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Mike Reid has teamed up with Aldi to celebrate “Junemas”, which is, essentially, Christmas in June. Aldi reintroduced its favourite Christmas products to stores this week, including mince pies, turkey burgers, and pigs in blankets.
As someone who spends half his time in Australia, Mike knows what it’s like to celebrate Christmas in the sun.
He was therefore the perfect person to partner with Aldi to encourage Britons to experiment more with their barbecues this summer.
Mike recommended cooking a steak on the barbecue.
Whether it’s cooked rare or well done, there is no right way to serve a steak, but for Mike, “it’s all about introducing flavour to that steak”.
He said: “Start off with a great piece of meat. The produce you start off with is half of what makes a good chef good.
“Using some good ingredients – Aldi’s got some phenomenal beef at the moment.
“Make sure you take things out of the fridge half an hour begore you’re planning on cooking it so that it’s at room temperature, and then doing it over a barbecue.
“Doing it over coal or over wood gives you that real extra authentic flavour to your steak. You can add a marinate to it too.”
Interestingly, Mike explained that cooking meat on a barbecue is healthier than in a pan.
He said: “If you’re cooking a steak in pan, then you’re rendering the fat of that steak in a pan and so it sits there and goes back into the meat.
“If you’re cooking a steak on a barbecue, the fat drips down into the coal.
“So it’s actually much healthier cooking steak on a barbecue than in a pan or oven roasting.
“And there’s so many vegetables you can do on a barbecue, like a whole roasted cauliflower, aubergine, and eggplant.
“There’s such a variety. For me, barbecuing equals flavour – it doesn’t matter what that is. Whether it’s meat, or fish, or vegetables, you’re packing so much flavour in there.”
Other dishes Mike recommended serving at a barbecue this month were turkey burgers, hot dogs, and turkey skewers.
He said: “Take a great turkey product from Aldi and then add some mature cheddar cheese, cranberry sauce, Dijon mustard, and putting everything in a beautiful brioche bun.
“So you’ve basically got your core elements of a Christmas dinner in a burger and all those Christmas flavours that you’d expect.”
Mike went on to explain how he cooked turkey skewers, saying: “I made a maple glazed turkey skewer.
“So it’s a play on an Australian classic skewer that we would do on a barbecue, but doing it in maple syrup.
“You add spring onions and a nice sauce.”
Mike stressed that one of the most important things to focus on when hosting a barbecue is the preparation.
He said: “Get things done in advance. You can get majority of the work done the day before. That takes the stress away.
“Share the work too so you can enjoy the day,” added Mike.
To serve with the meat at a barbecue, the chef recommended making a light salad and, as a drink, something fruity.
He said: “Think light flavours – berry punch, tropical ginger beer with rum, or Aperol Spritz.
“I like rum with pineapple juice too, or you can use ginger beer as the base.”
Flaming Junemas turkey burgers with added sauce
2 Turkey Burgers
2 Brioche burger buns
50g Mature cheddar cheese
100g Cranberry sauce
50g Dijon mustard
– Cook Aldi’s turkey burgers over coals to get that nice, natural smokey flavour to your meat
– Once cooked through, add your cheese right at the end at the end so it melts over the top
– At the same time, slightly toast one of Aldi’s gorgeous brioche buns on the grill
– Place your mustard mayonnaise on the base, followed by some fresh rocket
– Top with your patty and cranberry sauce
A great tip to ensure you melt your cheese without over cooking your burger is to cover it with a metal bowl, this will generate steam to give you an even melt.
Sizzling lime and chilli BBQ Santa-claws
100ml Sweet chilli sauce
1 Red Chilli, sliced
1 lime, cut in half
Coriander to garnish
– Cook your prawns over a medium to high heat – you’ll start to see some nice rich colour appearing on the outer shells
– Once cooked to perfection, add your sweet chilli sauce to a bowl
– Toss in your prawns and nicely coat them all over
– Add in your sliced fresh chilli for a little extra heat
– Cut your lime in half and also grill, which not only gives you a lovely finish but most importantly draws out the natural sugars within
– Squeeze over the prawns for a turbo charged lime flavour, finishing them off with that added zing!
It’s not an Aussie barbecue without throwing some prawns on the barbie! Don’t be afraid of the colour – as I often tell my chefs, colour is flavour when you are cooking over fire.
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