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Had the first (but definitely not the last) rooftop BBQ at casa az last night. In fact we started a bit too early (8pm) and it was still pretty hot up there so I had to bring out an electric fan to cool off a little. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

The first thing we actually did was head over to the Encarnación Market in the morning to get some MEAT and ended up with enough for a family of four: lamb ribs, chorizo, secreto (a streaky cut of pork) and chicken breasts. We figured it made sense to cook enough to have lots of leftovers instead of letting the coals go to waste. I marinated the chicken in harissa sauce to put on skewers, but the rest just went on the grill with a little salt & pepper.

Not having set up a BBQ of my own for about thirty years, I was unsure about how much charcoal and starter thingys to use, but after about half an hour the coals were nicely white hot and we were ready to start cooking. I put the chicken skewers on first and they cooked perfectly, so after they were safely moved to a serving plate I put on the lamb ribs and chorizo. Things were going well until I removed the chorizo and, with the ribs almost done, put the thin secreto fillets on the grill. At which point I foolishly popped downstairs for a minute to toss the salad and put some wine in the freezer to quick chill, leaving Peter in charge of operations. I came back up to see the food totally engulfed in flames (dripping from the secreto!) and that Peter had abadoned his post (!!). After rescuing everything as best I could, and explaining to Peter that by “watching” the food I didn’t mean that he should watch it burn to a crisp, we sat down to eat.

The only real casualty was the lamb ribs, which were scorched so black on one side that we just picked off small bits of meat that were still edible – but they were delicious (and cheap!) and so will definitely make them again. The chicken was terrific, but I found the chorizo a bit too rich – will look for chorizo criollo next time. And the secreto survived the flaming quite well and was crispy but not burnt and very tasty. Served with a nice arrugula and mushroom salad and some crusty chapata, it was a fabulous meal. Not so much left over because of The Cremation, but there is some chicken and secreto for tonight’s supper.

Oh, and that wine I put in the freezer to quick chill?
Just glad it wasn’t the Botani