IT might feel decadent to brush bacon fat on potato skins before baking in the barbecue, but according to world-renowned barbecue baron AND author Jamie Purviance, "the properties of the fat yield a crispier outcome and a memorable flavour".
That sounds good enough for us! The American master griller has a new cookbook out, Weber's Ultimate Barbecue, which includes 100 new recipes, 200 expert tips and techniques and 750 step-by-step photos.
As well as handy tips and know-how, the book also covers 'four Ts' - temperature, time, techniques and tools - to help turn out fantastic results from your barbecue every single time.
This recipe from the book serves four and takes around 30 minutes to prepare, then allow between 45 minutes and an an hour and a quarter to cook the spuds on the barbie.
Dropping some herb butter and bacon bits inside each luxurious potato makes for a mind-blowing finish.
Of course, if you're vegetarian you can leave out the bacon option - try brushing the potatoes with a little olive oil instead.
- 3 slices thick-cut bacon
- 4 Dutch cream potatoes, each 225 to 350 g
- 2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat, melted unsalted butter, or extra-virgin
- olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground
- black pepper
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- 115 g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground
- black pepper
1. In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the herb butter and mash together with a fork to mix well. Cover and refrigerate.
2. In a medium frying pan fry the bacon over medium-high heat on the stove until browned and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer the slices to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Reserve the fat.
3. Pour the bacon fat (about 1/4 cup) into a small heatproof bowl or liquid measuring jug and set aside to cool. Prepare the barbecue for indirect cooking over medium heat (180° to 200°C).
4. Put the potatoes in a large bowl, add cold water to cover generously, and let stand for a few minutes. Scrub the potatoes well in the water, then drain and rinse under cold running water. Dry the potatoes thoroughly.
5. Pierce the potatoes in a few places with a fork (a meat fork works best).
6. Brush the potatoes all over with the bacon fat and season the skins with the salt and pepper.
7. Brush the cooking grills clean. Roast the potatoes over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, until tender, 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours (use a skewer or paring knife to check doneness). Remove from the barbecue.
8. While the potatoes are cooking, coarsely chop the cooked bacon. Put the bacon, herb butter, sour cream and chives in separate small bowls and let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour. Add a small spoon to each bowl for serving.
9. Holding each hot potato with tongs, use a small, sharp knife to cut a deep incision lengthways into the potato and then a short incision crosswise.
10. Squeeze each potato at both ends at the same time to open up the centre. Transfer the potatoes to a platter. Serve immediately with the toppings and invite guests to dress their potatoes as desired.
From Weber's Ultimate Barbecue by Jamie Purviance. Photography by Ray Kachatorian. Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99
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