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My first recipe: Mum’s mixed grill

My first recipe: Mum’s mixed grill


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As a family our meals were all over the place. Lunch was called dinner and dinner was called tea. We had supper just before going to bed and hardly ever sat down at the table for family meals; except for the occasional Sunday roast. The norm would be to have breakfast and dinner in a chair by the gas fire and tea in front of the television while my mum and nana ate in the back room. My dad was served much later, after he returned from work (or the pub).

Because of this dysfunctional set up, those forced family gatherings around the table were tense. Nobody quite knew what to say or how to behave – so they passed mostly in silence, peppered with sarcastic volleys across the table, like passing poisonous petit fours. Going out to eat as a family was rare and even more tense, especially with the extra cutlery.

Despite all this, however, I have some very strong food memories.

The first thing I can remember eating and enjoying was cheese. In fact, to this day cheese is sometimes the first thing I think about when I wake up. There is a picture of me as a very young baby, sitting in the garden with a huge triangular wedge of Cheshire cheese looking happy and fulfilled. My Mum had a signature dish she called “grilled cheese”, which was just cheese sliced into an enamel dish with a drop of milk and held under the grill until it had melted. We would sit around the dish using knives to scoop out runny goo and spread it on plain white bread like a budget fondue. It was delicious.

But it was her mixed grill that really made a lasting impression on me. I had never before experienced so many different types of cooked meat on one plate and it felt so decadent – admittedly it was wholly unbalanced nutritionally, but that never entered my head. It was from this dish that I got my love for offal, particularly liver. My previous experience of liver was the type served at school where they start cooking it on Tuesday ready for Friday, but my mum had a gentle touch with it. It was soft and pink with a slight taste of iron. We were told it was good for us and I believed it. The mixed grill came with kidney, bacon, beef sausage, lamb chops and mushrooms, topped off with a fried egg hat. I remember we were allowed to pick up the lamb chops with our fingers and gnaw at them like King Henry VIII. I could continue to chew a lamb chop bone well beyond the point of normal acceptance.

She bought the ingredients from our friend Alan the butcher, who had a sawdust-covered floor and stuffed bull’s head on the wall. He kept the liver whole and removed fresh slices from large lobes cut across it, so that the ventricles inside were kept to a minimum. He also used to remove a thin transparent skin off the liver by lifting an edge with the tip of his knife and then working his fingers underneath until it came off like cellophane. He used to tease me that he was my Mum’s old boyfriend, but I’d heard him say that to a lot of young customers. I used to ignore him and write my name in the sawdust with my foot.

“Steven with a ‘v’ and not a ‘ph’ eh?” he said once.

“Yes – we thought it would be easier for him to spell!” my mother replied. Everyone in the shop had a good laugh, and we went home to eat in separate rooms.


A Mixed Grill

When I first moved over here we didn't have a lot of money for going out to eat. Todd was working as a parking lot attendant and I worked in a care home. If we went out to eat at all, it was a very rare treat.

There was a pub within walking distance however (we didn't have a car) that served up pretty tasty meals for pretty cheap prices. You could get a mixed grill for about ٠.99, which was an excellent price. Itwas hearty and very tasty. Once you had walked all the way there, you didn't feel too guilty at ordering a hearty meal. You knew you would be burning the calories off on the way home!


This wasn't a meal I had ever heard of before I moved over here to the UK. I had never seen it in Canada, at least not in my experience. We are known for being hearty eaters in the Winter months, but three pieces of meat on a single plate. Its just not done!

A mixed grill is a plate containing a grilled sausage, a grilled chop, a piece of grilled steak, grilled mushrooms and grilled tomatoes, along with the usual chips (fries) and peas. Meaty and incredibly hearty. And quite delicious I have to say.

Traditionally, the mixed grill was cooked over charcoal in the chop houses and grill rooms of our cities here in the UK. If you have a grill don’t be afraid to use it!

Likewise if you have a griddle plate on your cooker, try using it for this dish as well, it will work perfectly! You will be in for a real treat either way, I can assure you!


As always, it's important to use the best quality meats available, and that you can afford. It is so disappointing when you realise-from that first bite-that the meat does not match the amount of effort you’ve put in to preparing the meal!

Cheap and pasty sausages are a definite NO NO! You want something rich and meaty. This is where your local butcher can become your best friend! Our local butcher makes many different kinds of bangers (as they are loving called over here.) Meaty and delicious with skins that snap when you bite into them!

