Nelson chef Jamie Hertz offers some tips for successful summer grilling.

Nelson chef offers tips for successful grilling

Nelson's chef Jamie Hertz wants you to be ready for the summer barbecue season with some easy and helpful tips.

On of the best things about summer is all of the grills and barbecues come out and fill the air with that beautiful aroma that we are all use to. Grilled meat and veggies, yum! I find that the smell of something tasty on the grill has the same affect on me as coming in during the winter and smelling a roast in the oven or a chicken soup simmering away, my kind of aromatherapy.

One thing that I thought I would mention is that having some milage on your grill adds flavour to what ever it is you are cooking, but there should be some maintenance to avoid certain disasters. You will get the same taste if not better if you constantly scrub the grill down and brush it will a high temperature oil. There is nothing worse than taking a bite out of a steak or piece of fish and biting down on a piece of crispy black mystery food that leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.

If you brush your grill constantly with oil you will find your meat will turn out looking better and will cause you less stress. Just a simple tip but will make a world of difference in your grilling. It’s little tips like these that if practiced regularly then your cooking experiences will be less stressful.

One of my favourite grilled meats is a leg of lamb and when done right it is sensational.

First off when cooking red meat you should have the meat out sitting on the counter ahead of time. You want it to be room temperature to have a better turn out in the end, that is unless you are one of those well done type of steak eaters. Nothing broke my heart more, when a costumer ordered the highest quality steak and then asked me to turn it into a leather shoe.

So now that I have told you how I really feel about welldone steak eaters lets talk about flavour. It is important to have a marinade done ahead of time and can be done up to 48 hours in advance. The longer the better, that is unless it has gone rotten!

In this case I am going to share a lamb recipe that involves a wet rub. Hold the jokes because I know they crossed your mind.

First off, peel 1 bulb of garlic and place in a food processor. Add about 3 to 4 tablespoons of smooth dijon mustard and fresh thyme and rosemary. You want to puree this until it is silky smooth. Now the ideal way to prepare your lamb is to have your butcher remove the bone unless you are brave enough to do so yourself. You then want to butterfly the whole leg so it is about 2 inches thick. Now season with salt and pepper and rub the dijon mixture until the entire leg is coated.

This is best if it is done at least 2 hours in advance so that the garlic can infuse into the meat. As for the cooking times lamb is best served medium so if I were to ballpark a cooking temp and time for you I would say about 12 mintutes per side on medium high heat.

The last thing you want to remember when you are grilling meat is the resting period. It is very important to let the meat rest for about 10 minutes. The meat will be tougher otherwise and this resting period will let the blood run out over a cooling rack and not someones plate. Blood on plates isn’t that appealing and if done in restaurants, it shows that there is an inexperienced cook working the grill.

I hope that this inspires you all to fire up the barbecues this weekend and enjoy some patio times with good friends and family.

Chef Jamie Hertz


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