These are the best meals to cook over a barbecue this summer

We're well and truly into barbecue season; so here are some delectable recipes to bring to the grill this summer.

There’s so much to love about a good barbecue. Laughing with friends in a sun-dappled garden, ice cold beers doing the rounds as one of you takes the chargrilling helm and merrily flips burgers to his heart’s content. Tables heaped high with mouthwatering salads, and the promise of enough food to sustain an army as the tantalising smell of grilled meat wafts through the air.

But for all of a barbecue’s good points, there’s an awful lot that can go wrong, too. If you’re a vegetarian, you’re probably relegated to a few limp vegetables and some questionable halloumi, while your carnivorous contemporaries load their plates high with meat and fish. Then there’s the danger of undercooking or, indeed, overcooking; how often have you had to slather a freshly grilled burger in copious amounts of ketchup just to disguise that overpoweringly charred taste?

Well, this summer will be the summer your barbecuing talents reach new heights; because we’ve gathered together some utterly delectable recipes that will make you the talk of the barbecue town. A barbecue is no excuse for substandard cooking (or, in this case, grilling), as the chefs behind these recipes know all too well. In fact, a barbecue is an opportunity to flex those culinary muscles, and delve into some brand new recipes. So, with that in mind…

If you’re partial to spicier fare, try Paul Ainsworth’s Piri Piri BBQ Chicken

We assume you’re all familiar with Paul Ainsworth, on whom Michelin stars seem to be perpetually showered (and quite right, too). Chef Patron at Padstow-based Paul Ainsworth at No6, Caffè Rojano and Mahé and Rock-based The Mariners, Ainsworth is, unequivocally, one of the great and the good of British chefs — and his Piri Piri barbecue recipe only further endows his godlike culinary status.

Be warned: it’s a spicy one. But we have every faith that you — and your lucky barbecue guests — will be more than able to handle it; not least because it’s guaranteed to be a showstopper at any barbecue table it graces.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-sized chicken, spatch-cocked
  • 500g new potatoes, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 200g fresh tomatoes (cherry or plum)
  • 300g chopped tomatoes
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • ½ bunch of chopped coriander
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime

For the Piri Piri Marinade:

  • 5 Birds Eye or Thai chillies
  • 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 1 lime (juice and zest)
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 50ml olive oil
  • ½ bunch of oregano
  • 10ml Port
  • 1 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Combine all the Piri Piri ingredients into a pestle and mortar (or food processor) and blitz until you form a paste.
  2. Rub this all over your chicken, and leave to marinade for a few hours.
  3. Add all the main ingredients to a roasting tray, and mix well.
  4. Barbecue your chicken, place on top of the main ingredients in the tray and — with the lid on — bake for about 1 hour, depending on the size of the chicken. Use a food thermometer and probe the meat on the bone. When you hit 70/75c on the bone, remove and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  5. During the cooking process, baste the tomato over the chicken while it’s cooking. You may also need to add a little water to the tray, if the mix starts to dry during cooking.
  6. Finish the chicken with the freshly chopped coriander, the grated lemon and lime, and a pinch of rock salt.

Note: you can add the raw chicken straight to the tray with the main ingredients, and add straight to the barbecue or pre-heated oven. When setting up your coals in the BBQ, spread them in a circle around the edge of the BBQ or place them either side. This will ensure the BBQ has an oven effect, and doesn’t roast the chicken too hard.

If you’re looking to try your hand at seafood, opt for Tommy Banks’ Scallop with Seaweed Butter and Wild Garlic

Tommy Banks is another chef who is no stranger to the Michelin star; in fact, at age 24 he became the youngest Michelin-starred chef in Britain when his Oldstead-based restaurant, The Black Swan, retained its star in 2013. His other restaurant, Roots York, won a Micheline star in January of this year; Banks is raking them in, and his scallop-themed barbecue recipe continues on the Michelin star-worthy theme.

