BBQ Pizza

I’ve mentioned before in my article ‘5 ways to BBQ more this year’ that BBQ Pizza is one of those family favourites in my house. I’ve been trying a few different topping lately and the one in this recipe is one of my favourites. It’s quite a classic topping combination but using the sundried tomato paste as the sauce gives it a rich flavour.

Ingredients

For the base:

500 g Strong white flour

1 tsp Dried yeast

1 tsp Salt

300 mls Lukewarm water

2 tbsp Olive oil

 

For the toppings: Sliced Mozzarella, Fresh Rocket, Parma Ham, Red Onion, Pepperoni, Sundried Tomato Paste.

The pizza dough needs to prove for two hours so be sure to leave enough time to let it do it’s thing.

 

Making the Dough

  • To make the dough for the pizza base, Add the flour, yeast and salt to a large mixing bowl. You can use a food mixer with a dough hook attachment if you have one but it’s equally easy to make by hand. Create a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the water and olive oil.
  • Slowly start to fold the flour into the water until you have formed a rough dough. Remove the dough from the bowl and start to knead it on a floured surface for 10 minutes.
  • Oil the inside of a large bowl using a paper towel. Form your dough into a round ball and place it into the bowl. The oil will stop the dough sticking to the bowl as it rises and make it easier to remove later.
  • Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or cling film and leave it in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled in size. I generally use my hotpress but a shelf above a radiator will work too.

 

Creating your Pizza Base

  • After the dough has proved, remove it from the bowl onto a floured surface. You can divide the mixture into 3 parts to make 3 large pizzas but if you have kids in the house, you can divide one of those thirds in half to make 2 large pizzas plus 2 smaller bases for the kids.
  • One at a time, roll or stretch the bases out until they are the thickness of a pound coin. You can do this will a rolling pin or by creating a rough circle with your hands. This is homemade pizza so don’t spend too much time trying to make a perfect circle, it won’t affect the cook or flavour. If any holes form in the base, simply pinch the dough back together again with your fingers.
  • Always make sure you have plenty of flour on the surface you are working on and it is 100% dry or your pizza base will stick and be almost impossible to lift.
  • Before you add your toppings, you should have your BBQ preheated and ready to go.

 

Setting up your grill

I’ve cooked pizzas a few different way. Directly on the grates and on baking trays but my preferred method is on a pizza stone. This is a ceramic stone that gets incredibly hot and gives you that crispy, stone-baked base. I’ve tried the direct and indirect grill setups and I feel that a mixture of both works best. As the stone is so hot, the base can sometimes cook long before the toppings have had a chance to so I like to use a high indirect heat combines with a low direct heat under the stone.

For a charcoal grill, this involves placing your charcoal around the outer ring of the BBQ with a thin layer of coals directly under the stone. On my 3 burner gas grill, I would have the left and right burners on high and the middle burner on the lowest setting.

Everyone’s grill will be different and over time you will work out the best way to set yours up so the pizzas come out how you like them. Traditional pizza ovens are incredibly hot so aim to get your indirect heat as hot as possible and then try to balance the direct heat under the stone so your pizza cooks evenly.

 

Cooking your BBQ Pizza

  • When you have your grill up to temperature and the stone has been heating for around 10 minutes, you can start to put your pizza together. A great tip is to build your pizza on your pizza paddle or on the baking tray that comes with the Weber pizza stone to make it easier to transfer to the stone. If you don’t own a pizza paddle, any flat baking tray will work.
  • Cover the entire base evenly with the sundried tomato paste then add all the toppings.
  • If you are using a pizza paddle, transfer the pizza directly onto the stone but if you are using the baking tray supplied with the Weber stone I have a quick tip! It can be difficult to get your pizza off the tray in one piece so simply place the tray onto the stone. After two minutes, using a pair of heat resistant gloves, you can easily slide the tray out as the base will have started to crisp up.
  • Depending on your BBQ temperature, a pizza can take anywhere from 7 – 10 minutes to cook. Try to keep the lid down as you will be losing heat every time you open it. Keep an eye on the bottom of your base rather than the toppings. You will know your pizza is ready when the bottom of the base is crisp and golden brown.
  • Remove the pizza from the stone using your pizza paddle or the baking tray. Always wear heat resistant gloves as the stone is incredibly hot and accidentally touching it with your bare hands would not be a pleasant experience.
  • Place your pizza on a cutting board and carve it up using a pizza cutter or sharp knife.

