There is nothing better than receiving your family and friends with the smell of the grill, a good barbecue and a glass of wine in your hand. For using every weekend, we leave you a quick guide on how to become a Master Grill and surprise everyone with an unforgettable smokey and delicious roasted meal.
Step 1: Taste the event first
Take a few minutes to do the calculations and preparations: take into account how many people will accompany you, where will you be cooking (whether outdoors or not, for example), what kind of grill will you have and most importantly: the context. What is the purpose of this barbecue? A football match, just some food with friends, an afternoon birthday, a family Sunday or maybe a romantic dinner to surprise your partner.
Step 2: Shopping
How much to buy and where: Always think between 250-300 grams of meat per person, including sausages and other starters from the barbecue; because to this will be added the side dishes and drinks. Today there is a great offer for finding products of great quality and good price: from supermarkets to butcher shops, food markets and even online sites. Choose what gives you greater security in terms of quality and origin of the products. If you buy frozen meats: be sure to keep them away from the cold at least one day before, so they are in their most natural condition possible.
Step 3: Picking the perfect cuts
The meat: what cuts to choose among the endless varieties that we can find. Always take into account the preference of the guests and we recommend to have as much variety in flavors, textures and types of meat you can. The beef is a classic: the skirt steak, ribs, tender loins, fillet, among others; chicken breasts and wings; pork ribs, chops or even less traditional cuts such as wagyu, deer and wild boar, among of course vegetables and other preparations that give color to our grill.
Step 4: Light up the fire!
If you have the opportunity to light up real fire, and escape from the gas or electric grills that absorb part of the magic that involves a good barbecue, always choose firewood. Today the variety of charcoals available is also wide; coming from different trees, briquettes, even ready-to-light pack, very easy to use. But nothing equals fire made by hand and dry firewood, ideally hawthorn or eucalyptus, because the heat and aromas they emit impregnate our preparations uniquely.
Step 5: Putting the meat on the grill
First law of the grill: the chicken always goes first. We recommend roasting it with skin to leave it golden and crispy, or hydrate the meat constantly with some type of dressing. In parallel you have to put the complete pieces of meat (not filleted) or very thick ones that will also take a long time to be ready. Then put the sausages or cuts that will be used for appetizers, such as spicy sausages and skirt steaks. When they are almost ready, throw thinner cuts of pork and beef to the grill and it will take no more than 8 to 10 minutes to be ready, with the fire at its midpoint. Other important grill laws: Try to just make one turn on each side, to take advantage of the meats juices; never poke the meat but handle it with pincers and use only sea salt, ideally thick or a simple dressing of vinegar and green spices.
Step 6: The side dishes
We recommend always having a pair of fresh and light salads, as well as some rice, quinoa, cous cous or pastas that will be ready in 10 to 15 minutes. If you still have some embers at the grill and want to show off with the guests, wrap some potatoes in foil, along with unpeeled onions and peppers and put them directly on the fire. Be sure to serve them well cooked and season with salt and olive oil. The inevitable pebre, salsa or chimichurri can be prepared early without problem.
Step 7: The perfect cooking point
Other job of the Grill Master is to offer a great amount of variety in cooking points at the time of serving the meat, or even better; to do a personalized order, considering the preference of each guest. Take into account that a well cooked meat is one that no longer releases juice when you press it and it offers resistance; the ‘three quarters’ or mid rare is softer to the touch and releases some juice, while the rare meat is more juicy and is always the first to be served. Let the meat rest for at least a few minutes before serving, to concentrate juices and aromas.
Step 8: Let’s Uncork!
An important part of a good barbecue is what we are going to drink. For a more informal event, we recommend wines that pair almost every cut correctly, such as Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon or Casillero del Diablo Carmenere. If you are looking for specific wines for each cut, we recommend Syrah for sausages and cuts of pork or Merlot for the chicken. Another excellent option to enjoy a mixed pairing, with a variety of spices, textures and intensities of meat, is the Trio line of Concha y Toro: balanced blends based on Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, which will be an ideal wine for the most demanding guests.
Step 9: Turning the fire off
Once we remove all of our preparations from the grill, it is important to let the charcoal or firewood finish consuming alone and slowly, without water or other type of product to avoid smoke and annoying aromas. Even if our grill is electric or gas, the important thing is to take advantage while it is still hot, to clean it and remove the grease with a metal brush easily and quickly.
Step 10: Enjoying the day after
There is nothing better than saving all the leftovers from the grill and cooking great dishes the day after, with that smoky and almost sweet taste that comes from roasting. Beyond broths and salads, using the pieces of different cuts of meat left from the previous day, we propose to innovate and incorporate them into pasta sauces, homemade pizzas and even more elaborate dishes like quiches, stews or legumes.
We invite you to enjoy everything that is generated by lighting the grill: from the company, to each of its aromas and flavors. And of course, even better enjoying the barbecue with a good glass of wine!
Credit: Concha y Toro