by Victoria Pease
The average plate of barbeque food would probably hold a beef burger, a pork sausage and some chicken without much care or attention placed on flavour, cooking or even a haphazard mix of the two. It’s a sad state of affairs when a barbeque, which celebrates the height of summer without the potential for a downpour at any moment, can be pigeon-holed as a mine for lacklustre food choices. It’s tempting to pick up a supermarket pre-prepared barbeque pack filled with rows of said meats, but it is deliciously simple to put on a spread of alternative barbeque food that will have your guests smacking their lips with delight. With sweet pork burgers, sardines and even a delicious vegetarian dish on offer, this guide will help you step away from the beef burgers and step onto something altogether more tasteful. So, if you fancy trying your hand at something different the next time you pull out the grill, why not try one of these five alternatives to the normal barbeque offerings and watch your outdoor party become the height of culinary sophistication.
Swap Pork Sausages for…Venison Sausages
Pork sausages are all well and good for barbeques, but there are some delicious alternatives out there just waiting to be grilled. Artisan haggis sausages are delicious with a spicy kick, but if that’s too far out of your comfort zone, then try venison. Similar in texture to beef but with a strong taste, these sausages are the height in barbeque culinary sophistication. Pair with a good dollop of mustard and a soft bread roll and you have a decadent spin on the hot dog.
Swap Beef Burgers for…Apple and Pork Burgers
Pork mince grills really well and has the potential to spice up your burgers with a fruity hint of apple. The sweet flavours go extremely well with exotic chutneys and salads, and will make an excellent alternative to the usual beef, cheese and ketchup combination. Simply mix chopped onion, pork mince, grated apple and an egg together, season well and form into patties. Chill for an hour before grilling on the barbeque.
Swap Prawns for…Sardines
Portugal is famed for its beautiful grilled sardines and they make for the perfect alternative to fiddly prawns. Ask your fishmonger to gut the fish for you, then rub with salt and olive oil and grill until steaming hot. Carefully remove the bones and sprinkle with a good flavoured salt, which can be made by crushing chopped herbs such as rosemary or dill in a mortar and pestle with a good helping of sea salt. Serve with salad and you have a beautiful version of a Portuguese barbeque classic.
Swap Chicken Skewers for…Turkey Skewers
Turkey has less fat than chicken, and makes for a leaner substitute. By marinating diced breast pieces in a simple homemade blend of lime juice, garlic, chilli and mint for a couple of hours, you will have tender meat that is ready to be threaded onto wooden skewers dipped in water and grilled for a flavoursome and healthy kebab alternative.
Swap Vegetable Kebabs for…Grilled Sesame Halloumi
Vegetarians often have a tough time at barbeques and if the host has forgotten to buy some vegetables to thread onto kebab sticks, then a raid of the salad station is the only chance of grabbing anything to eat. Instead of making vegetarians feel like a second thought, grill some sliced halloumi cheese that has been rolled in sesame seeds. The cheese will melt slightly and the seeds will toast into a delicious nutty flavour. You could even marinate halloumi the same way you would with the turkey pieces, for a vegetarian alternative that is just as delicious as the meat version.