Gintime Summer BBQ

BBQIt’s time to prepare for the two days of British summer we enjoy so much! Juliet’s top tips and recipes will set your BBQ apart from the rest.

Tips: Start with a clean grill. Although the food debris from last time has probably burnt away, a good scrub won’t do any harm! Organise different plates for raw and cooked meat. It will make cooking more enjoyable and you need to pay special attention to hygiene when you’re cooking outdoors.

Prepare as much as you can before grilling. Be sure to have all your salads, condiments, drinks and bread ready to go in advance so you can concentrate on cooking and avoid burning your bangers!

Start fire at least 30 mins before grilling. Allow plenty of time to get the coals burning: charcoal will be ash coloured in daylight or glowing red at night when it is ready to cook with.

Prep your meat. To avoid burnt meat on the outside with a raw centre be sure to slice meat thinly before grilling. Meat should also be at room temperature to ensure even cooking. Rest your meat for a few minutes before serving, which lets the juices settle rather than them running when the meat is first cut.

Use your marinade wisely. Don’t pour marinade over the cooking meat or it will flame the charcoal, resulting in an unpleasant charred taste. Brush the marinade on a few times as the meat cooks. Aromatic wood chips are also a great way to add flavour to your cooking.


Honey Mustard Chicken Skewers
Makes 10

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons runny honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 6 large boneless skinned chicken breasts, cubed
  • Salt and pepper

Chopped vegetables, such as peppers, onion and courgettes to add to the skewers.

Mix the oil, honey, soy sauce, mustard garlic and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and cover and refrigerate for 7-24 hours, turning a couple of times. Thread the chicken and vegetables onto skewers and grill over a medium heat.

Lamb cutlets with mint and orange
Makes 10

  • 1 handful chopped mint
  • Finely grated rind of 1 orange
  • 4 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10 Lamb chops

Mix the mint with the orange rind, oil and garlic then season lightly. Toss the lamb in the marinade and cover and refrigerate for 7-24 hours. Grill on a medium heat for 6-7 minutes per side.

Spicy beef burgers

Makes 8

  • 1 kg minced beef
  • 5 tablespoons curry paste, madras or rogan josh work well
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • Small handful coriander, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Mix the beef with the curry paste, lime zest, garlic and coriander. Season with salt and pepper. Shape into 8 patties and refrigerate until needed. Grill on a medium heat for 6-8 minutes each side. Serve on a toasted bun with crispy lettuce and mango chutney.


Nothing beats home made lemonade on a hot day, except home made lemonade with a dash of gin in it! Here are our favourites:

Pink Lemonade

  • 400g castor sugar
  • 200ml water
  • 300ml lemon juice
  • 200 ml raspberry juice or cranberry juice
  • Soda or still water to finish

Place the sugar and water in a pan and heat, stirring all the time until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool. Stir in the lemon juice and raspberry juice then add more lemon or sugar to taste if needed. Serve on ice, topped up with still or sparkling water. Add a dash of your favourite gin and a sprig of fresh mint to garnish.

Thyme lemonade

  • 250g castor sugar
  • 200ml water
  • 10 sprigs of thyme
  • 400ml lemon juice

Heat the sugar and water with the thyme, stirring all the time until it reaches boiling point. Allow cooling, and then removing the thyme. Add the lemon juice and adjust the taste by adding more juice or sugar if needed. Dilute with sparkling or still water and add a dash of gin to serve.

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