3 easy barbecue recipes | The Independent

3 easy barbecue recipes | The Independent

Barbecue season is approaching, whether the weather likes it or not.

It’s a technique that can so easily go wrong, but with these recipes from SMOKESTAK chef and founder David Carter – a barbecue maestro – you can go beyond throwing some burgers and sausages on the grill.

So get your brolly out and go heat up those coals because these dishes are worth it.

Coal-roasted aubergine with red miso, feta and toasted cashews

Serves: 1-2


1 aubergine

40g feta

15g cashews

1 tbsp balsamic reduction

½ chopped spring onion

For the red miso butter:

150g butter, softened

50g red miso paste 

15ml mirin (or, failing that, 15g caster sugar)

20g gochujang 

5ml rice vinegar

For the marinade:

25g minced garlic

20g grated fresh ginger

25ml dark soy sauce

50ml light soy sauce

100g runny honey


In a bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients and set to one side.

Barbecue the aubergine directly over burning coals for five minutes, then rotate it 180Cs and cook for five minutes more. Once the aubergine is soft to the touch all over, transfer to a board and leave to cool – avoid fiddling with it, or you’ll damage the skin and/or make the flesh go all mushy.

Once the aubergine is cool, peel off and discard the skin, then put the whole peeled aubergine into the marinade and leave to soak for at least four hours, and ideally for eight hours or overnight. (While it’s marinating, the aubergine will release juices into the saline marinade, which is important. If you prefer a less punchy marinade, loosen it with 125ml or so of water first.)

In a bowl, combine the softened butter with the miso, mirin, gochujang and rice vinegar.

On a low heat, toast the cashews in a pan with the tablespoon of butter until golden brown, then tip out on to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain.

Now to finish off. Lift the aubergine from its marinade, put it in a roasting tin, then spread liberally with the miso butter. Barbecue with the lid down – or roast in a 200C/180C fan/390F/gas 6 – for 10 minutes, until hot all the way through, then transfer to a plate. Crumble over the feta, top with the toasted cashews, balsamic reduction and spring onion, and serve.

Smoked lamb shoulder with hispi cabbage

Lamb shoulder is a great way to mix up your barbecue offering


Serves: 6


For the lamb shoulder:

2-2.5kg lamb shoulder, bone in

2 tbsp olive oil



3 garlic cloves

2 sprigs rosemary leaves, roughly chopped 

For the hispi cabbage:

1 hispi cabbage

2 anchovies

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped


Create a marinade mixing olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary. Place your lamb in a roasting tin and cover with the marinade, making sure to get into all the folds in the meat. Refrigerate with 24 hours. Remove lamb shoulder from fridge and leave to stand at room temperature for up to an hour while you heat the barbecue to 120C.

When you’re ready, place the lamb on the grill in the tin, offset from the coals, and cook for 5-6 hours with the lid on, checking every few hours. Pierce the thickest part of the meat with a metal skewer and when there is just enough give, the shoulder is ready, 85-90C.

Take the lamb off the barbecue and wrap it in foil, leaving for 30 minutes to rest. Set aside the juice that is left in the tray, as you will use this for the hispi.

While the lamb is resting, cut your cabbages in half from top to bottom through the root. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, and blanche the cabbage for 2-3 minutes until tender but still holding together. Allow to cool slightly. This step can also be done in advance and the hispi refrigerated.

Brush the cut-side of cabbage liberally with some of the lamb fat left in your roasting tin and while your grill is still hot, place the cabbages cut side down and leave so they begin to char and caramelise. Flip the cabbages over and repeat on the other side until evenly charred. 

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, pour in 2 tablespoons of the lamb fat, chopped anchovies and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes on a medium heat until aromatic. Pour atop the face of the cabbage.  Serve alongside the lamb with some grilled flat breads and mint dressing on the side.

Charred pork belly rib with pickled cucumber

Cook this pork belly low and slow


Serves: 4


2kg pork belly

For the barbecue sauce:

1 small onion

2 large cloves garlic

120ml cider vinegar

120ml apple juice

20g dark brown sugar

250ml ketchup (different ketchups vary in sweetness so may need to adjust the sugar content by 10g)

50ml Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp red chilli flakes

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt (to taste)

For the pickled cucumber:

1 cucumber sliced thinly

100ml white wine vinegar

1 tbsp white sugar

Pinch coriander seed

Pinch mustard seed

Pinch pink peppercorns


For the pork belly, season with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven at 130C for 3-4 hours/until 85C inside or just soft to the touch when probed.

Chill the pork belly overnight. Cut into individual ribs and grill on each side 2 minutes. After browned on each side, glaze with barbecue sauce and grill on each side for 6 minutes rotating and glazing every 60 seconds. Should be a mahogany brown/char on the outside. Serve with pickled cucumber.

Sweat down onions and garlic. Add in spices and toast off for 2 minutes. Add vinegar and reduce to a syrup. Add in apple juice and reduce to a syrup. Add sugar and Worcestershire cook out for 2 minutes.  Add ketchup and cook on low heat for 20 minutes to allow who sauce to come together.

Place vinegar, water and sugar in a small pan and bring to the boil. Once sugar dissolves, take off heat and allow to cool. Chill liquid. By chilling liquor, this will allow cucumber to maintain their bright green colour. Add the cucumber in and allow to sit for one hour.