Steak and cauliflower cooked in charcoal – but don’t use cheap briquettes.
Photograph: Katherine Anne Rose for the Guardian
Dirty food, to most people, is burgers served in doughnuts, deep-fried birthday cakes or some diabetes-inducing culinary challenge served in a hubcap.
Thankfully, we’ve moved on. It’s no longer 2014. This summer, for me, is going to be all about dirty barbecue.
This has nothing to do with the other dirty food. This is way more literal. The late, great Josh Ozersky cooked me some dirty steaks last year.
If I’m honest, Ozersky had had a few bourbons and they could have been a little better, but he learned this trick from my mentor and United States barbecue guru Adam Perry Lang, who also taught me a few years ago.
He calls it “clinching”.
Most people fear the meat will burn, but it won’t. Photograph: Katherine Anne Rose for the Guardian
Dirty cooking is awesome in its simplicity. Instead of using fancy grills and barbecues, just grill the food directly in or on the hot charcoal. The most important thing is to use decent charcoal.
Don’t use cheap briquettes and dispense with chemical lighter fuels, too.
Get some nice charcoal online or from your local butcher that is made from wood and nowt much else – there are plenty of companies that sell additive-free briquettes.
You don’t even really need a barbecue, just charcoal, air and something to cook. I
f you have a normal barbecue, use that without the grill. Or you could “acquire” something like a metal shopping basket, placed on a few house bricks and filled with charcoal.
You could probably use a cake cooling tray on some concrete or an old colander. Be innovative. All you need is something to put the charcoal in, air to get to the coals and a base that won’t go up in flames.