Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Bring on the barbie!

Story Kate Kingsmill

The smell of sausages sizzling, the taste of a chargrilled steak washed down with a cold beer, the sound of mozzies buzzing and cicadas singing. Summer just wouldn't be summer in Australia without the smells, sounds and flavours of the outdoor barbie. The barbecue is now such a part of our culture that, "fire up the barbie!" has almost become an Australian motto.

ImageFor the best barbecue, it's important to do your groundwork and choose a good cut of meat, says Eric Frahamer, owner and head chef of Melbourne's Saucier Restaurant. Eric recommends choosing a 'secondary' cut like scotch, porterhouse or rump - something with a bit of marbling in it - for tenderness and flavour. He suggests adding nothing more than a dash of seasoning - salt and pepper - and throwing it on the grill.

Indeed, the simplicity of the barbie is what makes it so great. All you really need is a grill, tongs and a bit of heat. And less preparation equals less mess. "All you need is good, tender, flavoursome steak, a good atmosphere with friends or family, some salads and something to drink," says Eric. And ideal weather helps, too.

The art of barbecuing has come a long way, and believe it or not, it is now possible to spend up to $10,000 on state-of-the-art steak-sizzlers. Our tastes have changed, too. We have expanded our repertoire beyond the humble accompaniments of tomato sauce, fried onions and baked spuds, to using exotic spices and marinades, often influenced by our culinary neighbours in Asia.

But no matter how complicated it gets, the Aussie barbie will always be about the same thing - getting together to share a great meal and good company.

How to cook the perfect steak
• Only buy steaks of even thickness. They should be at least 2cms thick.
• If frozen, always defrost in the fridge.
• Heat grill to hot before putting steaks on - there should always be plenty of sizzle while cooking steaks.
• Turn the steak once only during cooking.

Cooking very thick steak
• Brown all sides on a grill.
• Slightly reduce heat (or move to side) as required.
• Test when to take off heat by using the back of tongs or steak thermometer. Story end

Full story: OUTBACK, December/January 2003

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