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Brine & Time...Two Quick Tips for a Failsafe BBQ

It’s National BBQ week, and whilst the weather might not be on track for spending an evening in the fresh air, flattening your meat is a quick & easy way to speed up the cooking time. If you don’t have a meat tenderiser a rolling pin does the job - preferably between a couple of plastic chopping boards you can pop straight in the dishwasher, so as to minimise the potential for cross contamination from the raw meat.

Pheasant breasts in particular have a tendency to dry out, so it’s well worth thinking ahead (thankfully not that far ahead!) and brining to help keep them succulent.

Pop the meat in a non-reactive bowl, on some scales, tare the scales (reset to zero) and weigh the amount of water it takes to cover them. You want a brine of between 5 – 10% of salt to water. So if you need a litre of water to cover, you want 50-100g of salt, and, optionally, up to the same amount of sugar/honey. Boil a small amount of that litre of water within which to dissolve the salt & sugar, and when dissolved add the remainder. Then add some of your favourite herbs & spices (such as crushed garlic gloves, bay leaves, peppercorns, star anise, rosemary, chillies, coriander/cardamom seeds, ginger or lemongrass) and a splash of lemon juice or vinegar or soy…. whichever flavours you enjoy. Mix well, and allow to cool before covering the meat. Allow to stand for at least half an hour, whilst the BBQ heats up, or a couple of hours (in which case pop it in the fridge). The longer it brines the saltier it will become, so if you want to leave overnight, reduce the salt content. Ultimately it is of course up to your own taste.

Lightly oil your meat (I use a silicone pastry brush which can be popped straight in the dishwasher), cook quickly & enjoy...

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