Barbecues inspire conversation and debate like no other form of cooking. There are those who believe coals are the best cooking method, enhancing the flavour of all foods. Others enjoy the ease of gas arguing that it’s the alfresco cooking that adds the flavour not the smoke.
Many are adamant that all sausages should be pre-cooked before barbecuing but I believe it’s the temperature that they are cooked on that is most important. However, everyone agrees that the sausage is a barbecue must.
In the recent Great New Zealand Sausage Competition it was a venison blood sausage — given a dash of French flair — that was judged the country’s best. The Akaroa Butchery & Deli Black Pudding was the first of its kind to make it to the top. And it’s perfect for the barbecue as long as it’s cooked gently on medium to low heat.
Blood sausages or black puddings are generally made from pig’s blood and fat plus oatmeal and spices and have been made in England and some parts of Europe since 1810. If the idea of blood makes you feel squeamish then remember that many processed meats are prepared using unorthodox animal parts.
Treat your sausages with care and cook them on medium heat until they’re golden and cooked through.
BLACK PUDDING BBQ BURGERS
350g black pudding
2 Granny Smith apples
25g butter or olive oil table spread
2 teaspoons sugar
1-2 tablespoons cider vinegar
8 rashers streaky bacon
1 1/2 cups watercress leaves
4 medium burger buns, toasted
chilli or barbecue sauce to taste
Peel the black pudding and cut into 1-1/2 cm slices on the diagonal.
Core the apples with an apple corer. Cut into 8 rings.
Melt half the butter in a frying pan and pan-fry the apples for about 2-3 minutes each side adding the sugar and cider vinegar halfway through.
Melt the remaining butter on the barbecue. Cook the bacon until crisp. Cook the black pudding for about 2 minutes each side on medium heat, until warm.
Pile the watercress on the base of the buns. Top with an apple ring, the black pudding, more apple, a little sauce and the bun tops. Serves 4.
HOISIN HOT DOGS
Toast the rolls on the barbecue or in the oven. Spread with butter, if preferred. Hearty eaters might enjoy two hot dogs.
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons each: soy sauce, rice vinegar, grated root ginger
4 large frankfurters
4 long bread rolls, toasted and split
1 cup mesclun
1 spring onion sliced
Combine the hoisin, soy, rice vinegar and root ginger.
Barbecue the franks on medium heat turning often. Fill the rolls with mesclun then top with the franks, the sauce, and spring onion. Serves 4.
HONEY MUSTARD MINI SAUSAGES
These are great served as five o’clock nibbles as well as at barbecues. You may need to heat the honey and mustard mixture briefly in the microwave to make it runny.
16 breakfast sausages
3 tablespoons each: honey, grain mustard
Place two sausages side-by-side. Thread two wooden skewers parallel to each other — about 1-2cms apart— through the centre of the sausages. Repeat with the remaining sausages. This will make it easier to turn them during cooking.
Barbecue for 3-4 minutes each side, until lightly browned and cooked through.
Brush with the combined honey, mustard and thyme and continue to cook, until caramelised. Serves 4.