BBQ Brioche Herb Crusted Fillet of Lamb

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A beautiful barbecue recipe giving an extra crusted texture and herb flavour to a fillet of English lamb. Another simple but beautifully tasty recipe and here is how it is done:

I seared my lamb fillets over direct heat with olive oil, salt and pepper.

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I then cooked over indirect heat for about 10 minutes until medium rare. I like my lamb pink but cook it as you like it. Remember the best way to get your cooking temperatures right is to use a thermometer and this cooking guide.

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Once cooked through, I allowed to rest for 10 minutes whilst I prepared my crust:

Grated brioche; Thyme; Rosemary; Parsley, Salt and Pepper.

Simply lay the crust in a tray and rub some more olive oil onto the lamb and cover it with a good layer of crust. Back onto the barbecue over direct heat and gentle turn until all the crust has crisped up. It smells amazing!

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The lamb has already rested so just remove, serve and enjoy!

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Kit used: CharGriller Charcoal Grill and Smoker 

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Kamado Joe: Duck Cassoulet

ggIt’s always a shame when people put their barbecues away after summer – I love my autumn outdoor cooking. Autumn is the best season for stews, soups and my cassoulet – great food for a cold and windy day.

Whatever the weather you can leave your food on your ceramic barbecue and cook low and slow for hours with confidence. Strangely, a lot of my low and slow is timed around a rugby match ! I have very warm memories of the cassoulets that I ate in France, it is usually made with pork but I decided to try duck breast – and it was worth it.

Fire up the Kamado Joe with just the grill, with no deflector plate. Put your dish on the grill and add a little olive oil

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Once this is hot, add the bacon and gently cook, once starting to brown add the carrots, mushrooms, onions, celery and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions have become translucent.

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Remove from the heat and put this mixture into a bowl. Using the same dish sear off the 4 duck breasts both sides – add some salt and pepper to the duck as you go.

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Once browned, remove and deglaze the dish with a little of the vegetable stock. Re-add all the cooked bacon and vegetables mixture adding all the stock, the beans and  bay leaves. Stir in the tomato paste and add seasoning.

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Place the breasts on top of the beans, skin up, but don’t completely cover your duck breasts.

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Time to change your KJ from direct cooking to a low and slow oven so remove the dish and add the deflector plates using some heat proof gloves. Place the dish back on top of the grill, put a lid on the dish and close the lid. Set the temp for 100/125 c and  leave to simmer away for at least 3-5 hours.

Before serving remove the skin carefully and, in a frying pan, cook the skins until they turn crispy. This tastes and looks great and is an easy way to make duck bacon !

Serve with some creamy spring onion mash potato. Enjoy

Recipe: 4 duck breasts, 100g chopped smoky bacon, 200g sliced onions, 2 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tbsp crushed garlic, 2 bay leaves, 1  1/2 pints vegetable stock, 80 g chopped carrot, 100 g chestnuts, 80 g chopped mushrooms, 400 g butter beans, 400 g red kidney beans, 1 stick celery chopped, 400 g haricot beans.

Kamado Joe: Oak Smoked Meat Loaf

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I’ve never been a fan of meatloaf, maybe I’ve seen it too many times in American movies and in my travels I’ve had many different versions. Some okay, a lot I wouldn’t recommend. Having said that the concept is great so I decided it was time to try it… but my way. My version is good quality meat with fresh vegetables and herbs, wrapped in bacon and smoked on my Kamado Joe. Simple but delicious.

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Fire up your BBQ with a ceramic plate on the grill, the meatloaf needs a low and slow setting. Once fired up set the temperature for 150C.

Start by heating a little olive oil in a pan and, once hot, add the mushrooms, carrots, red onion and garlic. Gently fry for a couple of minutes but avoid burning the onions as this can add a bitter taste to the overall dish. Mix all the fried ingredients with the remaining ingredients (except the bacon) and cook through completely.  Then shape into a basic bread loaf, wrap in plastic and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours. It can be as big or as large as you like. For this dish I tend to divide the mix into equal amounts and make two “loaves”.

027Make a weave of the bacon strips and wrap around the meat loaf and then place into a loaf tin or tray. Place onto the grill and cook for approx 3 – 4 hours or until your thermometer is showing a reading of about 79C.

Serve hot or cold with a healthy portion of fresh seasonal vegetables such as carrots, broccoli and sweetcorn,which are my favourite, and can be cooked at the same time on the grill.

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Recipe:

1lb lean minced beef, 10oz minced pork, 1 egg beaten, 2 medium finely diced carrots, 15 rashers smoky bacon, 1 red onion  finely chopped, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 tbs tomato puree, 6oz fresh breadcrumbs, 1 tbs mustard, salt & pepper, 3 large mushrooms finely chopped, a large handful of parsley finely chopped, 1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano or 1 tbsp coriander

The simplicity of this dish is that you can use any seasonal vegetables and it is an ideal dish for any leftovers that you may have sitting in the fridge.

