Clare Kelly runs the Weber Grill Academy in Oxfordshire and knows a thing or two about barbecueing. She shares her tips and two sure-fire recipes to help you cook the perfect barbecue.

Pastrami Lamb Kebabs

The barbecue is a great way to cook in the summer months, it allows you to make the most of your garden and the good weather and is also a healthy alternative as fat drains away from food before it's served. Whether you are serving vegetables or meat it's important to make sure that it's fully cooked before serving.

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Tips and techniques

  1. Use a chimney starter if you find it difficult to get your charcoal barbecue started.
  2. Don't start cooking until every coal has taken on an ashen colour (about 15-20 minutes after lighting the barbecue).
  3. If your barbecue has a lid, make sure you use it.
  4. If you use wooden skewers, soak them beforehand in water, otherwise they could catch on the barbecue.
  5. Rubs and marinades are excellent for adding flavour to meat and vegetables.
  6. Bring your meat to room temperature before you put it on the barbecue.
  7. Only turn your food once on the barbecue. If it doesn't want to lift off, then it's not ready to turn.
  8. Let lamb rest for a few minutes after you take it off the barbecue. It will give you a much more tender result.

Ingredients

  • 500g lamb pieces
  • 3 tsp salt flakes
  • 3 tsp coriander seeds
  • 3 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds

Preparation method

Place all the dry ingredients into a pestle and mortar. Grind to a rough consistency and cover the lamb pieces. Place into a food bag and leave to marinate for 15 minutes.

Skewer the lamb, preferably using double pronged skewers.

Grill for 4 minutes on each side until the lamb kebabs are cooked through.

Recipe - Hickory Smoked Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 4 portabella mushrooms, stalk removed
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 100g cream cheese
  • Salt & pepper to season

Preparation method

Blacken the peppers, either over a chimney starter or directly on the flavourizer bars.

Place the pepper into a resealable bag and allow to sweat for 10 minutes.

Peel the blackened skin off the pepper and slice into 1cm squares.

Mix together the peppers, tomatoes and cream cheese. Season to taste.

Divide the mixture between each of the mushrooms.

Using the roasting method and a handful of hickory chips added to the coals, smoke for 10-15 minutes. If using a gas barbecue, pierce the base of a drip pan, add the hickory chips and place over direct heat.

Serve with a garnish of salad leaves on the side.

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