You can tell a good butcher from the quality of the sausages that he produces. A good butcher will have several signature sausages on offer. Over here in the UK, a sausage/banger is much more than a piece of meat. It is a celebration for the mouth!


There really aren't any fixed rules when it comes to the meats you use, but generally speaking it will be steak, chop and sausage . . . but you can also have ham steaks, bacon chops . . . lamb's kidney's are also popular. (Not in this house though. ugh! I am not a kidney fan!)

The important thing is to have fun with this dish. If you are a drinking person, a cold ale would go well with this. An ice cold lager would as well.

The meats needn't be overly large bits. Just go with what's comfortable. I guarantee this tasty pub meal will become a favourite, and something your family will ask for again and again!


Mixed Meat Grill: A Traditional Serbian Feast for our Brazilian Meat-loving Friends!

Mixed Meat Grill. The Mixed Meat Platter has been a traditional staple of the fervent carnivores from the former Yugoslavia for hundreds of years. The more &ldquoauthentic&rdquo version can be read about here.

Every time we visited Vanja&rsquos family there, we would have a rostilj or barbeque with a base of pork schnitzel, chicken, cevapi, long Weiner-like sausages and veal, above.

So, what better menu to serve our Brazilian friends when their family came to Canada to visit them? Everyone knows Brazilians are also exuberant carnivores!

Tamara and Renato had many relatives coming to Edmonton to see them for the first time, and we so excited. We wanted to share in their enthusiasm and let their family know how much we appreciate both Tamara and Renato &ndash thus the dinner invitation. A Canadian barbeque with the Mixed Meat Grill!

Mixed Meat Grill: Must Include a Great Cocktail

Years ago, Vanja invented what we called the &ldquoBlue Moon&rdquo as a foil to my beloved (at the time) Cosmopolitan Martini. The Blue Moon holds similar drama and appeal. My Cosmopolitan had 2 shots of vodka, 1/2 shot of Cointreau, a shot of Cranberry juice and 1/2 a shot of lime concentrate. I would always drop an orange zest strip knotted into each glass. Po-tent! The Blue Moon has 2 shots of Vodka, 1/2 shot of Parfait Amour, and 1/2 a shot of lime concentrate. It could be served as a Martini (as the Cosmo, shaken well with ice, and poured) or, as a milder more civilized cocktail, topped with a spritzer. We made sure we poured each of our guests the Martini version, and then let them help themselves to the drinks on their own, afterward.

Mixed Meat Grill: Preparing the Sausage and Chicken

Mild Italian Sausage and chicken thighs were ready for the grill.

We have made our own sausage, but Vanja was loving the mild Italian from The Italian Centre at the time.

I always &ldquomarinate&rdquo any meat I grill with a good sprinkle of Vegeta. No barbecue sauce on this day.

As I was grilling a bit in advance of &ldquothe feast&rdquo, searing the chicken and sausage would be enough as the could continue to cook in the oven where I would keep them warm.

Vanja&rsquos dad always puts the freshly chopped onion into the bottom of the pot for the grilled chicken to drip into. The onion will cook as the meat is kept warm and with the drippings, makes a very tasty accompaniment to the grill.

Ok. Enough ogling at the chicken and sausage. Onto the rest of the menu.

Mixed Meat Grill: Preparing the Corn

I have to say, having this gas burner outside of my kitchen door is a life saver. Originally, I had wanted the meat-searer here, and the grill to be double wide. But, as miscommunication happens, this one was a winner.

Gorgeous sweet Peaches and Cream Taber Corn in the pot and cooking while I grill up the rest of the meat.

Mixed Meat Grill: Grilling the Sous Vide Ribs

Grilling my sous vide ribs is very simple as the meat is already cooked. Just working at getting a good sear.

Mixed Meat Grill: Grilling the Steaks

So, a traditional mixed meat grill would not have Alberta Beef on the menu, but every mixed meat grill at our house will! There&rsquos nothing like a rare juicy know-your-Alberta-farmer grass-fed strip loin steak!

Mixed Meat Grill: Appetizers Abound While Grilling is Happening

While I am infused with the Eau-de-perfume of the evening aptly named &ldquoBlue Smokin&rsquo Eve&rdquo, guests mingle and chat while enjoying a few bites set out to nibble on while the meat is on the grill.

My very favourite and famous Yogurt Cheese Balls, above, with my homemade Giardiniera, a variety of cheese, sundried tomatoes, tapenade and the like.