Kamado Joe: Smoked Farfalloni Pasta and Cheese

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Barbecues are not just for cooking sausages and burgers, the joy of outdoor cooking is adding a delicious smoky flavour to all your favourite recipes and my version of mac ‘n’ cheese is no exception. By adding my cold home smoked cheese  and oak smoked salt plus the smokiness from the lump charcoal – all makes this simple recipe into something special. Definitely worth a try.

Fire up your ceramic BBQ with the plate setter/ deflector plates on the lower setting and set the temperature at about 180C – 200C.

In a saucepan, either on the oven or on your BBQ, melt the butter and then add the flour as if making a basic roux sauce. At the same time cook your bacon on the grill. Once the flour has “cooked” down slowly, add the vegetable stock stirring gently, add the milk and allow to gently simmer. Chop up the bacon into small pieces and add this with the mushrooms to your gently simmering sauce and season with salt and pepper. Place your fresh pasta into one or two oven proof dishes and pour over the sauce. You may have sauce left over, don’t worry as the sauce in your dishes will reduce and may need topping up. Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese over the top.

Put your cheese onto the grill, close the lid and allow to cook for about 25 minutes.

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 Recipe

400g fresh farfalloni, 1 tablespoon butter, 200g home cold smoked grated cheese, 50g mature grated cheddar cheese for topping, 1 tbs coriander finely chopped, 1/2 pint milk, 1/2 pint vegetable stock, 2 tablespoon plain flour, 2 rashers of smoky bacon, 4 medium mushrooms finely chopped, home cold smoked salt & pepper.

Kamado Joe: East African Tiger Prawns, Baby Scallops and Mussels Curry

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This is my mum’s recipe given by an old friend from her days in East Africa.

East African curries differ from other curries as they are a blend of East African and Middle Eastern flavours. They use a lot of herbs and spices and mix that with coconut milk and ghee and you get a curry that has layers of flavour and depth.

In a bowl mix 1 teaspoon of Madras curry powder with the red wine vinegar, add the seafood and mix it all together. Leave for at least 30 minutes to marinade or overnight if possible.

Fire up your Kamado Joe with the deflector plates on the lower setting and add the grill. Place your cooking dish on the heat and add the ghee and onions to gently soften.

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Then add the garlic, ginger, curry powders, Garam Masala, sugar and the Cardamom seeds. Gently cook and once the onions are soft add the coconut milk  followed by the chopped tomatoes.

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Add seasoning to flavour, close your Kamado Joe and leave to gently simmer at about 150C for three to four hours. Check halfway through the cooking and if it needs more liquid either add extra coconut milk or full cream milk. Do not use water as this will leave a very wet curry.

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After about 3 hours, add all the seafood and cook for a further 25 minutes. As soon as the seafood is falling apart stir in a small handful of finely chopped fresh coriander and remove from the heat.

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Serve with rice, finely chopped tomato, onions, sultanas and banana

Ingredients:

8 Tiger prawns, 400g baby scallops, 300g mussels, 500g peeled prawns, 2 teaspoons crushed fennel seeds, 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder, 2 teaspoons medium curry powder, 2 teaspoons Garam Masala, 2 teaspoons poppy seeds, 2 teaspoons onion seeds, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cumin, seeds from 4 Cardamom pods, 3 large cloves garlic finely chopped, 1 tablespoon ginger finely chopped, 3 medium sized red onions finely chopped., 200g chopped tomatoes, 1000ml coconut milk, 3 tablespoons Ghee, small handful of finely chopped coriander.

 

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Kamado Joe: Low ‘n’ Slow Rack of Beef Ribs

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Beef ribs aren’t usual in the UK, people normally go for pork ribs but that is a mistake. Beef ribs are huge in comparison and give a lot more meat and the flavour is incredible. You need to ask your butcher to leave some of the fat on that would normally be trimmed off.  For low ‘n’ slo cooking the fat adds moisture to the meat and protects it from drying out.

I prepared the joint the night before by liberally coating it in my own Bone Dust rub. Make sure that the rub thoroughly coats all the meat – in all the joints and on the bones. Ideally leave in the fridge overnight.

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Fire up your Kamado Joe to 150 C, setting the deflector plates on the lower setting. Once the temperature has settled at 150C add the joint. Due to it’s size I could not lay the joint down flat so I rolled it and pinned it in place with a couple of wooden BBQ skewers. I left it to cook for around 10 hours turning it over about 5 hours into the cook.

A 10 hour cook time allows the meat and fat to break down, so the meat is incredible tender and juicy with a spicy, hot kick.

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Remove from your Kamado Joe and tin foil for at least 30-45 minutes before serving. Be patient when the 10 hours cooking is done, resting your meat for up to an hour is incredible important…and its worth the wait.