Making BBQ pizza is something that you may not get right first time but with a few adjustments it won’t be long before you are cooking the best pizza you have ever eaten. Making the dough fresh and using only the toppings that you like makes such a difference. The entire family can build their own meaning everyone is happy.

If you have any questions about making pizza on your BBQ or you have any tips you’d like to share with other then please leave a comment below.

 

Hog and Haggis Sausage Roll Recipe

Finished Hog and Haggis Sausage Rolls

This is a quick and easy sausage roll recipe for parties or as a nibble when friends or family are over. They can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the fridge until you are ready to cook. The recipe below uses Haggis as part of the filling which may not be readily available. Most good butchers or farm shops in the UK will sell it. If you can’t get your hands on some, you can replace it with Black pudding in the same proportions and it will work just as well.

Ingredients

600 grams Pork Mince
200 grams Haggis (or Black Pudding)
2 teaspoons Fresh Thyme Leaves
Salt and Pepper (to Season)

500 grams Puff Pastry
1 Large Egg

Method

  • Add the pork mince to a large baking tray and spread it out. Season with salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Crumble the Haggis over the pork mince. Try not to crumble it too finely as the best part of these sausage rolls is when you get a massive chunk of Haggis in the mix! Now get your hands into the mixture and combine it all together. Place it in the fridge to chill while you prepare the pastry.
  • Now if you have the time, you can make your own pastry but shop bought works well and is a lot more convenient. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to a size of 30cm x 40cm and about 0.5cm deep. Cut the pastry into two rectangles each measuring 40cm x 15cm.
  • To make up the sausage rolls, add the filling along the centre of each strip evenly. Beat the egg in a bowl and brush one long edge of the pastry with it using a pastry brush. This will help the pastry hold together when you roll them. Do your best to ensure they are rolled tightly as this will stop them falling apart when cutting and cooking. Place the two long rolls in the fridge to chill for around 30 minutes.
  • The final step before cooking is to cut the sausage rolls to your desired size. For a party, I always find a smaller sausage roll is easier for people to grab but you can also divide the full roll into three to give you a more traditional size. Lightly score the top of each sausage roll with a knife and brush the tops with the beaten egg to help them turn golden brown when cooking. Try to do this just before they go on the grill to stop the egg soaking into the pastry.

At the BBQ

  • The sausage rolls should be baked at around 180-190°C in an area of indirect heat for around 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling has reached an internal temperature of 75°C. Serve them hot with a sweet and sticky BBQ sauce to dip them in.

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Pork Loin – Herb and Garlic infused

Pork Loin is a beautiful cut of meat and there is no better way to cook it than roasting it on the barbecue. Scoring and brushing the fat with a herb and garlic infused oil will pack the meat full of flavour and help the fat crisp up.

Ingredients

2lb Pork Loin (Make sure your butcher leaves a layer of fat on the roast)

100ml Vegetable Oil (Or any other oil with a high smoke point)
1 tbsp dried Rosemary
1 tbsp dried Thyme
1 tsp Finely chopped garlic

Lift your Pork Loin out of the fridge to let it come up to room temperature. While you are waiting, add the Oil, Rosemary, Thyme and Garlic to a pestle and mortar. Grind all the ingredients together, smashing the herbs and garlic to allow their flavours to combine with the oil. Leave for 15-20 minutes at room temperature to allow the oil to infuse.

