Sunday, September 18, 2011

DIY Barbeque

Lamb, lebanese eggplant, yoghurt and parsley

I am very into DIY lately. It started as a way of killing time while I was at home sick for a few days - I bought fabric and hand-sewed a dress. It was a great success, except for one little detail: I couldn't sit down in it. (Not a big deal, I've worn it to two parties, who needs to sit down anyway?) I have learnt my lesson though - don't make a short, tight-fitting dress with a non-stretchy fabric like silk.

I've since upgraded to my mum's old sewing machine and have made two more garments which I would proudly wear. I like to think I've mastered the skill of picking the right fabric for the desired style. So why not expand into bigger projects? Surely Dan and I could concoct an amateur DIY barbeque on our balcony. Guess what? It totally worked!

It's not difficult at all to make a small barbeque out of things you can find at home. We used:

Two bricks to prop it up...

A tray from our oven with a wire rack (incidentally, I also use this to cool baked goods on)...


And firewood, chopped into small bits.

Place firewood and about four firelighters in the centre of the tray and carefully light. It will take a while for the firewood to set on fire, give it about 20 minutes. Spread the firewood out into an even layer.

You can cook with flames or wait until the flames go out and use the residual heat. We used the flames for a chargrilled taste.
Place the wire rack over the fire. You can prop it up with oven-proof dishes. We used two ramekins.

"Please, feed us..."

Meanwhile, prepare your food.

I tossed diced lamb and onion in a Masterfoods herb rub (it tastes good, shoot me) and olive oil and arranged them on wooden skewers (soaked in water for half an hour). I also cut some lebanese eggplants lengthways and rubbed the marinade on them.

Meat touching flame, caramelising, fat dripping off into the fire and cooking back into the meat...

It got dark pretty quickly so I had to take a crappy nighttime photo, but my god it tasted good. Slightly crunchy chargrilled crust, tender medium-rare meat inside, smokey-woody taste - need I say more? It was pure rustic heaven and a fucking delicious spread.

Of course, use your common sense and be very careful with fire. We brushed away anything flammable from the corner we put the barbeque in, brought out a jug of water with us and used oven mitts. You also need to think about the surfaces around the barbeque (i.e. I wouldn't do this on a wooden floor or next to a tree). Otherwise, happy barbequing!