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Kamado Joe: Caramelised BBQ Pineapple and Red Berry Cup


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Desserts are always forgotten when it comes to barbecuing, there are some fantastic recipes to try and this is one of them. Caramelising fruit on a BBQ is very simply because of the high temperature your BBQ can reach, making it actually easier than in your kitchen. Try caramelising bananas, figs, apples (make your own toffee apples!) and mango…

Take a pineapple, cut in half, peel and de-core – make sure you don’t cut through to the outside edge, the aim is to make a cup. If you are not feeding the kids, rub with some whisky or cognac to add a real kick. Cover thoroughly in brown sugar, inside and out.

Fire up your Kamado Joe to 600 F and put a half moon deflector plate ( or as you can see from my photo a broken pizza stone) on your grill.

Kamado Joe: Caramelised BBQ Pineapple and Red Berry Cup

Hold your pineapple cup with long armed pincers and sear the outside edges directly over the heat, the sugar will caramelise very quickly and you are looking to brown all of the pineapple. To brown the inside, just hold upside down so the searing heat can reach inside. Once browned evenly, place onto the deflector plate to cook through for about five minutes. This will cook the pineapple through and soften up the flesh – allowing a crispy outside and a warm juicy inside.

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I took them off after five minutes cooking and filled them with red berries and added a pot of mascarpone.  Absolutely delicious and a great summer BBQ desert.Image

BBQ Kangaroo Steaks with Mango Salsa

 

Did you know there are more Kangaroos in Australia than people ? The meat is tender, succulent and completely delicious and is produced in Australia from wild animals and has only been exported from Australia since 2010. So not easy to get hold of, so when I did – it went straight onto my Kamado Joe.

 

Fire up your Kamado Joe with the deflector plates on the high setting. Ideal temperature should be around 320 -350C

Marinade your steaks in the coriander and chill oil for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.

Cook the steaks high heat for approx 3 minutes each side at 320 C+ (take care to “burp” your Kamado Joe before opening). This will ensure that all the sides are seared and that produces the delicious flavour. Ideally they should be served medium rare.

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Whilst cooking the kangaroo, I cooked up some  mushrooms, baby asparagus and carrot chips directly on the deflector plate. I decided on a mango salsa sauce to add a summery sweetness to the wood seared flavour of the kangaroo, a delicious decision.

 Recipe

2 Kangaroo steaks, 5 tbs olive oil, ½ finely chopped chili, salt & pepper

Mango salsa   1/2 ripe mango – pitted and peeled, ½ cup freshly chopped coriander, 1/2 medium shallot – finely chopped, ½ jalapeno – finely chopped, juice from ½ lime or lemon, 2 tbs olive oil, salt & pepper, 5 cherry tomatoes – roughly chopped.

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Kamado Joe: BBQ Seared King Crab

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I’m in love with King Crab – flavour, texture, versatility. If you can get your hands on some – please do try it on your barbecue, you will not regret it.

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Using a pair of scissors cut along the seam of each segment of the leg, removing the meat from the shell. Ensure that any cartilage is also removed.

Each leg should provide 4 pieces of prime crab meat.

Marinade the crab meat in a bowl with a glug of chilli olive oil, salt and pepper and leave to rest until the Kamado Joe is ready. Food this good doesn’t need fancy sauces or rubs, keep it simple.

 

Fire up your Kamado Joe and remove the deflector plates, add the grill on top. This is direct cooking so going to sear the outside and lock in the moisture of the crab, making it extra succulent.

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Once the Kamado Joe has reached a temp of about 200 C place the crab meat on the grill and sear for about 2 minutes each side.

DO NOT let it burn – I suggest you don’t leave the crab whilst cooking and if you are unsure, this is one of the rare occasions you can BBQ with the lid up.

 

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Kamado Joe: BBQ Seared Scallop and Squid

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Barbecuing delicate seafood can be problematic, simply because it is so easy to overcook resulting in chewy and dry seafood. The perfect solution is using your ceramic heat deflector or pizza stone, to cook indirectly, this still gives flavour to your seafood and makes life a lot easier.

 

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About 2 hours before BBQing, soak the squid in a bowl of milk and salt & pepper. This was a tip given by a good friend and it stops the squid going rubbery and tough. I highly recommend it !

 

 

The scallops I mixed with a little olive oil and pepper and left to rest. As squid and scallops are so lean, they require some fat such as oil or butter during cooking.

Set your Kamado Joe up with the deflector plates on the high position. Once your Kamado Joe has reached 280-300 C you are ready to start cooking.

Both the squid and scallops can be cooked at the same time and it is as easy as placing the food on the deflector plates and cooking each side for 2 – 3 minutes  or until browned and opaque – turning once. Just before removing from the heat, squeeze a little lemon juice over for extra flavour.

