Last weekend saw blue skies, wispy clouds and the sun peeked out; like summer's wave goodbye to us. I do love autumn and all the rich shades of colour it brings, but waking up and getting home while it's dark depresses me. Which is why when I woke up on Sunday and flung the blinds back to be greeted by sunshine, I hauled my housemate's ass out of bed, frog-marched her down to Sainsburys, and got all the goods for what might be our last barbeque of the year.
As there was just the two of us, I thought the best way to go would be a big hunk of meat and a couple of salads. 800gr of bone-in Aberdeen Angus rib was purchased, along with some leaves and knobbly new potatoes to make up our lunch. As a little starter, I steamed up some white asparagus, part of a birthday hamper I received from my mates. This was simply dressed with a healthy glob of butter and a generous grinding of salt. A fruity Pimms cocktail kept us company while we waited for the coals to do its thing.
The steak was left out at room temperature, and half an hour before it was slapped on the barbeque, I lightly dusted both sides with salt. Now, some people say not to salt meat until the very last moment otherwise it draws the juices out, but I seem to recall Dos Hermanos recommending this on Twitter. We tried it at a previous barbeque and it worked beautifully so I shouted "to hell with convention!" (as the housemate looked on, alarmed) and it got a good salting.
A mere 5 - 7 minutes on each side on a properly flaming grill, and it was left to rest on a chopping board. I batted wasps away while the housemate squealed. I paced up and down the balcony. We all know the importance of resting meat, but this was maddening. To console myself I got stuck into the potato salad with gusto. Finally, a good 15 minutes had passed and I refused to wait any longer. The steak was sliced, revealing a deliciously ruby red core, and served onto our plates. Floppy curly lettuce leaves were lightly dressed with heady truffle oil, also from aforementioned hamper, and a barbequed, buttered portabella mushroom completed the plate. We munched in near silence, aside from the odd "mmooh myff god this is good" and "uuugghhhhh is there more? Chomp chomp".
I couldn't have asked for a better farewell-to-summer barbeque. When finished, we pushed our plates away, lay back and had a proper mid-afternoon snooze, safe in the knowledge that our corn on the cob were steaming away under the lid of the barbeque in their leaves, ready for us to slather with more butter and eat once we arose from our little siesta.