With summer approaching, I’m already salivating at the prospect of BBQ after BBQ after BBQ – the amount of times I’ve had to wipe my chin already is ridiculous. I know it’s a proper British cliché, but I love those days when the sun is out, there’s meat on the grill and you’re hanging out with family and friends in the garden. It genuinely is one of the things I look forward to the most about the warmer months. That, and getting my pasty, thin legs out.
The reality though is that we don’t live in Australia. The weather on these shores can be described as ‘unpredictable’ at best – just look at that random, wintry blast of snow, hale and gales we had the other week. For every time that we’ve had a BBQ in glorious sunshine, there’s been another occasion when it’s been cloudy, cold or rainy. I remember one such occasion when I was adamant that we were going to have a BBQ, even if that meant I had to cook outside on my own whilst using the parasol as protection from the elements.
But what if you’re a fair-weather barbecuer and not as ‘stubborn’ as me? I wouldn’t blame anyone for sacking off a pre-planned BBQ because of the weather – after all, no-one wants a soggy sausage. However, that’s not always feasible. Sometimes, you’ve got to get creative and have an indoor BBQ. This was just the challenge set for me by Iceland. Could I cook a BBQ meal worthy of its BBQ status without going outside or touching the grill? The steaks were certainly high – geddit?
So off we went to our local store. Iceland had a huge selection of BBQ meat – four freezers full, when I visited – which was well signposted and easy to find. It was quite daunting task to narrow down the meats, but I did so by focusing on their new churrasco meat range. According to Mr Wikipedia, churrasco has different meanings depending on the country, but Iceland has taken it to be the method of cooking meat on skewers.
Unsurprisingly then, the churrasco range has meat already prepped on skewers. This makes it less hassle when cooking, ensures it’s perfect for BBQs as it’s easy to share and provides different flavours to the traditional – but much loved – burger. What’s more, you get all the benefits of the #PowerOfFrozen, by which I mean it’s convenient, good quality and tasty. I’ve been impressed with previous frozen products from Iceland – from frozen fruit through to chicken nuggets – to so had no doubt that I would be with this too. It’s worthwhile saying that even though I didn’t use the BBQ, you can finish the meet on the barbie should you wish to.
I decided to buy the churrasco salt & chilli pork shoulder, churrasco boneless chilli & lime beef ribs and churrasco sausage skewers – all of which looked very tasty on the packaging. With this, I bought a number of other ingredients so I could create some homemade side dishes to go with our indoor BBQ. This included apples, beetroot, potatoes, carrots, onions, corn on the cob, olives and brioche buns. Below, you’ll find the three BBQ dishes and sides I made with Iceland’s churraso meat range:
Churrasco Salt & Chilli Pork Shoulder in Brioche Buns with Homemade Apply Beetroot Slaw
The first product we tried from Iceland’s churrasco range was the salt and chilli pork shoulder. Described as “pork collar on wooden skewer with a salt and chilli rub”, it looked and sounded pretty awesome. We make pulled pork quite often by slow cooking a pork shoulder, so I was looking forward to seeing how this differed.
You can cook the meat from frozen, but as we’d run out of freezer space, I let it defrost first. As per the instructions, it went into the oven for an hour, was left to stand for a few minutes, then I removed the skewers. It was a pretty impressive chunk of meat, perfect as the ‘wow’ centerpiece for your BBQ table. The pork was juicy and tender, whilst the chilli and salt rub gave it an impressive oomph – something I’d already figured out after licking my fingers when cutting the meat!
It’s not a BBQ without some kind of bread, be it [delete as appropriate] a roll, bap, bun, cob, stotty or barm cake. I decided to grab some brioche buns for the pork and served with a homemade apply beetroot slaw. This is really simple to make and is a nice twist on a normal coleslaw – plus, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love turning their food pink!
To make the apply beetroot slaw, simply grate a carrot and apple (I used Pink Lady) into a bowl – there’s no need to even peel. Next, peel and grate the beetroot into the same bowl – I used a pre-cooked and pre-grated beetroot for ease. Next, squeeze the juice from half a lemon and a few tablespoons of natural yoghurt. Add a bit of salt and pepper, then mix – voila!
Churrasco Boneless Chilli & Lime Beef Ribs With Homemade Mediterranean-Style Potato Salad
The next meat we tried from the churrasco range was the chilli and lime beef ribs. I’m a big fan of ribs, but rarely eat these at home – it’s definitely more of a restaurant-type meal. I was therefore looking forward to tucking into the boneless beef chuck topped with chilli and lime rub.
Again, being churrasco, the wooden skewers ran through the meat. The ribs can be cooked from frozen and take 35 minutes in the oven. Included is a BBQ sauce sachet which you’re supposed to add with five minutes to go – however, being the rebel that I am, I decided that it’d be better as a dipping sauce. Once cooked, the meat not only looked really appetising, but also tasted nice. The ribs were tender and the chilli and lime rub gave it a pleasant kick.
With the ribs, I decided to make a potato salad. I don’t know about you, but I only ever seem to eat potato salad with a BBQ, so it made sense to have one as a side dish. Rather than a normal potato salad though, I decided to give mine a Mediterranean-style twist with the inclusion of olives and feta cheese.
To make the potato salad, I cut the potatoes into small chunks, boiled them for around 15 minutes until soft, then drained and put to the side to cool. As a quick cheat, I’d picked up a tub of pitted olives, feta cheese and sundried tomatoes from Iceland – I halved these and added to the potatoes. Next, I added a chopped up spring onion, a bit of salt and pepper, then finally a couple of spoonfuls of Greek yoghurt.
Churrasco Sausage Skewers With Homemade Sticky Red Onion Marmalade And Hot & Spicy Corn Cobs
The final churrasco meat we tried was the sausage skewers. A staple of any BBQ, this pack came with two sets of skewers, each with two herb and spice seasoned pork sausages and two chorizo-style pork sausages. Again, I cooked these from frozen – the pre-prepared skewers were already through the sausages and they took around half an hour. As you’d hope from an 80% pork sausage, you could tell they were good quality and they tasted nice. I particularly liked the chorizo ones, but that’s stating the obvious considering I have chorizo with many of my meals!
To accompany the sausage skewers, I dipped into Iceland’s other BBQ freezer products with corn on the cobs. These were described as hot & spicy corn cobs as they were coated in a Sriracha seasoning. These took 40 minutes in the oven from frozen and were awesome. The seasoning turned it from a boring corn on the cob into something very tasty – I may have eaten three in one setting…
With this, I also made a sticky red onion marmalade. Sausages and onions go together like Ant and Dec, so I thought that it’d make a nice accompaniment for the sausage skewers. This is really simple to make – cut a red onion into half rings and fry for a few minutes. Next add a bit of salt and pepper, along with red wine vinegar. Stir, turn the heat to low, cover with a pan lid and let it simmer away for 15 or so minutes until it’s turned sticky. Job done.
So those are the BBQ meats we tried from the Iceland churrasco range. Coming back to my original question, can you have a BBQ without a BBQ? Well, yes, you definitely can. You might not get the neanderthal feeling of standing over fire or be forced to close your eyes tight due to smoke, but the meat still tastes good and it’s always nice to have a back up for the crappy British weather.
What’s your favourite thing about BBQs? Do you have a go-to meat dish you like to prepare? Which of the above meats do it for you? Let me know below!
N.B. This is a commissioned post written in collaboration with Iceland.