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How easy is that ?

Kamado Joe: BBQ Pomme Dauphinois

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Pomme Dauphinois (sliced potatoes in a creamy sauce for us “normal” people) is a quick recipe to prepare and cooks beautifully on your Kamado Joe. Just throw it on and go watch the rugby.The potatoes, milk and cream absorb the smokiness and flavour of the charcoal, making this an ideal outdoor cooking recipe.

Peel and slice the potatoes to the width of a 2 pence coin and pat dry. If you have a mandolin use that, much easier and you get a uniform thickness which is important as all the potatoes cook at the same time

Gently heat the milk and cream in a pan, then add the garlic and thyme. Heat to boiling point and then allow to cool down. Once cooled, remove any skin that may have formed. Sprinkle with nutmeg and keep warm.
Use the butter to grease your dish, not only does this stop the potatoes sticking but also adds a little flavour.

Layer half the potatoes in your dish, forming a side and then filling in the centre, overlapping the slices, sprinkle each layer with a little salt and pepper. Add your chilli, finely sliced red onion and finely chopped spring onions and pour over half the liquid and finish layering. Once you have reached just below the rim of your dish, add the rest of the liquid and salt & pepper.

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Fire up your Kamado Joe, putting the heat deflectors on the lower setting, then add the grate. You want the temperature at around 150 – 180 C.

Place your dishes on your Kamado Joe and allow to cook for approx 50-60 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked all the way through. During the cooking, using a fork, gently press down on the potatoes, pushing them under the liquid. This stops the top layer from drying out.

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Half way through cooking, sprinkle the grated Parmesan and cheddar. If you put the cheese on too early, it will burn!

Just before serving, sprinkle with the coriander.

 

 

 

Recipe:

150ml full-fat milk, knob of butter,1kg waxy potatoes, 150 carton double cream, 1 garlic clove -peeled and mashed, 2 sprigs of thyme, a pinch of ground nutmeg,10g grated parmesan, 30g grated cheddar, ½ finely chopped mild chilli, 1 medium red onion finely sliced, 2 finely chopped spring onions, 1 tsp finely chopped coriander, salt & pepper.

Kamado Joe: BBQ Moose with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

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Moose meat is quite similar in taste to grass-fed beef and has a much subtler game flavour than other venison. Moose is very lean and can be easily overcooked, so be careful with your cooking time – if you BBQ too long then you end up with rubber ! There is a whole world of moose meat – Moose T-Bone Steaks, Rib-Eye, Tenderloin, Flank Steak – that in relatively unknown in the UK. This recipe is for Moose Leg Steaks….

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Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and then cover your steaks with the sauce.

Put in the fridge and ideally marinade overnight, longer the better.

 

 

 

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Preheat your Kamado Joe to approx 300/350 C (remember to “burp” your Kamado before adding your steaks) and don’t add your deflector plates. BBQing directly over the coals means the moose will be seared very quickly on the outside and lock in the juiciness. Cooking time really depends on the thickness of the steaks. I like mine medium rare so searing the steaks for three minutes each side is enough.

 

Once again, be really careful as moose is very lean and can overcook and dry out very very quickly. Once the steak are cooked remove from the heat and allow to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

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I served my moose steak with Pomme Dauphinoise (also cooked on my Kamado Joe) and a creamy spring onion and mushroom sauce.

Moose leg steaks

Marinade

3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 garlic clove- minced, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1 juniper berries

Mushroom and Onion Sauce

6 large peeled and sliced chestnut mushrooms, 2 spring onions finely chopped, 1/2 finely chopped red onion, knob of butter, salt & pepper, 300ml double cream, 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon

Sauté the mushrooms and onions in the butter and a squirt of olive oil. Once browned and softened, add the double cream, turn the heat down low and stir gently until it starts to bubble. Remove from the heat and place a large tablespoons worth on your plate.

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Kamado Joe: Whiskey Oak Smoked Red King Crab with Micro Herb Salad

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I was very fortunate to have been given some Red King Crab and Snow Crab legs, claws and clusters. Lucky me!

Getting hold of King Crab is very difficult in this country, which is a shame because it is delicious and the meat is big enough to cook out of its shell…meaning more fun to cook with. My crab comes pre-cooked which means all I have to do is experiment with different barbecuing techniques and adding different smoky flavours. This recipe is all about adding a subtle Whisky Oak flavour and gentle searing to the outside to add different textures to the crab.

Firstly, I soaked some Whiskey Oak chips in water about an hour prior to lighting my Kamado Joe. I then lit the Kamado with the deflector plates in the high position.

Once I had reached 150 C  I set the vents to maintain that temperature. The deflector plates will be warmed up – perfect for gentle searing.

I first cut open the legs using a pair of kitchen scissors and removed the meat segment by segment including the claw, which, for me, is the tastiest part. I then rubbed it with olive oil, salt and pepper.

