Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A midsummer barbeque

Marinated fillet of moose on the barbecue
Summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Here in the far north we have just a few hours of night or dusk, rather. This year I celebrated mid summer in Sweden, with my friend Terje and his mother, and what else to enjoy this day than a meal from a hot grill.

I have to admit that barbecue food is not among my favourites. I often find chunks of meat burnt to charcoal on the surface and more or less raw in the middle. My friend Terje is one of those that can prepare a good barbecue meal.

There are many foods that can be well suited for the grill. Terje chose a fillet of moose and chicken breast. The first must not be overcooked, not even cooked through, as the other need to be just that (not overcooked ofcourse). This shows the challenge of preparing on the grill. If you are not careful, frying over hot coal (or gas) will leave you with dry and partly tough meat.
Marinated chicken breasts ready to be grilled
Terje works in a large, industrial scale kitchen. His boss had presented him with a bottle of his own home made, and very secret, marinade. Of colour it looked like one of those strongly coloured varnishes used for wooden boats, intensely brown-red in colour, but the aromas suggested serious culinary chemistry. We tried to deconstruct this concoction. Red wine, tomato puré, salt, pepper......., whatever it was, it appeared the right thing for a BBQ.

The meat was marinated overnight, and placed on Terjes gas grill. A good thing with gas, is the fact that it does not burn the food as easily as charcoal ones. Dripping fat has a tendency to severely burn food over charcoal, even though grill traditionalists swear that traditionally prepared grill food ends up with a different aroma left by the burning coal. Aromas not found on food prepared on gas.

Whatever, the food went on the grill, a cool June evening, and I dare say, moose fillet is probably one of the best foods that you can ever get. Terje cooked the meat to perfection, leaving a red-pink centre in the fillet. He, had, however a challenge with the chicken breasts. The never appeared to be cooked through, funny enough. Mine looked raw after a long period on the grill, in fact I had to put mine back on the grill. I do not know whether it was raw, but Terje suggested that some of the breasts could have been injected with water in order to increase the weight. This could affect cooking time and consistency.

The final meal

Sliced, medium roast fillet of moose - succulent and tender

Marinated chicken breasts served with pepper sauce, roasted potatoes and sallad
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