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Pre-prepped meat for summer treats

Tasting

SUMMER SIZZLERS  Marinades work well for chicken wings and other barbecue meats, like ribs.  

Food

Redmond Cabot

Butchers tell me the summer is a usually a quieter time for them. Summery days certainly do lead to snack lunches, quiches, salads, left-overs and generally things thrown together from the fridge. Still, that’s not to say meat eaters abandon the butchers’ counter altogether. Summer-specific methods of meat preparation – and consumption – mean the queues remain.
You may not be into sitting down for big, formal roasts and the like, but I find summertime lends itself to easy to prepare, easy to cook meat – and the kind of meat dishes you can snack on from the fridge. This means marinating for barbecues and quick grills, creating summer sauces, and storing up left overs to pick at in the fridge.

Barbecue marinade and sauce
This sauce can be made and frozen down, ready to defrost and use. It will tenderise the meat as well as adding fresh flavours, and it’s suitable for ribs and chicken wings. A lovely tangy, sticky, finger-licking addition to a summer grill or barbecue.

What you need

  • 150ml white wine vinegar
  • 150ml apple juice
  • 100ml soy sauce
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 25cm fresh ginger, peeled grated
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • Oil
  • Seasoning

What you do
Place your meat in bowl, add a glug of oil and season, then mix all around. Into another bowl, chop the chilli finely (I never deseed but everyone says you should!), crush your garlic and ginger into a mixture. Add the apple juice, white wine vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar. Stir rapidly with a wooden spoon and combine well. Heat in a small pan over a medium heat until all the sugar has melted and the sauce has thickened a little.
Pour the marinade over the meat and mix with your hands, and place the wings or ribs on an oven tray, covered with tin-foil. Cook in an oven pre-heated to 175 degrees for an hour and a quarter.
At the end, the meat should be falling off the bone. Simply finish off under the grill or on the barbecue for that smoky flavour. Serve with salads in the daytime, or spuds in the evening … or both anytime.

Sticky-glazed ham
Cook a whole joint of ham and store it in the fridge, cool under tin-foil, and you have a late breakfast, a thrown together lunch, an afternoon snack before going out, a midnight feast. Delicious any time, with breads and other snacks

What you need

  • 2.5kg cured gammon joint, off the bone
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Handful black peppercorns
  • 30cm fresh ginger, grated
  • Handful cloves,
  • 1 star anise
  • Glaze
  • 100ml soy sauce
  • 220g honey
  • 350g light brown sugar
  • Half an orange, juiced and ‘zested’
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tsp allspice powder
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • Seasoning

What you do
You can soak the ham overnight in water to draw out the salt if you think it’s too strong, but it really depends on your taste and the curing process. If you prefer not to soak your gammon joint overnight, you can save time by boiling it first for 40 minutes and then throwing out the water and starting from there.
Place the joint in a pan and cover with water. Add the bay leaf, peppercorns, ginger, star anise and half the cloves. Bring to boil, then turn down to a low simmer for two-and-a-half hours.
Mix the glaze ingredients in a small pan and heat at a light simmer for about 20 minutes to thicken. Remove the boiled joint and dry. Remove any thick skin, but not the fat. Now score the fat/ham diagonally to form interlaced diamond shapes. Insert the remaining cloves at where the scores cross, and then pour the glaze all over the joint.
Place the joint in an oven preheated to 220 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the top begins to brown. Remove when you are happy, and cover with paper to evenly cool.
Now you are ready to party, and appear like a domestic god or goddess when you pull the ham out of fridge in front of appreciative summer visitors!

Red Cabot is interested in food, nature and small things. He sells his food at Westport Country Markets in St Anne’s Boxing Club, James’s Street car park, Westport, every Thursday, from 8am to 1pm.

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