I also made a hearty dish of Eggplant Salad, another family favourite also known as Baba Ganoush. I had a plate of roasted red pepper salad, olives, meatballs, prosciutto and crackers ad nauseam. To be honest, the nibbles are usually my favourite part of the meal!

Mixed Meat Grill: Prairie Garden Summer Salad is Ready to Serve

This Prairie Garden Summer Salad is the ultimate celebration of the harvest of summer. Every summer vegetable possible is in this salad with a gorgeous black currant dressing.

A few Nasturtium flowers to provide that extra hit of colour and a good zing of flavour brought it all together.

Mixed Meat Grill: Grilled Sausage, Chicken, Ribs and Steak with Sides

Above, the Egg Plant Salad is served (as are many of the other appetizers) alongside the main meal. Roasted yam and potato wedges head up the line, followed by the Mixed Meat Grill embraced by the corn.

Homemade baguettes, Caesar Salad, Meatballs and Roasted Red Pepper Salad complete the lineup.

Of course, there is butter to roll the corn in, and butter for the baguettes!

Mixed Meat Grill: Serve Yourself!

A little shy at first, but it only took a moment.

I wonder where that young fellow in the blue checked shirt is heading with his determined right hand?

Oh, his brother beat him to it&hellip! Of course! The baguette! Men after my own heart. The meat is the heart of the meal, but homemade bread? Well, it is always the best bit on any table, when served, in my humble opinion!

Mixed Meat Grill: Time for Dessert

Mom always asks,&rdquoHow can I help?&rdquo I cannot resist taking her up on that offer as she is the ultimate dessert maker. Her Angel Food Cakes are famous, and her Pavolva&rsquos, as well. But, these were guests from Brazil. &ldquoSex in a Pan&rdquo, of course, please, mom. Let&rsquos give them some real down home prairie action at the dinner table! Oh, a pavlova, too? Sure! Why not?

All digesting the meal and in a sugar coma, I am sure, at the end of the evening&hellip.

Mixed Meat Grill: Digesting the Friendship around the Fire

&hellipspread out and circled around the fire.

Visiting, laughing, and savouring the lovely summer evening we shared together.


After leaving university, my first “real” job was working for the Ben and Yael Dunkelman, two of Toronto’s original foodies. Their restaurant became the perfect place from which they shared their love of food. It was here that I first learned the importance of partnering quality ingredients with culinary technique to produce superior, memorable flavours. This recipe for THE BEST MIXED GRILL is a tribute to them!

The entire recipe happened following a trip they took to California. Yael asked me to join them at “table 9” she’d instructed the chef to prepare a MIXED GRILL.

It wasn’t long before a large platter of grilled meats arrived at the table, accompanied by a number of sauces. Yael guided us through tasting each – we spoke of doneness, texture, flavour and the pleasure of being able to enjoy so many different flavours at one sitting. Everything, including the company, exceeded my expectations.

Here’s what I consider every time I now make THE BEST MIXED GRILL:

This recipe is all about assortment and in my mind the more the merrier. I suggest you always bring the meat room temperature before you season it and head to grill. Doing so allows the meat to cook more evenly.

Although we presented this grill using four different meats, you can add more depending on your personal preference. You can add beef short ribs, patties and chicken wings. Although not for everyone, I’ve even done liver on the grill which turned out perfectly.

Lots of experts suggest the best way to cook meats on the grill is by using radiant heat. The concept is simple – allow one-half of the grill to operate while leaving the other off. Grilling on the “off” side allows us to cook meats at a higher grill temperature without flare-ups.

As with all meat recipes, we suggest you follow safe cooking practices. Click HERE to reference an excellent guide established by the USDA. To be absolutely sure of the internal temperature of a piece of meat, you may wish to use a meat probe thermometer. I’ve provided a link to purchase below.

Although my first foray with THE BEST MIXED GRILL involved dipping lamb into a garlic marmalade (Yael’s brilliant idea!) I opted for two equally flavourful options you may wish to make. Try this with our MANGO SALSA recipe, and our phenomenal CHIMICHURRI made using assorted fresh herbs. You can also enjoy it with our MINT CHIMICHURRI which we crafted especially to go with grilled lamb.

Finally, I suggest you consider patience and confidence remember, there’s no need to rush. These meats can be cooked in sequence as I did. Cover them with a bit of tin foil to keep them warm as you move on to the next batch, then, serve them together for all to enjoy.