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I then added the soaked wood chips to my Kamado Joe.

Once I had smoke, I placed the larger segments directly onto the deflector plates and cooked for about three minutes, turning over once. I then added the smaller segments and cooked everything for a further two minutes turning once. Even though it is a brief time on the Kamado the crab firmed up and took on a lovely colour and flavour from the charcoal and the chips.

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The dressing is a simple mix of 1 tsp whole grain mustard, 1 tsp honey, a good glug of olive oil with a teaspoon of Balsamic vinegar and then mixed together.

For the salad, I used a mix of Chilli Cress and Limon Cress from Koppet Cress –  which not only added some lovely colour but added spicy mustard and lemon anice flavour to the crab. Resulting in a great flavour blend.

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Kamado Joe: Whisky Oak Smoked Beef Carpaccio with Barbecued Asparagus

Kamado Joe: Whisky Oak Smoked Beef Carpaccio with Barbecued AsparagusThis is my smoked version of an amazing Italian dish, carpaccio was created by Giuseppe Cipriani in Venice around 1950 and dedicated to the Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio. I love carpaccio and have used my Kamado Joe to create my own distinct interpretation. Hope you like it !

When you buy your fillet of beef ask the butcher to remove any excess fat, if your knife skills are quite good then do it yourself. Rub your fillet with salt and pepper and get your ceramic BBQ ready.

Fire up your Kamado Joe, once the temp has stabilised at around 75/100 C add your pre-soaked whisky oak chips, put your heat deflectors on the lowest setting, add the grill on top and put the fillet onto the grill. Leave to smoke for 20/30 minutes.Image
Remove the fillet from the grill and remove the grill and put heat deflector plate onto highest setting (be careful it will be hot) and open up the Kamado Joe vents until the temp is 600C+. This will transform your deflector plates into a ceramic searing plate, this is why I love my Kamado Joe – it is a really versatile barbecue that can change from a smoker into a hot searing BBQ.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and then rub all over the fillet and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

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Burp your Kamado Joe (cooking with a ceramic BBQ is the only time you are allowed to burp in public, not sure what this means – read my article To Burp or Not to Burp) and put the fillet onto the deflector plate searing each side for 3-4 minutes. At this point add your asparagus which has been marinated in olive oil, salt and pepper.

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Remove the fillet from the heat and leave to cool down until room temperature. Slice as thinly or thickly as you like, drizzle with vinaigrette and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

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A beautiful tender beef with hints of deep whisky oak smokiness – one of my favourite starters ever.

Normally, you should wrap in cling film and freeze. This means it is much easier to thinly slice however I’m much more about the texture and flavour rather than the ‘look’ so I don’t bother. I like my carpaccio looking a bit chunky.

Recipe:

1 fillet of beef
1 clove garlic puree
1 tbs fresh coriander finely chopped
1 tbs fresh thyme finely chopped
3 tbs olive oil
1 tbs sea salt
1 tbs fresh ground pepper
Pre-soaked whiskey oak chips

Enjoy.

Kamado Joe: Three Cheese Portobello Mushrooms and Mini Peppers

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This is my three cheese stuffing, I use it for stuffing peppers, mushrooms, aubergines and anything else worth stuffing. They make a great starter and as soon as the main course has finished cooking on my Kamado, I add these on (with the deflector plates in low setting) and I cook them directly on the deflector plates at about 200 C for about 5 minutes.

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Peel the mushrooms and remove the storks, do not wash them as mushrooms are like sponges and absorb water. With the peppers cut in half longwise and remove the seeds and very carefully remove the white flesh as this can be bitter when cooked.

Combine all ingredients listed below in a bowl and mix completely. Don’t hesitate in tasting and tweaking the recipe, if  you want more zing add extra lemon juice. Add about a large teaspoon of the mix to each mushroom or pepper.

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To check if they are ready – piece with a skewer or knife and if the mushrooms and peppers are soft and the cheese has melted they are done. Cooking times may vary depending on the size of the mushrooms and peppers.

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ALP_9422Recipe:

20g grated parmesan

50g brioche crumbed

100g cream cheese

100g grated cheddar cheese

Juice from 1 lemon

10g finely chopped fresh Coriander

2 finely chopped spring onions

Salt and pepper

Enjoy

Kamado Joe: Chestnut Stuffed and Garlic Herbed BBQ Poussin

ImageThere’s nothing better than getting a whole chicken to yourself, even if it is a small spring chicken. Each is a perfect size for one portion and you can do different recipes for each one if you want. I decided to do two recipes with my poussin : Chestnut Stuffed Poussin and Garlic Herbed Poussin…

Chestnut Stuffed Poussin

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Kamado Joe: Chestnut Stuffed and Garlic Herbed BBQ PoussinImage

Make the stuffing by gently frying the shallots in the butter, add rest of ingredients and cook on a very low heat for about 5 minutes.
Stuff your Poussin and tie the legs together sealing the cavity. Lightly oil, salt and pepper the outside of the Poussin. Leave to rest while getting the Kamado Joe to temperature.

