17 Feb The Big Green Egg Review
One of the newest and most exciting features in our chalets this season has been the addition of the Big Green Egg BBQs. For the last two months our chefs have been incorporating these into their weekly menus, using the Big Green Eggs to regularly cook up a yummy selection of culinary delights for our guests, from slow roasted pork to brownies!
In this blog post Adelaide, the excellent chef from Chalet Narnia, tells us all about her experiences with the Egg and even provides a couple of recipes for anyone with their own Egg….
“I use my Egg at least three times per week to do all or part of the evening meal for the guests at Chalet Narnia and it’s great fun. I have found the Big Green Egg to be very reliable and easy to use. It literally takes me two minutes to get it lit (first time, every time) and it’s ready to cook on in 10-15 minutes (the same time as your average oven).
I really like the fact that the charcoal is organic and made from entirely natural products too; oak and hickory and that’s it! The firelighters are also the same – chemical free so any food cooked on the Egg has a great natural flavour. The charcoal pieces are larger than you would normally find, elongating the time you can have the Egg on for. I regularly have my Egg going for a good 5-6 hours and still have charcoal left at the end. I can leave my Big Green Egg unattended whilst I cook other bits in the kitchen and know that the temperature is stable and the Egg is safe too.
The temperature is controlled with vents at the bottom and top. When you first light the Egg, open all the vents, put your charcoal in and make a well in the middle. Light just one of the organic firelighters and place in the well then stack charcoal over the lighter so it can catch. Shut the lid and come back in 10 minutes to adjust the vents and get the right temperature for your meal. It’s well below freezing some evenings when I’m BBQ-ing and the Egg still works really well making it a great year round addition.
When you are finished with the egg, put the lid on the top and completely shut the bottom vent….and that’s actually it. There is very little ash due to the organic nature of the charcoal so it only needs cleaning out every 5/6 times it’s used which is very handy. The charcoal is so ash free that you can actually chuck your meat directly onto it to cook which is a nice trick to pull out!
The other main reason I like using the Egg so much is its versatility. You can cook almost anything on it from meat to potatoes, to cakes, to brownies, to bread and vegetables and that’s not it! It’s basically an extra oven in your garden or on your balcony. I even cooked our Christmas turkey on it, the result was really moist with a smokey apple flavour that made your average Christmas dinner just a little bit different and was loved by our guests.
The smoking chips you can add to the charcoal really give off a lot of flavour, great if you want to mix things up a bit. The apple smoked chicken and hickory smoked potatoes I made for my guests the other night went down a treat.
Some of the recipes I use regularly on the Egg are below in case you feel like getting one and having a go yourself.”
Pulled Beef with Rosemary
2kg Beef brisket
1 bunch Rosemary
For the Stock:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
10 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
20 button mushrooms, halved
1 small fennel bulb, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the remaining stock ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, 5-7 minutes.
Add 3 litres of cold water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until stock is reduced by half, 1-1 1/2 hours. Whilst this is cooking you can light your Egg. Bring the temperature to around 160 degrees.
Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large deep dish to which you add half Rosemary in smallish bunches and then place the brisket on top and cover with the remaining Rosemary.
Using either of the grills, place the dish onto the Egg and leave to cook for around 3-4 hours. During this time check the Egg regularly to ensure that the brisket stays covered by the stock and add more stock if necessary.
When the time is up remove the dish, take out the beef and, using 2 forks, pull it apart. I normally serve this as part of a BBQ evening along with chilli burgers, chicken and salad.
Sticky Slow Roast Pork Belly
3kg piece pork belly, boned, rind left on and scored
4 tsp sunflower oil
2 tsp white peppercorns, crushed
5 large onions, sliced
6 tbsp. clear honey
4 tsp ground cumin
2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
Get your Egg going and set the temperature to 180 degrees. Lay the pork, skin-side up, on a rack in a roasting tin. Trickle with a little oil, then lightly press on the crushed peppercorns and a sprinkling of coarse sea salt. Place on the Egg, then cook for 1 hr. Lift the lid on the Egg and baste with the juices. Continue to cook for a further 1½ hrs, basting every 20 mins.
Put the sliced onions in the roasting tin under the pork. Mix the honey together with the cumin and chilli, brush it over the pork, then increase the Egg to 200 degrees. Cook for a further 30-40 mins, basting occasionally, until caramelised with a rich, golden glaze over the pork. Once cooked and tender (this can be easily tested by piercing the flesh with a knife), remove pork from the Egg, then leave to rest for 10-15 mins.