Are You Barbecue Ready?
Forget being beach-body ready, get barbecue ready. You will feel much better for it and you won’t be hungry... all the time!
Yes, we fickle Brits banish our fan-assisted friends at the first sign of blue skies, exchanging the supermarket aisle for the garage forecourt as we hunt and gather the tools needed to create fire... and dinner.
But, this year, let us opt for quality over quantity. You can still have quantity, but just make sure it is really f-ing good.
Make sure your meat is reliably sourced – not some 12-for-a-pound patty that is going to spit fat everywhere and taste like an ice-hockey puck. Make sure your veg comes from the Garden of England (that’s Kent by the way) and make sure your brews both complement your flame-grilled gastronomy and purvey the taste of home (yes, I’m talking about Kent again). We mooched up to Macknade Fine Foods in Faversham to make a mess of its new outdoor area The Deck. If that wasn’t enough, we also asked butcher/chef Simon Maynard to pick out a few choice cuts and cook them for us as well. We then took the absolute p**s and ate it all, too. Flame on!
Made by those lovely chaps down in Marden, Turners Cider is made using 100 per cent Kentish eating apples (as opposed to cooking apples). Fermented on-site, a choice of Cox, Worcester, Bramley and Russet apples are put together to create the right blend and balance.
The Turners Medium-Dry Cider kicks in at a 7%ABV with a lightly sparkling, crisp and fruity flavour with a balance of acidity and sweetness. Now available in Co-op Local stores under the ‘Local Product’ section, you won’t go wrong with this summer number.
Available in bottles only.
Mighty Fine Things – Sweet Chilli Sauce
There are three varieties of the award-winning Sweet Chilli & Honey sauces. Using Kent raw honey, they are super-versatile, great for dipping, marinating meat (particularly sausages and chicken) or veg (thinking plant-based kebabs) before BBQing or roasting, adding to dressings and as a natural partner for halloumi.
The Sweet Chilli, Honey & Mango sauce has a great big hit of chilli warmth, exotic mango and a mellow sweet depth from Kentish honey, perfect with bangers and spicing up cream cheeses.
The Ginger, Sweet Chilli & Honey Sauce adds zesty ginger to the mix, perfect for marinating and stir-fry with sticky ribs and zinging chicken or halloumi.
Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale
One of Shepherd Neame’s newest brands, the Bear Island range offers up something a bit different.
Though its Triple Hopped Lager is making a splash in the market, we opted for the East Coast Pale Ale. Made with Cascade and Amarillo hops imported from the US combined with native British Boadicea hops, this deep-gold American Pale Ale (4.8%Abv) offers light caramel notes and a robust bitterness, with citrus aromas.
The Butchery, Macknade
Butcher Simon Maynard served up a 2kg rib of beef priced at £25-£30.
Sourced from Deersbrook Farm, it is native Sussex beef variety and available at Macknade.
There is also breast of Texel-cross lamb. A more irregular cut, served in a rib style, sourced from Al Palmar’s farm in Shottenden, Kent.
Macknade works with several farms in the South East certified by the Pasture Fed Livestock Association, an organisation that champions British farmers dedicated to feeding their animals on a natural diet of grasses, wildflowers and herbs.
Wild Bread – Kentish Wholewheat
Made by the Wild Bread Bakehouse team from Selling, the Kentish Wholewheat cob is created using biodynamic stoneground wholewheat flour, organic unbleached white wheat flour, water and sea salt. Beautiful.