It’s National BBQ Week (29th May – 4th June) celebrating everything great about grilling. We spoke with Four Seasons Fairways, Quinta Do Lago, executive chef, Nelson Candeias, about his take on the essence of a typical Portuguese BBQ to give us some tips for our own summer Barbi…
What is the traditional Portuguese BBQ?
The traditional Portuguese Barbecue consists of a variety of fish, meat, or both grilled on the charcoal which gives a very distinctive aroma and flavour to the food. Barbecues are always enjoyed in a very casual and relaxed atmosphere, it is great way to gather together family and friends. In the summer time there is also the very traditional “Sardinhada”. As the name indicates it is only sardines, the best way to enjoy this meal is to place the sardines on a slice of bread and just using your hands, at the end of your meal you will have a very tasty bread coved in all the delicious sardines juices.
How do you season your BBQ food?
The seasoning is very simple, its purpose is to enhance the natural flavour and freshness of the ingredients. For the fish some sea salt is all you need! For the meat some light seasoning like pepper or garlic can also be added to taste, sometimes the meat can also be bathed during or after the cooking process with a special sauce.
How do you best serve your BBQ food?
Barbecued fish is usually served with hard boiled new potatoes, “salada montanheira” a typical diced salad from Algarve, made with tomato, cucumber, onion and grilled bell pepper, seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and oreganos.
At home, Barbecued meat is usually served with French fries, salad and rice. In more specialized restaurants you will of course also find a wider variety of salads and side dishes to complement your meal.
Any secret tips?
There are no secret recipes for a good barbeque, it’s about the quality and freshness of the ingredients and respecting them during cooking. There is nothing like the rich and unmistakable flavour of Iberian Pork, cuts like “secretos” or “plumas” so juicy and tender they need only sea salt and a hot charcoal grill.
For the very traditional Chicken Piri Piri, our restaurants special, you will need a butterflied chicken seasoned with sea salt, turn it constantly to make sure it cooks all the way through and only its own juices, bathe it with a special sauce made with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, bay leave, red chillies, black pepper, oreganos, salt and vinegar, blitzed all ingredients together in the food processor until smooth.
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