The sun is out, the evenings are getting longer and, despite a monstrous ‘allotment job list’ to grapple with, we’ve found ourselves procrastinating by studiously scrubbing last year’s filth from the BBQ grill in eager anticipation of the first alfresco cook-up of the season. We’ve already sorted the beers for the occasion and stocked up on Coopers Sparkling Ale – our current go-to booze for outdoor imbibing – but our Aussie beers deserve a suitably Antipodean-themed BBQ feast. And therein lies the problem. Australian style BBQs tend to be rather meaty affairs and we have both developed pescatarian/vegetarian-ish tendencies over the past year or two so it kind of limits what we can (and want) to fling on the grill.
Prawns would be an obvious Aussie, meat-free choice but we can’t look into their beady, pleading eyes without feeling SAD. Besides, they cost an absolute packet. Instead, we’ll be attempting to veg up the good old barbie favourite, the snag* by magically turning carrots into hotdogs via the medium of marinade and condiments.
Now before you scream ‘STREWTH MATE!’’ at this seemingly undignified affront to the noble fleshy sausage, we ourselves were genuinely surprised at the results. So far as to say that we guarantee** you’ll love them and reckon that they beat the skin off any of those rubbery veggie sausage substitutes you’ll find in the shops. Besides, they even LOOK like delicious hotdogs! (From a distance. Especially if you squint). And they go down a treat with our Aussie beer.
They are also really easy to prepare. Here’s how…
You will need:
A handful of carrots.
(Not too thick, mind. Something around the length and girth of a board marker pen is ideal, although you could conceivably go up to a carrot the size of a large snowman’s nose).
Hot Dog rolls
(We used brioche rolls but only because that’s all they had in the shop)
Fried onions (optional)
For the marinade
200 ml vegetable stock
50 ml soy sauce
50 ml apple cider vinegar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp mustard
2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp chilli powder
A few grinds of black pepper
- Prepare your carrots by topping and tailing, washing and peeling them. If you fancy, bevel the ends with your peeler to create a more authentic sausage-y shape.
- Bring a large pan of boiling water to the boil, lob in your carrots and simmer for around 10-12 minutes. Don’t let them go mushy – just cook them enough until they are tender.
- Whilst the carrots are cooking you can make your marinade. Just mix all the ingredients together in a vessel large enough to house your carrots.
- Allow your freshly cooked carrots to cool for a while before dunking them into your marinade. Give them a swirl then leave them for at least an hour to take on the spicy, umami flavors. For best results, marinade them overnight in the fridge.
- Fling your carrots onto a hot barbie and char them for a few minutes whilst turning occasionally.***
- Serve directly into your bun of choice. Add copious condiments. BONZA****!
Coopers Sparkling Ale is a fruity fellow with subtle hoppy notes and a slightly cloudy pour. We think it has just the right amount of fizz to accompany our sunny BBQ larks and it pairs perfectly with the umami flavours of the aforementioned carrot dog. Full of flavour but not so much that’ll it’ll overpower your grilled veg. We tend store our ales in the fridge and fetch them out 20 mins before guzzling, but Coopers taste just as great when fully chilled.
See our full review of Coopers Sparkling Ale here.
* Australian slang for ‘sausage‘
** Not an actual guarantee
*** The carrots, not yourself
**** Australian slang for ‘Bon Appetit‘
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