Light up 3/4 of a chimney starter of briquettes and pour them into one side of your barbecue giving you an area of indirect heat. Place the cooking grate on the grill and close the lid to allow the temperature to settle. You want to roast the Pork Loin at around 170-180°C as it is a lean cut of meat so you do not need to render a lot of fat by slow cooking.

While your temperature is regulating, take a sharp knife and put deep scores into the fat on top of the Pork Loin. Make sure you slice all the way through to the meat as this will allow the flavours to penetrate the meat. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper then rub the infused oil mixture into the fat. Make sure you get the oil and herb mixture into the scores as this will help your fat to crisp up.

Place a roasting tin on the indirect side of the grill and place a roast holder inside it. Place the Pork Loin of the roast holder and add about 1 cup of boiling water to the roasting tin. This will help keep the meat moist while cooking. Put the lid on the barbecue ensure both top and bottom vents are fully open.

You are looking to achieve an internal temperature of 72°C before removing the meat from the roasting tin and searing it on all sides over the hot coals to give you a golden colour all over. This normally takes about 90 minutes but this can vary from cook to cook.

Allow the meat to rest for about 30 minutes before carving into 1/4 inch thick slices. Pork Loin makes a great traditional roast dinner however it is an inexpensive cut of meat so the short cook time makes it a perfect candidate for a week night BBQ dinner!

Pulled Pork – Apple Smoked

This old American favourite is one of the recipes that has come to epitomise low and slow barbecue. The idea of taking a very tough cut of meat, smoking it for a long time at a low temperature to break down all the fats and connective tissues inside it until the point that it literally falls apart is what low and slow is all about. Pulled pork can take anywhere from 6 hours to 26 hours to cook so if you’re looking for a quick dinner, this one isn’t for you.

Ingredients

Here’s what you will need to make the perfect pulled pork.

  • Pork Shoulder Joint ( The joint I am using for this cook is a 2.5kg shoulder)
  • Approx 1 Cup of my low n slow pork rub
  • 100ml Apple Juice
  • 100ml Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 50ml Water
  • A few chunks of Apple Wood

And the most important ingredient of all……… Time!

Preparing The Pulled Pork

Whilst pulled pork is a long cook, there is very little prep work that needs done before letting the meat see the heat. Remove the shoulder of pork from the fridge approximately 30 minutes before you are due to put it on the grill. Using a shaker or your hand, cover the joint in an even coating of the low and slow pork rub then leave it to the side to let it come up to room temperature.

At The Grill

Light a little under half a chimney starter of Weber Briquettes and as soon as they are glowing hot in the middle, tip them out to one side of the bowl. You can use the charcoal rails that come with most Weber Kettles to keep them to one side or one of their charcoal baskets. Close the lid and allow the temperature to level out. Your target temperature here is about 110 – 120 degrees C. You want it to stay in the range of 100 – 130 degrees C so the meat cooks slowly, Any warmer than that and you will be roasting the joint. This will not let the fat render properly and the meat will be tough. Any lower than 100 degrees C and the temperature won’t be high enough to render fat and you will struggle to get a good cook.

If you find your temperature is running a little hot, stab a few briquette with a sharp knife so they fall down through the charcoal grate. Close the lid again and your temperature will drop.

Place a large drip pan on the charcoal grate below the area where the meat will cook to catch any drippings ( you will need these later)

As soon as you are happy that your temperature has regulated, place the joint on the grill opposite the coals. Add one or two chunks of apple wood to the coals then place a small water pan on the cooking grate. This will help to maintain moisture inside the lid. If you have a meat probe, push it into the meat and and close the lid. The chunks will start to smoke straight away so keep the lid on to maintain it and the temperature.

You can walk away and forget about it for a few hours now. Your briquettes should maintain that steady temperature for a while and leaving the lid on will only help. After a about 3 hours is the point that I start spritzing the meat to stop the bark from drying out. Add the apple juice, apple cider vinegar and water to a spray bottle. Spritz the meat every 30 minutes or so to keep it moist and to stop the bark from getting too dark.

