It is most definitely that time of year again, especially now people can socialise a little. Yes … it’s BBQ time! Forget the raw sausages burnt on the outside and the frozen burgers. Seeing your friends and family for the first time in months will I’m sure be a celebration so I’ve done a few dishes that aim to capture that celebratory spirit. We’re not re-inventing the wheel here, just good food well grilled! I’ll match each dish with a Mirabeau rosé because why would you have any other colour on the table. If you want to pick one, then it’s Mirabeau Pure, which pairs perfectly with anything from the BBQ and comes in Magnums!
Lobster grilled on the BBQ with asparagus and Béarnaise
Cooking live lobsters might sound hard but trust me it’s not, all you need is a big pot and a big knife… if in doubt get in touch! There are loads of easy alternatives to buying live lobsters. You can buy cooked or raw lobster tails from the supermarket or speak to your fishmonger and they’ll be able to help.
- 2x live lobsters 600-800g each (you can use frozen if you prefer)
- 1 carrot roughly chopped
- 1 stick of celery roughly chopped
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic cut in half
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
Bring a pan of water to the boil (big enough to submerge the lobsters, or one at a time) with the carrot, celery, onion, garlic and herbs and a teaspoon of salt. To kill the lobsters, lay them flat on their belly, take a large sharp knife and slice directly down through the head lengthways (there’s a cross on the back of their necks so you can use this for reference). Bring the knife down and through the head between the eyes. Submerge in the boiling water for 5 minutes and remove.
At this point the lobster will be about half cooked so now you’re ready to prepare it to grill. Place the lobster back on its belly, take your knife again and this time go the other way, starting from the same point, straight down the spine towards the tail. Be careful of fingers but you will need a bit of force to get through the shell. When you’re ready to serve, place the lobster meat side down on a hot grill and cook for a further 4 minutes, turning half way through. To serve, crack the claws with the heel of the knife and get stuck in!
- 40ml of white wine vinegar
- 10ml of lemon juice
- 2 Sprigs of tarragon for infusion
- 15g of tarragon, chopped to finish
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 3 egg yolks
- 200g clarified butter
- Salt & Pepper
For the Béarnaise start by infusing the the vinegar; put the shallots and sprigs of tarragon in a pan with the vinegar and lemon juice, bring to the boil, reduce by half, remove from the heat and strain. Set the liquid aside and allow to cool.
Warm the clarified butter in a pan and keep to one side. In a bain-marie whisk the egg yolks with the cooled vinegar mixture until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. It will seem like a thin custard. Removed the eggs from the heat and slowly drizzle the butter into the eggs whilst whisking continuously until all the butter is incorporated. Add the chopped tarragon and season to taste with salt & pepper.
- 400g fresh asparagus – Wye Valley is my preference in the UK
- Olive oil
To prepare the asparagus snap the stems roughly where they go from white to green near the base. This is not an exact science; the asparagus will naturally snap at the weakest point and that’s what you want. You can trim the end to make it neat if you like. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the asparagus for 1 minute, remove and cool with cold water. When ready to cook, season with salt and olive oil and grill until they look nicely charred but not too soft.
Bavette steak & sauce verte
Bavette is a great cut of beef, full of flavour and much cheaper than the mainstream cuts. It’s otherwise known as skirt or goose skirt. Really this should be served rare or medium rare as it becomes chewy if cooked too much, I’ve put a green sauce with this that I do all the time. It’s a bit of a cross between a chimichurri and a salsa verde and goes with pretty much all meat and fish! I’m washing this down with a Mirabeau Classic, it’s a typical Provence rosé, dry but lovely hints of red fruit and it’s robust enough to stand up to the spice in the sauce and stand toe to toe with red meat. Whoever said you need red wine with red meat clearly hasn’t tried this!
- 1 Bavette steak around 800g or multiple smaller ones is fine
- 5 cloves of garlic, roughly sliced
- 2 big handfuls of rosemary
Marinade the steak; drizzle with olive oil add the rosemary and garlic and plenty of black pepper but NO SALT. You should aim to do this for at least an hour at room temperature before cooking or overnight in the fridge. Either be sure to remove the steak from the fridge at least an hour before cooking. Heat a pan over a high heat and once it’s roasting hot, season the steak generously with salt… lots will fall off in the pan add a drizzle of oil to the pan and cook for a 2-3 minutes on each side or longer if you want it cooked more. At this point if you have quite a thick piece of steak (thicker than an inch) you can do another minute on each side. This will be very rare. If you want it cooked more put in the oven at 180°C for a few minutes. Remove and rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- 1 small bunch each of coriander, basil & parsley
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 red chilli
- 5 anchovies
- 20g cornichons
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil (the best you can)
- 20ml red wine vinegar
- Juice of half a lemon
- Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
For the sauce verte finely chop all the ingredients, add to a bowl with the mustard and liquid and mix well. Alternatively, you can use a blender if you don’t want to do all the chopping! Season to taste with salt & pepper. You can always add extra oil to loosen the sauce if you wish. Serve on the side or drizzled all over the steak.
- 1 aubergine
- 1 bunch spring onions
- 2 peppers of different colours
Slice the aubergine into 1-2cm slices, trin the roots on the spring onions and cut the peppers into quarters or more for big peppers. Season all of it with salt, pepper and olive oil and grill until nicely charred. Tip: the spring onions might look droopy but they need a while to break down layers inside.