The Art Of Cooking On A Barbecue-part three

Grilled Mediterranean Vegetable Salad
In part 1 and part 2 of The Art Of Cooking On A Barbecue I explain the fundamentals of grilling and even roasting on a barbecue, as well as the equipment you need.  In this 3rd and final post, I am going to share some of my recipes which I regularly use when cooking a BBQ.  My  interest of cooking outdoors grew when I was living and working in the US,  ever since I’ve been a rather evangelical about barbecuing and trying to help others understand the principles of cooking on a BBQ. Some years back, I even gave a series of Master Classes around the UK for Asda and a few garden centres.

In 2020 because of lock-down, I believe that hosting a barbecue will be even more popular and that is why I am currently filming a two part video called the Art of Cooking on a Barbecue. This will be part of an online master class, that will be available for FREE on Friday the 10th of July and 17th of July at 11:15 am BST, with more dates to be added in the future. You can sign up for this here: https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/online/2019/courseinfo.aspx?r=C3127781

Update: 
I have added another date for the FREE two part online The Art of Cooking on a Barbecue Friday 24th and Friday 31st July at 11:15am BST, you can enrol here:
https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/Online/2019/CourseInfo.aspx?r=C3127780

The classes are your chance not just to watch me walk you through the process of cooking on a gas or charcoal barbecue, but to seek advice and ask questions. Each class is 1.5 hours long, so 3 hours in total, for the two part free course to become the BBQ King of your street!

Recipes
Once you know how to control the heat on a BBQ then your confidence of what you are able to cook grows to. From simple hamburgers up to shoulders of lamb and even cheesecake, its all possible. Below I’m going share a few of my favourite recipes, from simple to more complex:

  • Warm Grilled Mediterranean Vegetable Salad
  • Sausages in Beer
  • Garlic and Rosemary studded Shoulder of Lamb
  • Gourmet Hamburgers
  • Grilled Plaice with Sage , lemon and caper sauce

Warm Grilled Mediterranean Salad 
Mediterranean Vegetable Salad closeup

If your barbecue has more than 9 people then the chances are that some of your guests will be vegetarian or vegan.  So you ought be thinking about cooking your veggie food first, so you can be honest and put your vegetarian guests at ease.  Still too often you see the vegetarian option being assorted vegetables impaled on a stick but it can be so much more! One of my all time favourite recipes is my Warm Grilled Mediterranean Salad. I keep the size of the vegetables large for grilling so the pieces don’t fall between the grill bars when cooking, then cut them into bite size pieces as I assemble the salad.

1 aubergine
2-3 large flat mushrooms
1 head of garlic + a couple of extra cloves
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
2  courgettes
2 large vine ripe tomatoes
1 small red onion
fresh mozzarella
1 bunch basil
Good quality balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil

  1. Cut the aubergine into fairly thick slices.
  2. Trim the end of your courgettes, then cut them in half lengthwise and then cut each half lengthwise into two. Then cut the seeds out of each 1/4 of courgette.
  3. Next cut your red and yellow peppers into quarters from the top. Remove the seeds and any membrane from the peppers.
  4. Cut the vine ripe tomatoes into 1/4’s from the top.
  5. Cut your red onion simply in half.
  6. Trim the storks out of your large flat mushrooms.
  7. Finely chop up the extra garlic cloves and sprinkle onto the insides of the mushrooms, then drizzle with olive oil.
  8. Carefully cut the head of garlic horizontally  in half, so that the 2 halves are intact.
  9. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on all of your vegetables and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Start the head of garlic on the coolest pat of the grill, together with the red onions halves.
  11. Cook the peppers on a medium heat of the grill – turn from time to time so avoid them getting too charred. Remove from the grill when they are almost cooked.
  12. Next grill the aubergine slices on a medium heat until lightly charred, then remove from the grill.
  13. Grill the courgette slices on the highest heat to brown them quickly. Then remove from the heat when almost cooked.
  14. Cook the tomato quarters also on the hottest part of the grill, then remove.
  15. Once the garlic and red onion is cooked and soft, remove from the grill.
  16. Cut the vegetables into bite size pieces and put into a large salad bowl.

