Perfect Winter Barbecue Warmers

No, it’s not summer anymore, but don’t let that stop you from cooking outside and eating warming delights from the barbecue, like these suggestions from Jamie.

The weather has turned, and even though we might all have all put away our seldom used barbeques for another year, perhaps we shouldn’t have done. There are still plenty of outdoor events coming up in the British social calendar that can benefit from the visual appeal and great taste that comes from barbequed food.

First and foremost on the agenda is Bonfire Night, where underwhelming fireworks, poorly constructed Guy Fawkes effigies and bone-dry supermarket bangers and burgers have been a mainstay of the event for at least 50 years.

If you’re looking to put on your own fireworks display in a few weeks then maybe you should consider trying a few of these, my personal favourite wintry barbecue recipes, to spice up what has unfortunately become such a humdrum culinary event.

Satay Pork Sliders

Satay pork sliders

This dish is best prepared long before you plan on serving in order to allow the flavours within the meat to develop. There is no need for a binding agent such as egg as the peanut oils in the peanut butter will naturally bind the meat together.

If you want to buy a satay spice mix rather than make your own, and there is no shame in that, there are a plethora of options available in supermarkets and Asian stores. I received a particularly good Cambodian satay spice mix as a gift, but since I don’t read Cambodian I have no idea what the company was called. Sorry.

For the Satay Spice Mix

  • Cumin2 tsp
  • Paprika2 tbsp
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger (grated)
  • Garlic (crushed)2 cloves
  • Coriander seeds3 tsp
  • Cinnamon stick½
  • Fish sauce1½ tsp
  • Caraway seeds1 tsp
  • Smooth peanut butter1½-2 tbsp
  • Soft brown sugar2 tsp

If you enjoy a little more heat, then a generous squirt of Sriracha hot sauce really adds a tangy spice hit. Failing that, dried chilli flakes will do just fine.

For the Pork Sliders

  • Minced pork2 kg
  • Large white onion1
  • White bread, crusts removed4 slices

(Serves 6-8)

    Satay Spice Mix

  1. Over a low heat toast the coriander, caraway seeds and cinnamon in a dry frying pan until the aroma of the spices begins to hit your nostrils (about 2 minutes)

  2. In a pestle and mortar (I use an old coffee grinder) grind the seeds and cinnamon down into a powder.

  3. In a bowl, add the freshly ground spices to the rest of the spice mix ingredients and mix well. Put to one side.

  4. IMPORTANT: The spice mix will look, smell and taste awful. THIS IS NORMAL! There will also not be a great deal of it, which is fine as it’s particularly potent.

    Burgers

  5. Dry pork mince with kitchen towel and try to gently separate the mince so that it’s as stringy as possible. No need to season pork as fish sauce in satay mix should be sufficient

  6. In a food processor, blitz the stale bread until turned to bread crumbs. Put in bowl and set aside.

  7. Cut the onion into quarters and blitz in food processor until completely shredded. Remove larger, uncut pieces and discard.

  8. Combine the pork, shredded onion, breadcrumbs and satay mix incrementally and gently, attempting not to squish the mince into a paste with your fingers. If you’re too rough the mince will lose its texture. Attempt to colour the entirety of the pink mince an orangey brown with the spice mix.

  9. Preferably, leave covered in fridge for a few hours to help the flavours mingle.

  10. Remove mix from fridge and form into small patties, around 1/3 – 1/2 the size of a regular burger.

  11. Cook on the high shelf of the barbeque for about 3-5 minutes on each side to ensure a moist and punchy treat.

I generally just serve these piled high on a platter with a garnish of fresh coriander and some lime wedges, but served in a fresh roll with a garnish of cucumber and coriander or parsley they’re delightful.


Baked Potato Skins

Stuffed potato skins

Although not technically “cooked” on the barbeque, these can be held in a warm oven before having the skins crisped on the grill.

  • Medium baking potatoes6
  • Olive oil3 tbsp
  • Butter2 knobs
  • Streaky bacon rashers8
  • Large red onion1
  • Double cream3 tbsp
  • Paprika1 tsp
  • Cheddar or gruyere (grated)300 g
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Handful of chopped parsley

(Serves 6-8)

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6.