From this point on, I am going to talk about temperatures rather than time because the length of the cook really depends on how consistent you have kept your temperature. When making pulled pork, I usually wrap the shoulder in foil when the internal temperature is around 75°C. At this temperature, the pork is cooked however the tough fats and connective tissues haven’t started to break down. By wrapping the meat, you can speed up the process a little but also keep all those juices from running out of it.

There is one more thing I like to do before I wrap. Remove the drip tray from below the cooking grate. There will be drippings in it from the shoulder and I like to use them to add flavour back into the meat as it tenderises. Take a little of your mixture from your spray bottle and pour it into the drip tray. Mix it together with the juices from the meat. When you wrap the pork shoulder in foil, pour this mixture over the top of the meat. Seal the foil and place the joint back onto the grill in the same position as before.

Continue to cook the pork shoulder until it reaches an internal temperature of between 92 – 95°C. At this point, lift the wrapped pork shoulder off the grill and place it in a roasting tin, taking care not to tear the foil. The shoulder will have to rest to allow all those juices to settle back into the meat. This is an incredibly important step. I know you are excited about what you’ve just achieved but it will all be for nothing if it doesn’t rest. The second you pull the pork, all the juice will run out of it and onto the chopping board. You should allow it to rest for at least 40 – 60 minutes.

You can use bear claws, two forks or simply your bbq tongs to pull the meat apart. Serve it in a brioche roll with lashings of BBQ Sauce or it makes a great finger food when entertaining. Try it on Pizzas, in wraps or sandwiches and even mixed into curries.

BBQ Yorkshire Puddings

I posted up my recipe for perfect roast beef and I mentioned that a roast dinner wouldn’t be complete without all the trimmings. Sure this includes Potatoes and all the veg but the Yorkshire Puddings are second only to the meat. These little puds are crispy on the out side but chewy in the middle. They are the perfect companion for my rich onion gravy I showed you how to make in my Roast Beef Recipe. They are really easy to make and the BBQ is the perfect way to cook them.

Ingredients

  • 4 Large Free Range Eggs
  • 200ml Whole Milk
  • 200 grams Plain Flour
  • Vegetable Oil

You will also need:

  • 1x 12 Cup Muffin Tin
  • 1x Large Baking Tray

Crack the four whole eggs into a large bowl and add the milk. Whisk until the eggs and milk are combined and start to become frothy. Sift in the flower and continue to whisk until the batter is well combined. The more you whisk at this point the better so battle through the pain in your arm. Hard work pays! Pour the mixture into a jug and leave to the side.

Prepare your grill for indirect heat buy light the outside burners on a gas grill, leaving the middle one off, or by placing the coals at either side of your charcoal bbq. The key to getting your Yorkshire Puddings to rise is even heat inside the barbecue. You are aiming for a grill temperature of around 190 degrees C

Add 1cm of vegetable oil to the bottom of each cup in the muffin tray. Place the baking tray in the centre of the bbq and then place the muffin tray on top of that. As the Yorkshire Puddings cook and start to rise, they will push some of the oil out of the muffin tin so the baking tray is to catch it and stop it falling onto the flames. Hot oil and open flames are not a good combination so this step is a must! Close the lid and allow the oil to heat up. It should be at least 180 degrees C before you add the batter.

When the oil is up to temperature, fill each cup with the batter taking care not to dribble to much on the edges of the muffin tin. Close the lid immediately and leave them to cook for at least  25 minutes without opening the lid. If you open the lid to take a peek, your Yorkshire Puddings will collapse and you will be left with Yorkshire Pancakes!

You will know they are ready when the tops have puffed up and become golden brown and crispy. Remove both trays from the BBQ being careful not to spill any of the hot oil. Place the finished Yorkshire Puddings on some kitchen towel to dry off any remaining oil then serve immediately.