THE PERFECT SIDE DISH
Anyone – well, almost anyone – can grill meat. With a little salt and pepper, a few spices and a marinade made from olive oil, lemon or something else, the possibilities are endless. However, when it comes some making sides on a barbecue, these possibilities can rapidly turn into extra charcoal for the fire. Werner’s Franconian grilled bread is a simple yet elegant solution to this problem.
Potatoes wrapped in baking foil on the grill is certainly a good idea. How about a few vegetable slices, too? Nothing too extravagant there. However, an even smarter idea is cooking an entire loaf of bread in a cast-iron pan over the fire, complete with whatever delicious filling you fancy. Werner Steckmann, a true barbecue pro, has come up with a very special idea: Franconian barbecue bread.
The passionate cook and hunter prefers to use a beautiful crusty rye bread loaf. “A two-pounder is just the right size,” he says. Of course, you can make all the ingredients at home, from the bread down to the herb butter. “Sometimes, though, you need something quick and easy,” adds the thick-bearded 6ft 7in titan, as he reaches for his store-bought ingredients. “This is the express version,” he says.
- 1kg rye bread (with crusts)
- 400g cheese, not grated or sliced (Edam or Emmental)
- 125g herb butter
You’ll need 400g of Edam, or maybe even a fruity Gruyère if you prefer. Along with that, you’ll need 125g of herb butter, a little salt and, of course, some garlic.
Werner makes criss-cross slices into the loaf with a bread knife, always stopping around 2cm (1in) from the bottom. “You mustn’t slice all the way through,” he says, or else the loaf will fall apart. Next, he spreads some of the softened herb butter into the lengthwise slices and adds a little salt.
He then takes the cheese, cut into 3-4mm slices, and slots them into the crosswise slices, at right angles to the buttered slices. After that, he wraps the whole thing in tin foil and then leaves it to grill indirectly for 15 to 30 minutes. Werner has a little tip: if you don’t have a kettle grill of your own, you can pop the bread in a corner of any barbecue where it’s not directly exposed to the flames. Turning the bread every now and again won’t hurt, either.
Once the cheese and butter have fully melted, all that’s left is to slice or tear the bread up – and that’s it! Be careful, though – this rather unique side dish might even overtake a cut or two of meat in the pecking order.
If you’d like to find out what delicious dish Werner cooks up with Barolo, cassis and dark chocolate, check out ‘Refining the cheaper cuts’.