Gallery

  • 1 pound boned, skinned chicken thighs
  • 1 pound boned pork shoulder or butt, fat trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slabs (see notes)
  • 1 pound beef skirt steak, fat trimmed (see notes)
  • About 1/3 cup orange-achiote marinade
  • About 1/2 cup red chili sauce
  • About 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • About 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 10 to 12 green onions (6 to 8 oz. total), rinsed
  • 10 to 12 fresh Anaheim (California or New Mexico) chilies (about 1 1/4 lb. total), rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon salad oil
  • 1 pound firm chorizo sausages (see notes)

Rinse chicken, pork, and beef pat dry. Cut skirt steak crosswise into 6- to 8-inch lengths. If chicken, pork, or beef is thicker than 1/4 inch, place between sheets of plastic wrap and, with a flat mallet, gently and evenly pound to about 1/4 inch thick.

On a rimmed plate, coat chicken completely with orange-achiote marinade and layer thighs on another rimmed plate, coat pork completely with red chili sauce and layer slices. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day (if marinating chicken and pork a day ahead, wrap beef airtight and chill). Shortly before grilling, lightly sprinkle both sides of beef with seasoned salt and pepper set on a plate.

In a wide bowl, mix green onions and chilies with oil to coat. Set onions, chilies, and sausages on a barbecue grill over a solid bed of hot coals or high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level for only 2 to 3 seconds) close lid on gas grill. Cook, turning occasionally, until onions and chilies are well browned and sausages are browned on the outside and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes for onions, 5 to 8 minutes for chilies and sausages. As done, transfer to a large board or platter.

Lay chicken, pork, and beef on grill close lid on gas grill. Cook, turning once, until chicken and pork are no longer pink in the center and beef is done to your liking (cut to test), 5 to 8 minutes total. Transfer meat to board or platter with vegetables and sausages. Add more seasoned salt and pepper to taste.


Sukiyaki-Style Mixed Grill

Cut zucchini and carrot lengthwise into quarters cut each quarter crosswise in half. Set aside.

Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil to skillet swirl to coat bottom of pan. Add zucchini sauté over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until browned. Place zucchini in a bowl set aside. Add 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil to skillet swirl to coat. Add mushrooms sauté 2 minutes or until browned. Add mushrooms to zucchini set aside. Add 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil to skillet swirl to coat. Add red onion and bell pepper sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Place red onion mixture in a bowl set aside. Add 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil to skillet swirl to coat. Add carrot and sweet potato sauté 2 minutes or until browned. Add to red onion mixture.

Add ginger to skillet sauté 30 seconds. Stir in sake, 1/4 cup water, soy sauce, and sugar scrape skillet to loosen browned bits. Add red onion mixture bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until tender. Combine cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water in a bowl stir well. Add cornstarch mixture and zucchini mixture to skillet. Bring to a boil cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in green onions and sesame oil. Serve over noodles.


How to Host a Mixed Grill Party

A mixed grill is a fun way to kick off grilling season, and its customizable nature makes it perfect for guests. The veggies featured here — fennel, tomatoes, summer squash, endive, and scallions — are very complementary to the spicy, lamby merguez sausage. But if you prefer another sausage or want to switch up the veggies, feel free to build your own platter and use this recipe as a guideline. (Romaine wedges are a great sub-in for the endive!)

One thing you shouldn’t skip? The halloumi. The firm cheese, which hails from Cyprus, is tangy and salty and has a high melting point, making it perfect for the grill. Slice it into planks and toss it on the grates, where it will take on the most gorgeous grill marks. Just be mindful to only grill one side: grilling both sides will dry out the cheese, making it less pleasant to eat.

If you’re serving vegans or vegetarians, grill the vegetables first to prevent cross-contamination, then cook the bread, cheese, and finish with any meat. I like to get everything prepped and onto a sheet tray before I start, which makes it easy to get it all from the kitchen to the grill. Then, I place each ingredient back onto the tray as it comes off the grill. If you start building the platter while you’re cooking, you could lose track of what’s happening on the grill. Plus, you may want to separate any meat from the platter for serving.


Amazing MIXED GRILL recipe!

Carnivore’s delight – A MIXED GRILL of chicken, lamb, chorizo sausage and filet mignon – start those barbecues, because something delicious is on the way!

I have many fond memories of my first job in Toronto, working for the great Ben and Yael Dunkelman’s fine dining restaurant at Yonge and St. Clair. In my mind, they were the original foodies. They loved everything about food and they aspired to always align quality ingredients with culinary technique to produce superior, memorable flavours.