1 tbs finely chopped fresh sage
50g finely chopped Portobello mushrooms
1 shallot freshly chopped
50g brioche crumbs
100g butter
1 zest lemon
50g chopped chestnuts
Salt & Pepper
15g Coriander finely chopped

Garlic Herbed BBQ Poussin

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Kamado Joe: Chestnut Stuffed and Garlic Herbed BBQ Poussin

Combine all the ingredient and mix well in a bowl. Remove the Poussin from the fridge at least an hour before applying the rub, rub liberally all over and then leave to marinade for at least an hour but ideally overnight.

1 large teaspoon pureed garlic
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Thyme finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon Rosemary finely chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil

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Fire up the Kamado Joe with the heat deflectors on the top setting.

Once the temperature has stabilised at about 150C add the Poussins direct onto the deflector plates and leave to cook for approx one hour. This is more than enough time to cook the birds, if unsure check with a thermometer that the temperature of the Poussin is above 74C.

An easy test is to pull gently either a wing or a leg and if it is cooked it will separate from the body very easily. Normally cooking a Poussin for this amount of time would overcook it, however with the Kamado Joe all the juices remain in the bird with extra moisture being added by the stuffing as it cooks. This means the meat is literally falling off the bone.

Enjoy.

Kamado Joe: Low ‘n’ Slow Herbed Roast Leg of Lamb

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Never been a big fan of lamb, I have too many memories of lamb roasts at school. I remember eating sweet, fatty pieces of meat with an off putting smell that completely turned me off the idea of lamb. However, I decided to be brave and try a leg of British lamb (which surprisingly costed an arm and a leg – no idea why British lamb is so expensive) and Low ‘n’ Slow cook it on my Kamado Joe.

What a result! Tender, juicy and very ‘unfatty’. I think I’ve finally overcome my distaste and I’m already planning some more lamb recipes. Cooking Low ‘n’ Slow broke down all the fat and made the meat incredible succulent, I even got a lovely layer of smoked bark. This isn’t a complicated recipe but just enough to show lamb at its best.

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Using a very sharp knife, cut across the top of the leg of lamb making 2cm squares. Mix all the herbs with the garlic and olive oil and liberally rub into the lamb ensuring that the entire joint is covered. Cover and put into the fridge for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight.

Fire up your Kamado Joe and place the heat deflectors on the lower setting placing the grill above it. Once the temperature has stabilised around 150 C add the joint and close the lid. Cooking time for a medium joint is approx 6 hours, however times may vary depending on its size. Once again I rely on my Thermopen for accurate temperature readings.

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Every hour I brushed the lamb with a herb brush to add the remaining marinade onto the meat. Making the herb brush is really easy – I use the opposite end of a wooden spoon and tie the herbs onto the end. As the herbs warm up, they leave even more flavour on the meat.

A good way of knowing if the lamb is done – gently twist the bone and if it moves or turns the joint is done. Pretty simple stuff

Remove the joint from the heat and leave to rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Recipe:

1 leg of lamb
1 tablespoon fresh sage finely chopped
1 tablespoon thyme finely chopped
1 Tablespoon rosemary finely chopped
4 cloves of crushed garlic
Salt and pepper
1 cup olive oil

Enjoy

Kamado Joe: East African Beef Curry

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Growing up in South Africa I remember my mum’s curries because they were very spicy hot and therefore were a rite of passage for us kids. When we were grown up enough we were allowed to eat it, rather than the “kiddie” curry. I have toned down the heat in this recipe but it is still a healthy medium hot which allows you to taste the depth of flavour with less pain.

This is my mum’s recipe given by an old friend from her days in Kenya and can be made with seafood, beef, lamb or chicken. East African curries differ from traditional Indian as they blend East African and Middle Eastern flavours. They use a lot of herbs and spices and mix with coconut milk and ghee –  resulting in a curry that has layers of flavour and depth.

In a bowl mix 1 teaspoon of madras curry powder with the red wine vinegar. Add the beef and mix together, leave for at least 30 minutes to marinate or overnight if possible.

ImageFire up your Kamado Joe with the deflector plates on the lower setting and add the grill. Place your cooking dish on the heat and add the ghee and onions to gently soften. Then add the garlic, ginger, curry powders, Garam Masala, sugar and the cardamom seeds.

Gently cook and once the onions are soft, add the beef and chopped tomatoes followed by the coconut milk. Add seasoning to flavour, close your Kamado Joe and leave to gently simmer at about 150C for three to four hours.