“I’ve been using my new Kasai grill so recently with this weather, and there’s nothing better than a barbecued scallop,” Banks has said. “They’re easy to do for a crowd, and will always impress.” So they will: the scallop may be a dish for a fish aficionado, but we can assure you that there won’t be anything fishy about the compliments you’ll be raking in.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large hand dived scallops
  • 1 knob of butter
  • Burnt kombu vinegar (see recipe below)
  • Mare seaweed powder
  • Pickled wild garlic stems (see recipe below)
  • Fresh viola flowers
  • Baby oyster leaves
  • Sea salt flakes

For the pickled wild garlic stems:

  • 300g white wine vinegar
  • 200g water
  • 100g sugar
  • Wild garlic stems, finely chopped

For the burnt kombu vinegar:

  • 80g dried kombu
  • 450ml rice wine vinegar

Method:

  1. For each scallop, slide a long, thin-bladed knife along the inside of the flat part of the shell, and pull away. Discard the flat part of the shell.
  2. Using a spoon, carefully lift the scallop out of the shells, reserving the shell for cooking.
  3. Discard the skirt and roe, and briefly rinse the scallop in cold water. Pat dry.
  4. Thoroughly rinse the scallop shell to ensure it’s free of sand, and place the cleaned scallop inside.
  5. Add a small knob of butter, a sprinkling of seaweed powder, a pinch of salt and a splash of burnt kombu vinegar.
  6. Grill the scallops in their shells on the barbecue for 3-4 minutes, until they’re just warm in the centre.
  7. Allow to rest for 1 minute, baste with resting juices or cooking liquor, and serve warm with pickled wild garlic stems, viola flowers and baby oyster leaves.

For the pickled wild garlic stems:

  1. Combine the white wine vinegar, water and sugar in a saucepan, and warm until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Pour the hot pickling liquor over the wild garlic stems, and leave to pickle for a minimum of 1 hour.

For the burnt kombu vinegar:

  1. Barbecue the seaweed until it’s blistered all over. Transfer to a container.
  2. Warm the vinegar to around 70c, and pour over the kombu.
  3. Allow to infuse for a minimum of 2 days.

If you’re after a traditional barbecue staple, look no further than Mark Birchall’s Lamb Koftas

Chef Patron at the Moor Hall Restaurant With Rooms, Lancashire-based Birchall was the happy winner of the legendary Roux Scholarship (the premier competition for chefs in the UK) a decade ago. His current Moor Hall restaurant has been showered with two Michelin stars, and his neighbourhood restaurant (The Barn at Moor Hall) has been plastered with three AA rosettes. And his recipe for barbecued Lamb Koftas is just as delicious as one could reasonably expect…

“We recommend marinating the lamb for a minimum of six hours, or overnight,” Birchall has said. “You can also pre-cook the koftas in the oven at 150c for 10 minutes before barbecuing, if you’re not confident about cooking [them] fully on the grill.

“It’s best served with raita and a shaved fennel salad dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and salt. You could also swap the lamb rump for a duck breast — skin removed — for another great tasting option.”

Ingredients:

  • 500g good quality lamb rump, diced, with the fat removed (any part of the leg is fine)
  • 100g root ginger
  • 100g red onion
  • 25g garlic, chopped
  • 4g chilli powder
  • 4g garlic powder
  • 4g garam masala
  • 2g fenugreek powder
  • 1g milled black pepper
  • 10g rapeseed oil
  • 10g lime juice
  • 6g salt
  • 30g fresh coriander

Method:

  1. Crush the red onion and root ginger, then combine with the garlic and lamb in a bowl. Crushing the onion and ginger will release the juices, which will tenderise the lamb during marinating.
  2. Mix the spices with the oil and lime juice to create a paste, then add to the lamb, with the salt.
  3. Marinate for a minimum of 6 hours, or overnight.
  4. Grind the kofta mix (preferably in a mincer; or pulse in a blender and mix together).
  5. Chop the coriander and combine with the kofta mix, then mould onto metal skewers (or pre-soaked wooden skewers) and refrigerate for a couple of hours to firm up.
  6. Brush with a touch of oil, and grill on the barbecue for 3-4 minutes each side.

Have we whetted your appetite for meat? Here’s how to butterfly a leg of lamb

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