternative Christmas feasts for you guys (although if you want to stick to trad I’m told that you some of the Weber team even smoke and cook their turkey on the barbecue! Crazy huh?). Tuck in folks.
Photography by Catherine Frawley