Check halfway through the cooking and if it needs more liquid either add extra coconut milk or full cream milk. Do not use water as this will give you a very liquidy curry. Once the curry is cooked and the meat is beginning to fall apart – stir in a small handful of finely chopped fresh coriander.

Serve with rice, finely chopped tomato, onions, sultanas and banana.

Recipe:

1lb diced beef
2 teaspoons crushed fennel seeds
4 teaspoons Madras curry powder
3 teaspoons medium curry powder
2 teaspoons Garam Masala
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons onion seeds
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon cumin
Seeds from 4 Cardamom pods
3 large cloves garlic finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger finely chopped
3 medium sized red onions finely chopped.
400g chopped tomatoes
500ml coconut milk
3 tablespoons Ghee
Small handful of finely chopped coriander.

Enjoy

Kamado Joe: Low ‘n’ Slow Chilli Cherry Smoked Duck

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Low ‘n’ Slow cooking should not just be reserved for pork. Cooking Low ‘n’ Slow allows the fat and muscle to break down slowly and get re-absorbed back into the meat – sounds horrible but that is what gives great juiciness, flavour and texture. So Low ‘n’ Slow is a perfect way to cook duck, as my Mum says “if it’s worth having it’s worth waiting for”. This duck recipe has a real kick as I love duck with a bit of heat but also well balanced by the fresh herbs and lemon.

Just a side note – the price of duck seems to be coming down. I picked up my Gressingham duck and it had the same price a chicken, not sure why but I’m making the most of it.

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Using a skewer piece the skin of the duck top and bottom. This allows the larger fatty bodies to break down faster and leaves you with a duck that is less greasy. Mix all the ingredients and gently rub into the skin of the duck ensuring that the rub gets into all the creases on the duck. Ideally put back in the fridge and leave to marinade overnight if possible. If not give it at least 2 hours between adding the rub and putting onto the BBQ.

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Remove the duck from the fridge at least 1 hour before cooking. Fire up your Kamado Joe and, once the temperature has stabilised at around 150 C, add your chunk of pre-soaked Cherry wood. I would advise having the duck on a cooling rack or rib tray over a dish, this prevents the juices making a mess on your BBQ as well as stopping the fat hitting the defector plates. This can cause a lot of smoke, cherry smoke is fine – burning fat is not.

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Your duck should be ready in 3 – 4 hours but cooking times may vary depending on the size of the duck. I always use my Thermapen to ensure that the internal temperature is above 70 degrees. Once the internal temperature has been reached, take the duck off the grill and tent with foil. Leave to rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Rub Recipe:

½ teaspoon chilli flakes
grated skin of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon crushed pepper corns
1 teaspoon salt flakes
1 teaspoon dry coriander
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 medium sized lump of Cherry wood (soaked in water)

Enjoy

Kamado Joe: Chilli and Rosemary Shoulder of Pork

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Pork is great favourite of mine for the BBQ, in fact I’m sure there is no better way of cooking pork – whatever part of the pig you are cooking. Remember that dry, chewy pork that you had to smother in apple sauce ? Using a ceramic BBQ, like Kamado Joe, keeps all the moisture in your food and adds a delicious smoky flavour – no more dry pork.  I like to BBQ pork just before it gets to the pulled pork stage, cooking Low ‘n’ Slow for 4-5 hours takes its texture and moisture to a completely different level but it keeps its shape, you simply haven’t had the best pork until you have barbecued it like this.

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Use a very sharp knife to score the skin of the pork in criss-crosses. My marinade is made by mixing together all the below ingredients in a bowl, Once the ingredients are well and truly mixed together rub onto the pork shoulder liberally ensuring that the marinade gets into all the cuts and creases on the joint. Keep whatever marinade remains and use that later to add to the pork using a food brush. Leave this sitting in the fridge for a couple of hours or even overnight, ensuring that you remove it from the fridge about an hour or 2 before you are ready to start cooking.

 

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Fire up your Kamado and, once the temperature has settled at about 220 C, place the deflector plates on the low setting. Put the pork either on a rib tray or a small wire rack and place in the Kamado. Cook the joint like this for a good 30 minutes to get the crackling to start crisping up, then reduce the heat to 150 C. Cooking time is about 4-5 hours but very much depends on the size of the shoulder.

After about 3 hours, using a food brush, add more of the marinade evenly onto the shoulder. Once again I rely on my Thermapen and once it is showing an internal temperature of the pork at 195 F+ – it is done. Remove from the Kamado, tent in tin foil and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes.

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Knife cuts through like butter with delicious smoky crackling.

Recipe:

Shoulder of pork de-boned, 10 tbsp olive oil, 1 finely chopped onion, 1 tsp of dried chilli flakes, a small handful of finely chopped rosemary, 2 cloves of garlic coarsely chopped, salt & pepper, 1 lge tbsp of lemon juice, 1 large tsp brown sugar, one tsp of white sugar.

Enjoy.

