“Throw some more shrimp on the barbie!” … is something you definitely shouldn’t say to a real Australian, unless the response you’re looking for is an icy stare. The time-honoured Australian tradition of setting meat on fire above a metal grill is about far more than just tiny sea-insects – and aside from anything else, if you were a real Australian, you’d know Aussies call shrimps “prawns”. Nevertheless, there’s nothing more emblematic of the Australian free spirit than cooking outside over an open fire – so if you’re looking to honour our Aussie brethren or you’re after a taste of that Australian laissez faire, read on! Here it is – the ultimate guide to throwing a barbeque, Oz style!
- Eating meat? You’re throwing a barbie!
In Australia, if you’re cooking meat, you’re cooking it on the barbeque. Every house has a barbeque and the oven is rarely used for cooking meat – even the Christmas turkey. Any excuse, eh guys?
- Barbecue in the winter
As all UK residents know, the Australians have that weird reverse season thing which we can’t quite get our head around – so if you’re after a true taste of the Aussie lifestyle, have your barbie in December! Who cares if it’s snowing outside – it’s sunny in your spiritual homeland. Australians are famously unperturbed by extreme weather – so get your woolly hat and gloves on, and get barbequing!
- Don’t be shy – chuck on a bit of emu or kanga!
Chicken? Meh. Fish? Hmm. Beef? So 2014. If you want a real Aussie experience, you’re going to need to widen your horizons – kangaroo meat is being championed in Oz as a healthier, more environmentally sustainable alternative to beef. Tender, lean and melt in your mouth, it might be time to take a taste of the Oz national emblem! Emu meat is another lean, tasty Aussie alternative – so swallow your objections and get gobbling.
- Select your sides
Sure, you can go the easy route and simply slap your meat between a couple slices of bread, but if you’re throwing a big barbeque, why not go all out? Fried onion rings, grilled potatoes, mustard slaw and garlic beans are classic Aussie sides – you can even wrap your grilled tatties in bacon for a particularly Australian twist.
- Sharing is caring
If you ignore every other entry on this list, heed this one – Australian barbecues are about so much more than charred meat and veg. The barbecue spirit is about bringing people together, sharing good food and fun times and having a friendly, relaxed get-together – so if you want a truly authentic experience, invite everyone you know, crack open a couple of cold ones, keep it relaxed and above all else, make sure your guests feel welcome. Easy, right?
Of course, try as we might, there’s nothing quite like a real Aussie get together in the sunshine. Why not hop on a cheeky flight from London to Melbourne to check it out?