I am a writing Novelist from Austria - www.bettinabuechel.com/entangled_souls.asp - I am living in South Australia since December 2010 and enjoy it a lot. Besides this I look after a small vineyard - www.lot333wines.com.au
Published October 10th 2012
The ultimate Aussie barbie
The ultimate Aussie barbie
Food and wine are an essential part of the Australian lifestyle. Due to the fabulous weather, most meals are eaten al fresco. And thanks to the different microclimates and landscapes you will find a wide selection of foods. From high-quality meats to excellent fish and seafood, fresh mango and avocado in the tropical heat of the North.
BUT is there anything better than a relaxing barbie on a gorgeous day? Almost nothing makes Australian blokes happier than hanging round the barbeque with their mates swigging beer and roasting large slabs of meat. At almost any little beauty spot in Australia you'll find places where the council has kindly provided free barbeques. Probably most of the households have their own barbeque. There is even an Australian Barbeque Academy (A•B•A), whose Master classes are fully booked for 2012.
I can imagine that it is the simple food, great surroundings and good company that make a really barbecue. Of course, you can do a posh barbeque, marinate the meat days in advance, prepare some top-notch salads and buy some fancy bread. But all you really need is a dozen sausages, including some veggie, a loaf of sliced bread and some ketchup or barbecue sauce. Sometimes the only fancy thing you can manage is a bit of fried onion on the side, but that's all you need because nothing tastes better than good, simple food eaten outside. I am told, that Australian people typically like lamb chops, steak and sausages at a barbeque and eat this with sliced onions and potatoes.
These days, I think an Aussie barbie is not just grilling meat. It's much more sophisticated and the masters of the grill actually marinate the food in advance and prepare all manner of culinary fare in their outdoor kitchen. Today, you will not only find lamb and beef, but also emu and ostrich (a red meat that look like steak) on the grill. Even crocodile, a white meat with a firm texture, will also be very popular.
But do the Australians only grill meat on their barbies?
What about seafood? The famous television advertisement "Slip another shrimp on the barbie", starring Paul Hogan says something else. However, Australians would never say shrimps, but prawns. Australia has an excellent variety of seafood and fish, so it should be a must to cook them on the grill. Squids, prawns and mussels as well as garfish and salmon filets can be excellent for a barbeque and are delicious and healthy. It seems that burnt sausages and chops are history and are now replaced by gourmet sausages, marinated steaks and fresh seafood, cooked perfectly and served with fresh salad and wine. You also see more and more utensils for smoking in different outdoor and barbeque shops. The barbeque grill can also be used as a smoker by using a smoke box and aromatic wood chips. Something new for me. Will the smoking of fish and meat in the barbeque be done more frequently in the future? I could well imagine. Especially Australian salmon, with its strong flavour, is very suitable for smoking and tastes yummy.
The barbeque season is on its way. After learning from the locals, we will start our own experience with the Aussie barbie lifestyle this year. The four-burner is bought and ready to use, the weather will get better and we are looking forward to try a lot of different food and recipes on our newly purchased outdoor kitchen.