To Finish the Salad
Squeeze out the now soft grilled garlic and season the salad with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar.  Then tear the mozzarella into the salad and add a few torn, chopped basil leaves.

Sausages in Beer
Sausages in Beer by Kevin Ashton

Whilst some of my barbecue recipes are sophisticated, sausages cooked in beer are not, but its a winner with any crowd and yet so simple.

12 outdoor bred gluten free pork sausages (95% pork)
1/2 onion sliced thinly
Disposable roasting tray(s)
500 ml craft beer such as Spitfire

  1. Cut the links of the sausages and lay them in the disposable roasting tray.
  2. Sprinkle on the raw onion and move onto the grill.
  3. Cover the sausages with beer and cook for 8 minutes once the beer is simmering.
  4. Take each sausage out of the beer and brown gently on a cooler part of the grill, turning from time to time.
  5. Cut each sausage into 2 or 3 pieces and put the pieces onto toothpicks and offer to your guests as an appetiser or serve whole on your barbecue buffet.

Garlic and Rosemary studded Shoulder of Lamb
Garlic & Rosemary studded Shoulder of Lamb
The key to roasting meat on a barbecue is not to have direct heat underneath the meat but instead have a drip tray to catch all the fat as it cooks. It is also important that your barbecue has a lid. Click here for the recipe.

Gourmet Hamburgers (makes 6 burgers)

Gourmet Burgerssmal
If making your own burgers, make them several hours before hand as this helps to keep their shape and prevent them from falling apart on the grill. Make sure you have a place for keeping your grilled food hot/warm. Cook the longer to cook items such as chicken before you cook the burgers, which should be one of the last things you cook. When making my burgers, I separate each one with a square of parchment paper which makes it easy to move them onto the grill.  My recipe is easy to make and produces great burgers. I don’t add eggs or breadcrumbs or any other unnecessary ingredients. Cook the burgers off in small batches and serve them as soon as possible after cooking.

750 grams of Minced Beef (10% fat)
75 grams finely diced onion
1/2 Knorr beef stock cube
3 Tbsp cold water
6 x 10 cm squares of parchment paper
6 Brioche hamburger buns
Optional toppings: Mature cheddar, mushrooms, smoked streaky bacon

    1.  Melt the 1/2 beef bouillon cube in the water using your microwave, then cool the beef stock down in the freezer.
    2. Making sure you hands are scrupulously clean and sanitized.
    3. Finely dice the onion and mix with the minced beef.
    4. Once the beef stock is cold mix into the hamburger mix
    5. Divide the hamburger mix into 6 equal portions (each weighing approximately 125 grams.
    6.  Gently work each portion into a hamburger shape and then store them in a plastic container, using the parchment paper squares to separate them.
    7. Season the burgers with sea salt and black pepper when you put them onto your grill, using a medium hot heat.
    8. When the burgers have been turned over and are about 3/4 cooked, then top with a slice of mature cheddar cheese.
    9. Quickly lightly toast the insides of the brioche buns on the grill and fill your buns with your cheese topped burgers.
    10. Now add the other other toppings like cooked mushrooms and crispy streaky bacon if you wish.

Chef’s Tip
Most people tend to over cook their burgers, so taste what you are cooking so they are still juicy but cooked.

Grilled Plaice with Sage Lemon and Caper sauce
Two Plaice on board ©Kevin Ashton 2020

When choosing seafood for your barbecue, the number one thing to remember is buy what looks good! Don’t go to the store with a preset notion and end up buying poor quality just to fit your shopping list. This is why I ended buying two whole very fresh looking plaice; a flat fish and native to the waters around the UK. Whenever you go shopping for plaice, look for bright orange spots on the dark skin which denotes the fish was healthy when caught. For American readers you could use flounder which is the most popular type of flat fish on the Eastern Seaboard.

This delicious sauce could not be easier, just combine the ingredients and heat, simmer for 2 minutes then remove from the heat and season with sea salt and black pepper.

