Life Food & Drink

Saturday 20 September 2014

10 things that always happen at an Irish Barbecue

Joe O'Shea

Published 24/07/2014 | 10:41

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meat for a barbecue outdoors
meat for a barbecue outdoors

It’s the summer, the sun is out and in Ireland that can only mean one thing, creaky, rusty Barbies being dragged out of garden sheds across the country as we revisit our pagan past of burnt offerings to the Sun God.

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And the Irish barbecue is a unique (and uniquely terrifying) culinary event. An occasion when we invite our friends and family around to our back-gardens and try not to kill them with the nuclear-orange coleslaw.

 

There are many ways that you can know you are at an Irish Barbecue and they include...

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The Last-Minute Invite

Living, as we do, on a giant green sponge that’s semi-submerged in the Atlantic for 11 months of the year, planning an outdoor event involving fire and the sun is merely a ridiculous way to make The Gods laugh. So the traditional Irish Barbie Invite arrives by text at 6.50pm on a Friday evening, after the Met Eireann Guy has nervously assured us that we can expect a sunny weekend.

 

The Bar-B-Shambles

As we only get to do it once a year, we only find out at the last minute that the actual barbecue is rusty, missing a wheel and in danger of spontaneously combusting and killing everybody within a 50 yard radius (if it’s gas-fired). Frantic trips are made for gas/charcoal/flame-retardant suits.

 

The “Bring Something” Invite

For some bizarre reason, many Irish people think it’s enough just to provide the flame – and expect their guests to supply everything else. Including the beer.

 

The Comedy Apron

Usually worn by a guy who thinks it’s hi-larious to prance around in an apron with a cartoon of a naked lady’s body on it.

 

Don’t Eat The Chicken Thighs

Just Don’t. What the hell is wrong with you? Don’t you remember what happened to Aunty Mary? It took a team of four specialists working around the clock.

 

How Would You Like Your Burger?

Preferably not with a side of botulism. Just incinerate the fecker, please!

 

The Slightly Over-Lubricated Host

He’s been operating on “A Beer For You – A Beer For Me!” since he fired up the Barbie at 11am and he’s one bottle away from falling fork-first into the paddling pool. Avoid the turkey sausages.

 

The Coleslaw

Wait! Is that supposed to be a weird, nuclear brown? How long has it been sitting in the direct sunlight and is my health-insurance up to date?

 

The Neighbours

Irish barbecues traditionally wrap up sometime around 1am. When the neighbours, driven to violence by the 134th playing of Pharrell’s “Happy” – turn up with some baseball bats. Or the Guards. Who will then ask you if there are any aul’ chicken legs left. And some of that brown coleslaw.

 

The Doggie Bag

It’s not enough that they poisoned your entire extended family, now they are going after your pets as well.

 

Of course, not all Bar-B-Qs have to be this way, some actually manage to serve up some decent food. You might occasionally get a decent steak. If you are quick enough to beat the “hangers” who idle around the grill all afternoon, waiting to strike at the first sign of a bit of strip-loin.

 

Just make sure you’re not too far away from an A&E and always remember, stay the hell away from the chicken.

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