This recipe is a tribute to them! I have a very clear memory of them coming into the restaurant right after a trip to California. Yael asked me to join them at “table 9” she’d instructed the chef to prepare a MIXED GRILL.

It wasn’t long before a large platter of grilled meats arrived at the table, accompanied by a number of sauces. Yael guided us through tasting each – we spoke of doneness, texture, flavour and the pleasure of being able to enjoy so many different flavours at one sitting. Everything, including the company, exceeded my expectations.

Here’s what I considered when preparing this recipe:

MEATS – This recipe is all about assortment, and in my mind the more the merrier. I suggest you always bring the meat to come to room temperature before you season it and head to grill. Doing so allows the meat to cook more evenly. You’ll see me serve this main with grilled lemons on the side which I think add a fabulous flavour boost to all grilled meat.

TECHNIQUE – My dear friend Adam gets all the praise for first discussing how to grill items on the barbecue using radiant heat. The concept is simple – allow one-half of the grill to operate while leaving the other off. Grilling on the “off” side allows us to cook meats at a higher grill temperature without flare-ups.

SAUCES – Although my first foray with MIXED GRILL involved dipping lamb into a garlic marmalade (Yael’s brilliant idea!) I opted for two equally flavourful options you may wish to make: Head HERE for my MANGO SALSA recipe, and HERE for a delicious CHIMICHURRI sauce. The third sauce I serve with this meal is KIMCHI, a Korean condiment made from spiced, pickled cabbage. Yum!

Finally, I suggest you consider patience and confidence remember, there’s no need to rush. These meats can be cooked in sequence as I did. Cover them with a bit of tin foil to keep them warm as you move on to the next batch, then, serve them together for all to enjoy.

Four distinctly flavoured meats, grilled to perfection, served with tasty accompaniments – if you’re a meat eater, what’s not to love about a MIXED GRILL!


Recipe Summary

  • 2 3-4 ounces beef tenderloin steaks (cut 3/4-inch thick)
  • 1 sweet Italian sausage link, cut into 1-1/2 to 2-inch slices
  • 4 jumbo shrimp, 16 to 20 per lb., peeled and deveined
  • 4 6 inches wooden skewers
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice or lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 1 recipe Herb Ketchup (see www.bhg.com)

Place meats and shrimp in resealable bag set in shallow dish. Soak skewers in water.

In bowl stir together lime juice, garlic, olive oil, cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper pour in bag seal. Marinate in refrigerator up to 2 hours, turning occasionally. Drain discard marinade. Thread 2 shrimp on each of 2 skewers. Thread sausage on remaining skewers.

For charcoal grill, place sausages on rack of uncovered grill directly over medium coals. Grill 15 minutes or until juices run clear and no pink remains (160 degrees F), turning frequently. Grill steaks 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare, turning once. Grill shrimp skewers 2 to 3 minutes per side or until shrimp are opaque.

Place steaks on platter. Add cilantro sprigs. Remove shrimp from skewers place atop each steak, forming heart shape. Add sausage kabob. Serve with Herbed Ketchup. Makes 2 servings.


Jerusalem-Style “Mixed-Grill” Chicken

Jerusalem mixed grill, or meorav yerushalmi, is a popular Israeli street food, one that is said to originate in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market. The term “mixed” refers to the sundry ingredients that go into the dish—chicken meat, hearts, spleen and liver, along with bits of lamb, plus onions and spices. To re-create a simplified mixed grill at home, we borrowed from chef Daniel Alt’s version at The Barbary and Omri Mcnabb’s take on it at The Palomar, two London restaurants that serve up modern Levantine and Middle Eastern cuisine. We limited the meat to boneless, skinless chicken thighs and seasoned them assertively with select spices. Our “grill” is a nonstick skillet on the stovetop. Amba, a pickled mango condiment, is commonly served with mixed grill to offset the richness of the meat we, however, quick-pickle sliced red onion to offer a similar acidity and brightness. Nutty, creamy tahini sauce is, of course, a requirement. Serve the chicken with warmed pita.


The richness of bluefish is beautifully complemented by the flavor of wood smoke. Here orange zest provides an acidic tang that helps to balance the flavors.

If you're going all out for a special occasion, lobster paella on the grill is a pretty good option. This seafood recipe works best on a charcoal grill, and it just might be the best you've ever had.

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Comments:

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  2. Kit

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  3. Grolabar

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  4. Abd Al Bari

    Bravo, excellent idea

  5. Berowalt

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