If you watch the video (coming soon), you will see I actually make the sauce at the barbecue.

Fish Notes
Some people cook fish on a barbecue by wrapping it first in aluminium foil so that it actually bakes rather than grills. On the other hand if you wish to grill your plaice, the grill needs to be very hot and the grill bars need to be very clean and oiled, otherwise it might stick.  If you are using your barbecue for the first time this year then the safest way is wrap in foil.  But if your fish is whole and still got its skin on then you can still go ahead and grill your fish.  Even if it sticks it is not the end of the world because you probably wanted to remove the skin before serving the fish.

  1. Run a very sharp knife down the natural line on the skin of the plaice, cut through until you hit the bone. Repeat on the white side and then season well with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Cook on the hottest part of the grill 4-5 minutes a side and then turn.
  3. Once the fish is cooked move to a clean cutting board and carefully remove the skin and bone.
  4. Divide the fillets onto 4 small plates and spoon over the warm sauce.

Ingredients (4 small portions)
2 whole plaice 280 grams each (10 oz each)
150 ml Crème fraîche
2 teaspoons of tiny capers
zest of half a  lemon
Juice of 1+ 1/2 lemons
1/3 teaspoon of fresh sage leaves finely diced
1/2 teaspoon of castor sugar

My barbecue videos on my YouTube Channel

19 thoughts on “The Art Of Cooking On A Barbecue-part three

  1. I love that there is something for everyone here Chef! I would love to attend the course as I really think this would help me to understand cooking on a BBQ better. Are there any spots left on the course?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We have been barbecuing for nearly 50 years (all our married life) but there some ideas here that I would love to try. I love your detailed instructions for the vegetables. As someone who only cooks on the barbecue, my husband finds himself outside cooking most nights but I have to mastermind it so that I minimise the work I do in the kitchen. We never cook fish inside as the smell seems to linger. The same with roast lamb. I haven’t used creme fraiche in a fish sauce so will try that too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Linda, Thank you for much for your kind words. I have lots more Barbecue recipes even even cheesecakes baked on BBQ, I just need time to write them down.
      Here’s another recipe you might like?
      You smoke sea trout (similar to salmon) using
      a Chinese tea called Lapsang Souchong.
      https://wannabetvchefblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/13/lapsang-souchong-sea-trout/

      Maybe you could place a Wok on your grill and cook this outside?
      Best Wishes
      Kevin

      Liked by 1 person

  3. YOu are making sooo hungry right now. We bought a new grill a few weeks ago. But that means i have to trust that my husband won’t over cook something. Ha ha. I’m not the greatest on the grill either.
    Today I smoked out the kitchen grilling chicken tenders on a le cruset pan in my kitchen. But they turned out perfect and we had a nice salad w caramelized walnuts, cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden and sliced nectarines. It was delightful. Used my pineapple vinegar, brown shiso, sesame oil, shallots, garlic, olive oil and apricot jam. Was delish.

    I like the scoop of cheese on the side. Nom.

    Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing Teri, I hope if your husband reads all 3 parts of The Art of Cooking on a Barbecue his outdoor cooking skills will grow. Controlling the heat even on charcoal is the key, and once he can do that then overcooking becomes a thing of the past. Perhaps you might try your chicken tenders recipe on your new grill?
      Best Wishes
      Kevin

      Like

    1. Hi Patricia, Thanks for your kind words and sharing the South African name for a barbecue. Am I correct in thinking South Africa has a National Braai Day in September?
      As for dessert I like to bake a tray of chocolate brownies with marshmallows the day before. Cut into small pieces but keep in the baking tray, then just warm on the Braai and serve with ice cold vanilla Ice Cream!

      Best Wishes
      Kevin

      Like

  4. I have never grilled. Or at least it has been so long I don’t remember. Some men think grilling is a man’s “job” so they don’t let women do it–ha! Fine by me I do all the cooking indoors, he can take the outdoor cooking duty. I will have to go back and check out part 1 and 2 when I have more time.

    Liked by 1 person

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