Initially, barbecue was called mutton sliced in pieces, baked over coals on a spit (skewer). But now barbecue is also prepared from any other products – pork, beef, offal, poultry, fish, seafood specially prepared for barbecue, vegetables and even fruits.
Cooking kebab, choice of pork, beef, lamb, offal, chicken, fish, vegetables and fruits for barbecue.
Meat kebabs are the most popular, and it depends on the quality of the meat whether the kebab will be tasty and juicy. Quality meat can be selected according to the following criteria:
help make the fibers of such meat softer.
For barbecue, you can also use tenderloin, in which there are no fatty layers, because fatty foods are not suitable for everyone. But the kebab of tender fillet can turn out tough if it is dried during cooking. Pork ribs are also suitable for cooking kebabs. They are cut in pairs and put on a skewer, piercing between the bones.
The most suitable beef for shish kebab is marble grain-fed beef. Thanks to the thin layers of fat, the meat is juicy and tender. But ordinary beef is quite suitable for cooking kebab. Properly selected marinade and careful cooking on charcoal will help make beef not overdried, but juicy. It’s difficult to make a kebab of tender veal, this meat is very easy to dry.
Lamb for barbecue.
Lamb will make an excellent kebab, if cooked correctly. It is necessary to choose meat of light pink color with elastic light, not yellow fat. Veined or friable red meat with yellow fat is obtained from far from young animals, the kebab from it will be hard and dry. In addition to lamb, fat tail fat can be used, small pieces of which are strung between pieces of meat.
When preparing lamb, the inedible film and tendons are removed first. Excess fat worsens the taste of barbecue, but without a small amount of such fat can not do, it gives lamb juiciness. The best lamb for barbecue is the meat of a young sheep with layers of fat in the ratio of 1 part fat to 4 parts of meat.
To make the specific taste and smell of lamb less pronounced, it is pickled for 5-12 hours, depending on the age of the animal. Cumin (zira), thyme, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, parsley, ginger, mint, saffron are added to the marinade. You can add barberry, coriander and even cinnamon. Ready mutton skewers should be served hot, because when cooling the mutton fat freezes and gains an unpleasant taste.
On charcoal you can cook most offal: liver, kidneys, heart, etc. They are not inferior in taste to meat kebabs and are considered a delicacy. Offal should be thoroughly washed before cooking and remove streaks, films and hanging pieces of fat.
Chicken and other bird.
Barbecue can be prepared from almost any part of the bird. A kebab from the brisket is popular, but a kebab from wings, thighs, drumsticks, legs, and offal is also prepared. Different parts of the carcass need to be pickled and cooked over coals for different times. The fillet is marinated and fried quite quickly, and the hips and lower legs are several times longer.
The age of the bird also affects the cooking time. Young birds need less time. It is advisable to preserve the skin of the bird when cooking kebab, it contains a lot of fat, which will make the meat juicier. But when pricking pieces with the skin on the skewer, you need to try so that the skin does not hang down and does not burn.
For the preparation of barbecue, it is advisable to use fresh fish. Such a fish has smooth scales, red gills, transparent eyes. The freshness of fish fillet or sliced pieces can be determined by smell, it should not be harsh and unpleasant. If you have to choose frozen fish, you should take into account the amount of ice (it should not be much). On the surface of the frozen fish should not be yellow spots, it should not be dried, damaged. Carcasses of fish should not be frozen and covered with hoarfrost.
Red fish, sturgeon, catfish, horse mackerel and others are well suited for making barbecue. You can cook fish skewers from several types of fish on one skewer. The fish does not need preliminary marinating, but if desired, the marinade can be used to give the dish a special taste.
Skewers of fish are cooked quite quickly, so it is important to remove it from the coal in time. Poorly cooked fish kebabs are hazardous to health, while overcooked fish becomes dry and hard. Pieces of overcooked fish kebab can break up into fibers even on the skewer. To determine the readiness of the fish, you need to spread the fiber pieces. If the fish meat is slightly transparent and glossy – the kebab is not ready yet. The finished fish kebab has matte and opaque fibers even in the widest part of the pieces.
Vegetables and fruits.
Vegetables and fruits are often strung on a skewer interspersed with pieces of meat. Often you can see a barbecue with charred onion rings. Experienced cooks prefer to cook vegetables separately from meat, because the cooking time is different.
Vegetables are strung on skewers in whole or in large pieces, they can be greased with vegetable oil or small pieces of animal fat can be placed between vegetables. Juicy vegetables and fruits are not cut into pieces and cooked in a peel so that less juice gets on the coals.
Features cooking barbecue.
Meat for barbecue must be cleaned of films and excess pieces of fat. Films during preparation pull together pieces of meat and bend them, and pieces of fat hanging from a barbecue quickly burn and drip onto coals, causing smoke.
Disputes do not cease at what point it is necessary to salt the meat for barbecue. It is believed that salt draws moisture from the product and dries it, so it should not be added to the marinade. In practice, juiciness depends more on the quality of the meat itself and the time of frying, so salt when experience and culinary intuition prompt you.
The kebab meat is cut into rectangular pieces along and across the fibers or slightly obliquely, unless otherwise specified in the recipe. And string on skewers only along the fibers – so less juice will flow from the meat during cooking. Shish kebab pieces are better fried if they are strung on a skewer close to each other. Excess space between pieces helps burn edges.
The readiness of the kebab is determined by the color of the juice that flows out at the place of puncture of the piece with skewer. The prepared kebab juice is light, transparent, and raw – reddish. Readiness can be determined by cutting a piece. The color of the meat on the cut should be relatively light and uniform.
Young quality meat does not need special marinades. Often you can do with onions and black pepper. As a container for marinating meat, you can use a regular plastic bag, preferably strong enough.
Skewers for barbecue.
It is preferable to choose skewers flat so that the meat does not turn over when frying. The pieces of meat on one skewer should be the same size, otherwise they will be fried unevenly. Hanging pieces will quickly burn out. It is not necessary to wet the skewers too often with marinade while it is fried. This can lead to uneven meat roasting..
If during the preparation of barbecue in the barbecue a flame began to flare up, it can be extinguished with water. To do this, you must first remove the skewers from the fire so that water does not get on the meat. Between meat and coals there should be a distance of 10 to 15 cm. If the kebab is placed higher, then the pieces of meat will be dried by a stream of hot air and there will be no brownish crust on them, and if lower, the meat will not be fried inside and burned outside.
Large pieces of vegetables, fish or other products that do not hold well on skewers can be strung on two skewers. If mayonnaise is part of the kebab marinade, then before placing such a kebab in bulk, you should blot the pieces of meat, removing the remaining mayonnaise, which can easily burn. The greens added to the marinade also burns on the meat, so it is better to add it with twigs, and remove it before stringing the meat.
Based on materials from the book We cook on the grill, grill, in a cauldron. In nature and in the kitchen.