in Australia is the perfect day for a BBQ
and many people use this public holiday
to fire up their barbies, and kill their Christmas hangovers
with some juicy, sizzling meat. Last Boxing Day, I decided to throw a post-Christmas BBQ bash
, for a few reasons, not the least being that I really don't like roast turkey all that much. 28 years of Polish Christmas dinners, and the leftover turkey, beef and pork served up over the following week have left me a little weary of traditional Christmas fare. Enter my brilliant idea of spending Boxing Day at our place. Feeling particularly adventurous I decided to kill two birds with one stone, and invite my fiance's and my respective parents to meet for the first time. I figured that I could ply them, or at least myself, with enough alcohol for the whole day to turn out rather well. I wanted to take it up a notch from just sausages and lamb chops though; if I couldn't make the day work out, I could at least feed them so the silence wouldn't seem so obvious. I concocted a menu which consisted of a selection of meats, marinated and grilled, a few salads, some garlic bread and baked potatoes.
The day did turn out remarkably well, everyone got along and genuinely liked each other, all my food turned out just the way I'd planned (and I know how rarely that happens), and everyone went home with full bellies and smiling, sunkissed faces.
Lamb is in season in Australia from late spring, and through the summer, and most Aussies love munching on some tasty, young sheep. Lamb eye fillets are perfect strips of fat-free meat that melt in your mouth. Barbecueing is not the best way of keeping meat tender and juicy, but it's almost impossible to make lamb fillets anything but. sneff has kindly pointed out that lamb eye fillets (or tenderloins) can be very pricey, especially outside of Australia: a less expensive alternative, he suggested, would be diced lamb rumps. Listen to the man, he knows his sheep! Anyhow, I now present you with Marinated Lamb Skewers.
Chop the lamb fillets into one-inch cubes and place them in a bowl. Chop the onion into chunks about the same size as the lamb, and separate the chunks into slices. Pour over about half a cup of olive oil, and about a third as much vinegar, then crush the garlic and add it to the bowl along with a heaped tablespoon of mustard. Season with salt and pepper and a good scattering of rosemary and mix through, ensuring everything is evenly coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and pop it into the fridge for at least an hour, but preferably a good 24 hours for the flavours to infuse
To prepare the skewers, thread pieces of lamb and slices of onion onto the presoaked skewers. Then simply throw them onto a hot BBQ plate and cook them, turning regularly as they brown. I personally like my lamb cooked medium at most, and with such a terrific and delicate cut of meat, it seems a waste to overcook it. Once cooked to your liking, serve with a crusty bread and a tossed green salad with plenty of baby rocket, or whatever other salads and goodies you've prepared, as this meat goes well with everything.