Three Easy Barbecue Dishes To Impress Your Friends With
Mr Neil Rankin at Temper restaurant, London. Photograph courtesy Temper
Be king of the grill this season with these summer recipes.
Gentlemen, barbecue season is upon us. Stoke your smokers and ready your fire pits, for no longer is it acceptable to serve up sausages and a six-pack – your guests expect more. We’ve gone to three top grill chefs to get their barbecue centrepieces that are as easy to make as they are to eat. Time to get up in your grill.
Mr Josh Katz, Berber & Q Grill House
Cauliflower shawarma. Photograph courtesy of Berber & Q
Having learnt his craft alongside Middle Eastern maestro Mr Yotam Ottolenghi, Mr Josh Katz is more than au fait with applying the lick of a flame to foodstuff. His restaurant, Berber & Q – Grill House in Haggerston, London, cooks nearly every one of his dishes over an open grill, making the most of its varying temperature zones to slow-roast and sear. He takes inspiration from the kitchens of North Africa and ancient Persia and, as such, does a fine line in vegetarian barbecue dishes. You heard correctly: vegetarian. Please do not adjust your sets. A charcoal grill creates the perfect environment for adding a charred crust to veg – in particular, the humble cauliflower. Wonderful things happen to the anaemic-looking brassica when naked flame is applied – and, served whole, it makes a fine centerpiece.
How to do it
“This looks stunning on the table,” says Mr Katz. “Keep the outside leaves on and put it over the coals for about 45 minutes. It creates a slightly charred interior that gives a deep, smoky-sweet flavour. Add a tahini-based dressing and scatter over some pomegranate seeds to garnish.” Even the most hardcore carnivore will be impressed.
Grilled Sea Bass with Peppers
Mr Hus Vedat, Yosma
Selection of dishes including grilled bass with peppers (centre). Photograph by Ms Claire Menary, courtesy of Yosma
There is arguably no nation more accomplished than the Turks at using a barbecue. With one foot in Asia Minor and the other in Europe, they have long extracted the best of both worlds in their cuisine. The Ottoman Empire and its subsequent spice route brought in the very best produce in the world; Turkish cooks rubbed spice into every kind of meat and threw it on a mangal grill. Mr Hus Vedat honours this culinary heritage at his restaurant Yosma in London’s Mayfair. His show-stopping dish is sea bass with mangal peppers, best served with steamed new potatoes and a spicy sauce. One piece of barbecue kit you will never regret buying is a fish basket: it stops the delicate fish sticking to your grill bars and makes it simple to flip and check to see if it’s cooked.
How to do it
“Simply stuff your bass with lemon slices, season, basket it up, then sprinkle over a bit of sumac and any other Turkish spices you may have in your cupboard,” says Mr Vedat. “Cook it for about five minutes on each side, then douse in lemon juice and throw over some chopped parsley.” Serve it with some griddled red peppers and onions threaded onto skewers. One fish serves two people, so make darn sure you’ve got enough.
Harissa Kid Goat Shoulder
By Mr Neil Rankin, Temper
Photograph by Mr Paul Winch-Furness, courtesy of Temper
If you haven’t heard of Mr Neil Rankin’s barbecue restaurant Temper, where have you been? The subterranean shrine to all things smoked, seared and sizzled in the heart of Soho has been blowing diners away with the globetrotting flavours it applies to all manner of meat. The fire pit sits in the middle of the restaurant and is about the size of a snooker table, with different areas for direct, indirect cooking and smoking – it’s any barbecue enthusiast’s dream, and Mr Rankin knows how to wield it with aplomb. Try his harissa kid goat shoulder at home, below.
How to do it
“Just season the hell out of the shoulder with salt and pepper, then smoke it over an indirect heat at about 120°C for four hours, until it’s tender,” says Mr Rankin. “Then just pull the meat off the bones and toss it through a harissa paste [available from supermarkets], lemon juice and bundles of roughly chopped herbs – whatever you fancy. The flavour of the goat will blow people away and the colours and freshness of the garnish make this a standout dish.”