Market Gypsy: A barbecue meal fit for a king, or queen

With the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle due to take place May 19th at the Windsor Castle, perhaps a nod to Victoria Day’s heritage can make you a king or queen too: Barbecue Royalty in Alberta.

Do you know a serious grill master who considers himself to be the Barbecue King? Or do you know someone who stands guard, responsible for the tenderest brisket?

Let’s discuss three top beef cuts. The ribeye, also known as the beauty steak, the King of all steaks.

It is highly marbled with a strip of fat separating the tenderest part.

Fat is frowned upon but for some, like me, it is where the most distinctive flavour of the beef comes from, making the ribeye one of the richest, beefiest cuts available.

However, take heed, as royal as it may be, the copious fat is prone to cause flare-ups on the grill and can be a wee bit tricky to cook.

Next up, the tenderloin, known widely as filet mignon, is often known as the highest priced and most tender cut of meat.

Because it is extremely tender, yet lacks the fat, it is slightly low in flavor.

It will cook extremely fast, so be in a hurry around this royal cut. It tastes best when wrapped with bacon, or with a herb flavored butter, or a beautiful blue cheese.

Finally the biggest cut of the trio, the T-bone or porterhouse cut.

Somewhat known as a two-for-one, a bit of the tenderloin and yet a well marbled strip on the opposite side.

Now be a dutiful proponent of equality while cooking up this cut, remember the leaner tenderloin will cook fast and the marbled side slower and with more flair ups, you will have your work cut out for you on the grill with this one.

These beef cuts make Alberta ranchers proud, but to really tip your hat off to a royal weekend, pair them with traditional British ingredients perfect for a Victoria Day picnic with nostalgia reigning in with horseradish, potatoes, aged white cheddar cheese and or even a bit of peppered gravy.

Royal but not going for the beef?

A mushroom and Yorkshire ale pie is quite royal and oh so traditionally British with its meaty mushrooms, malty ale and topped with a flaky golden pastry lid.

Pies are all the rage this year, savoury and sweet, so this is your time to shine. Does the pie sound a bit to peasant like for you, well how about grilled in-season asparagus on toast with a ‘gribiche’ sauce? Drizzle the mayonnaise infused herb sauce mixed with chopped capers and cornichons over the steamed tender asparagus. This dish is completely divine and over the top when compared to any avocado and toast.

If an afternoon cocktail is in order to watch the Royal Wedding or to appear royal at any Alberta barbecue, my favourite is champagne rhubarb mimosas. Yup. My favourite. But if you are considering a lighter non-alcoholic yet equally as beautiful and bubbly, make it with kombucha and the rhubarb simple syrup. I played around with the rhubarb simple syrup last year and sipped it in champagne, Gin (oh so British!), and kombucha.

Drink responsibly and buy local. There are many local beef products sold in stores, locally brewed kombucha and ales, and vegetables now available at farmers markets. Eat good and do great, enjoy your Victoria Day long weekend however you wish to celebrate it.

Sharlyn Carter lives in Red Deer preparing a feast or loving the outdoors. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook or Market Gypsy.ca

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