  2. Prick potatoes with a knife and rub with some of the oil and salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray and cook for just over an hour, until skin starts to crisp and the potato is soft all the way through.

  3. Meanwhile, add the remaining oil to a frying pan and fry the streaky bacon until just crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add 1 knob of butter to the pan.

  4. Finely chop the onion and fry gently in the butter and oil (which should now have a healthy slather of rendered bacon fat in it) until soft.

  5. Chop the cooked bacon into fine strips and mix with the onion in a bowl.

  6. Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut in half (length ways). Carefully scoop out the majority of potato from each half (careful, it’s hot!) into a bowl, leaving empty potato skins.

  7. While the skins are empty it’s a good idea to attempt to flatten the base of the skins so they won’t tip over and will hold more filling later.

  8. In the bowl and using a potato masher lightly crush the potato (it should be coarser than mashed ptaato), 1 knob of butter, double cream, paprika and salt and pepper (to taste).

  9. Fold through the bacon bits, onion, ¾ of the cheese and half the parsley.

  10. Spoon this mixture back into the empty potato skins.

  11. Either place filled skins back in oven for 10-15 minutes until golden or wrap each potato half in foil and cook on barbeque.

  12. Sprinkle over remaining cheese and parsley to serve.


Toffee Apples

Toffee apples

A treat for both adults and kids, this is a simple recipe but demands a great deal of caution, as molten sugar is incredibly dangerous and will stick to your skin whilst it burns.

  • Golden delicious apples8
  • White sugar2 cups
  • Water½ cup
  • White vinegar1 tsp

You can also add ½ teaspoon of food colouring to the mix if you like, I personally prefer the more rustic look and find coloured apples a touch gaudy.

(Serves 6-8)

  1. Cover a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.

  2. Wash and dry your apples and insert wooden skewers (I use cocktail sticks) into them as handles.

  3. Mix the water, vinegar and sugar in a small, heavy based saucepan and bring the mixture to the boil (add the food colouring once it is boiling if you are using it).

  4. Let it simmer for around 20 minutes.

  5. To test if the mixture is ready drop a teaspoon full into a glass of cold water. The mixture should go hard and be easily crackable. If not, it needs more time simmering.

  6. Take the mixture off the heat and wait for it to stop simmering.

  7. CAREFULLY dip each apple in the mixture, rotating the apple as you do so.

  8. [Optional] Dip the covered apple in sprinkles for a carnivalesque touch.

  9. When apple is fully covered, place on baking tray to cool.


Mulled Wine

Mulled wine

There are a myriad of different recipes for mulled wine out there, but I find many of them to be needlessly complex. This is my simple adapted version of a Delia Smith recipe that first got me interested in mulled wine. It’s so simple a child could do it (but probably shouldn’t).

You could also do a lot worse than checking out John’s mulled wine recipe here on P&G.

  • Cabernet sauvignon2 btls
  • Honey6 tbsp
  • Cinnamon stick1
  • Star anise1
  • Ground ginger1½ tsp
  • Ground cardamom1½ tsp
  • Orange studded with cloves1
  • Grand Marnier2 tbsp
  • Orange slices2
  • Lemon slices3

(Serves 6-8)

  1. Stick all the ingredients (minus 1tbsp. Grand Marnier) in a heavy based pan and allow it to simmer for about twenty minutes.

  2. Take the pan off of the heat and add the second tablespoon of Grand Marnier.

  3. Remove the studded orange, cinnamon and star anise.

  4. Serve warm.

If your mulled wine cools down too much before you manage to drink it all, you can always put it back on the heat and warm it through again, be careful not to let it boil though as then you are just evaporating off the heartwarming alcohol.

Guest author Jamie Waddell is a writer, self-confessed foodie and outdoorsy type. He penned this post on behalf of Cosford Caravans, a motorhomes dealer in the Midlands, in order to show that there’s plenty to be enjoyed outside this winter with the right food and the right friends.

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