Hard Charred Skewers With Spicy Yellow Sauce

Posted by Martin Perkins on

These skewers are perfect for this time of year (winter) when standing outside trying to maintain a steady, low temperature on your barbecue isn’t particularly appealing.

All the tenderising happens in your prep, rather than the cook.

With your slippers on.

Having said that it does involve smoking a load of veg for the sauce but you can just put a coat on. You’ll be fine.

For the final cook, just wheel your barbecue or chimney topper over to your back door (or out the window), light it up and blast the skewers on high heat, turning continually.

I used rump for this but it would work well for most types of cheaper meat cuts with plenty of fat. I wouldn’t bother going much better than rump. Maybe even try it with offal like ox heart which can stand up to the chilli. Goat would also be a great alternative.

I used yellow peppers because I had yellow scotch bonnets and wanted a nice bright sauce that would look appetising against the charred meat. Red or orange would be fine. Also, use chilis that are as hot as you like.

Biased as I am, these skewers really are excellent.

They’re long enough that you can hold them without gloves when using on the chimney but short enough that they fit comfortably in almost any lidded barbecue. Critically they are flat so you can actually flip the food without it spinning round.

First round of 80 are in production and will be ready in the next couple of weeks. If you’re interested in getting some of the first batch, let me know and I’ll set you some aside.

Equipment:

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Marinade

500g Rump Steak cut into 3cm cubes. Fat cap removed and reserved.

2 or 3 medium hot chilis

6 cloves of garlic

1 handful of fresh soft herbs. I used coriander. Parsley would work well.

1 tsp each salt and pepper

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted in dry pan.

 

Smoked Pepper Sauce

2 Red or yellow peppers whole

2 Red or yellow scotch bonnets

3 Spring onions

1 Bulb of garlic 

1 Lemon, quartered pithy centre removed

2 tbsp olive oil

Sugar to taste

Salt to taste

 

To Serve

Rocket

1 tsp Olive oil

1 tsp red wine vinegar

Crusty bread, toasted

Method:

Marinade

Cut any fat you removed into strips that will fit your skewers. These will go in-between your meat and keep everything well basted during cooking and resting. Add to bowl.

Grind the rest of the ingredients in a whizzer, a pestle and mortar or finely chop with a knife. If you use a whizzer, chop the herbs separately and add. It can go bitter if over-processed.

Add to the bowl with meal and mix well. Cover and marinate in fridge for 4-24 hours. If you don’t have 4 hours, leave it out of the fridge while you prep the rest.

Smoked Peppers Sauce

Set your barbecue up for indirect heat. You’re aiming for about 180-200 c. On a standard 57cm kettle, that’s about  1 full chimney plus a handful of coals on top. Bottom vents open, lid vents closed.

Lay your fruit and veg out on a baking sheet and give them all a decent coating of olive oil.

Add a couple of handfuls of wood chips or a small chunk on the coals to generate smoke then add your tray to the indirect side with your spring onions Furthest from the heat.

Let those hang out for a smokey roasting for around 40 mins or until they’ve started to implode and go all wrinkly. Take them off and leave them until cool enough to handle.

Peel the skin off the peppers, squeeze out the garlic from its husk, de-seed the scotch bonnet (or don’t you bloody legend) cut the lemon flesh from the rind and peel away the outer layer of the spring onion. Put it all in a liquidiser and with it running, stream in about 2 tbsp of olive oil to form an emulsified, smooth sauce.

Taste it. It will be a little on the bitter side from the lemon so add sugar a pinch at a time, blending and tasting as you go until it tastes balanced, spicy and delicious. Salt to taste.

If doing ahead, leave it in the fridge. It benefits from time for the smoky and chilli flavours mellow out but you can serve it straight away.

Final Cook

Light your chimney about 3/4 of the way up and get it going until it’s a burning inferno. Put your chimney grill atop.

Take your skewers and smack them down satisfyingly so they go pshhhhh and some flames flare up a bit. Turn these every 5 or so seconds. The fat will render and flare up. This is good. Keeping turning until you’ve developed a nice char on all sides. 2 or 3 minutes total.

Take its temperature. For medium rare, aim for around 45c.The marinate and fat makes these pretty bullet proof. Even if they go a little too far they won’t be tough. If you don’t have a thermometer, cut into a piece of meat and go from there. 

To serve, lightly dress some rocket with oil, vinegar and S&P, toast some nice bread with a little oil on the still hot grill and put it all in the middle or serve individually as small plates, laying beef on rocket and spooning the spicy sauce over the top.