Beef ribs, about to come off the barbecue Guacamole deviled eggs Barbecue beans Light brioche burger buns The plate Grilled marinated pineapple with airy pound cake

Pics from the barbecue that Danielle and I put on yesterday. There’s more on flickr.

We made:

This was a lot of work — we both pretty much cooked all day from 9am until our guests arrived at 7pm. The ribs took four hours on the barbecue at a steady 110 deg C, which is my first experience of running a charcoal grill for that long. I basically did as I was told and it worked very well indeed. My confidence is growing. My next step might be a pork shoulder (eight hour or so cook time…)

Not everything was perfect. There was a partial consensus around the table that the beef rub is too peppery, so I’ll tone that down next time. I also hit a stall with the meat — I couldn’t get the internal temperature up above 74 deg C, when ideally I would have been aiming for 82 deg C. So some of the collagen wasn’t entirely rendered out. The beans were a little bit tough, despite a near-two-hour cooking time that should have been ample for tinned beans. And the barbecue didn’t have enough heat left after we’d finished the main course to put good sear marks on the pineapple. The deviled eggs, however, genuinely were perfect (and oh-so-pretty).

Still, these are nitpicks compared to what could have gone wrong. Overall, I feel like yesterday was one of the most technically challenging meals we’ve attempted, and I’m overjoyed with how it came out.