Kamado Joe: BBQ Hot Chicken Wings

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KFC have cornered the market for chicken wings, people rarely cook them at home and, as always, I don’t understand why. They are simple, require few ingredients, easy to make and you can experiment by cooking them in lots of different sauces. This is my Tabasco with lots of melted butter recipe…

For the marinade, mix all  the ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Add the chicken wings, ensuring they are completed coated in the marinade. Cover with cling film and chill in a fridge –  ideally overnight.

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Fire up your Kamado Joe with the deflector plate on the high setting and add the grill. Once the temperature has stabilized at around 350/400 C add the wings onto the grill. By using the deflector plate (indirect heat) the chicken wings cook a lot slower in the butter and therefore stay very moist, cooking them directly over the heat means they can dry out and, as they are so small, burn them. Just because they are small doesn’t mean they can’t get cooked a bit Low ‘n’ Slow.

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Allow to cook for approx 5 minutes and then turn. Cooking time will depend on the size of the wings, any remaining sauce can be used to baste the wings.

Recipe:

900g chicken wings, 200 butter – melted, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp  sweet paprika, 2 tbsp  Tabasco sauce, 1 garlic clove (pureed), ½ de-seeded medium heat chilli – finely chopped, salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Such hard work 🙂

Kamado Joe: Whisky Oak Smoked Chilli with Boerewors

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What is better than a home made chilli on a cold January day – especially with Boerewors to add a spicy kick ? Whatever the weather my Kamado Joe is perfect for outdoor cooking as you can easily change its set up to use as a hob and then as an outdoor smoker.

Ready your Kamado Joe by removing the heat deflector and getting the temperature to around 350 C.

Place your heat proof dish on the grill, close the lid and wait for the oil to heat up. Open the Kamado (remember to burp it) and gently fry the green onions, bacon, red onions, shallots and chilli.

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Push the veg to one side and add the Boerewors and gently brown off.

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Push this over to one side of the dish and add the beef mince and brown it off.

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Mix all these ingredients together and then add the herbs, spices, tomato purée, red beans and chopped tomatoes along with ½ pint of hot vegetable stock.

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Stir well and remove the dish from the Kamado Joe and add your pre-soaked chips to the charcoal, insert the deflector plate on it’s lowest setting and put your chilli (without the lid) back onto the grill. 

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The chips should smoke for approx 20 minutes which is just enough to add smokiness to the dish. I’ve used some Whisky Oak, it is a strong woody flavour and adds a lovely deep smoky flavour.

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Once the chips have stopped smoking put the lid onto the chilli, drop the temperature to about 150C and leave for 3-4 hours to gently simmer. I made some Wood Fired Cornbread to go with my Chilli which I highly recommend as a great compliment to any chilli.

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Recipe :

2 red onion –  finely sliced
small handful of finely chopped coriander
2 tbsp olive oil
1lb of lean beef mince
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or puréed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 red pepper, charred and peeled slicedImage
1 large spoon brown sugar
1 tsp NOMU African heat
300g Boerewors meat
2 tsp hot chilli powder
3 tbsp tomato purée
2 cans chopped tomatoes
½ pint hot vegetable stock
1 can of red kidney beans –  rinsed and drained
8 rashers of smoked streaky bacon –  finely chopped
3 spring onions –  finely chopped
3 shallot – s finely chopped
1 tbsp hot paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Enjoy.

Kamado Joe: Cider Can Chicken

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Beer Can Chicken is a very popular and easy way of cooking a chicken. A number of companies now produce BBQ utensils to recreate this effect; however my version works just as well and gives an added taste bonus.

Prepare your chicken by rubbing olive oil into the skin and then mix together your chosen BBQ dry rub. Coat the chicken in the rub and leave to rest for a couple of hours in the fridge. Do remember to take the chicken out about an hour or two before cooking, putting your chicken onto the BBQ straight from the fridge will cause the flesh and muscles to contract – making for a tougher chicken meat.

Normal Beer Can Chicken is simply case of opening a beer, sitting a chicken on it and placing it on the BBQ. Very simple but effective, however I always like to do things differently so for a different flavour I used cider in this recipe – Strongbow as it was left over in the fridge from Christmas.

Firstly empty the cider into another container and cut off the top with a sharp knife, fold over the edges to avoid any accidents and wash out the can ensuring there are no shavings of metal. Refill the can with the cider but adding a couple of cloves of garlic and a few branches of rosemary. Having a quick “taste” of the cider before refilling is perfectly acceptable…

ImageSit your chicken on the can using the legs to balance it and place on your BBQ at a temperature of about 200C – a little under 400F -for about an hour. Cooking time depends on the size of the bird, I always recommend using a thermometer ( Thermapen is my favourite) and checking the internal temperature.

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Cooking your chicken this way means it is barbecued from the outside, producing a nice dark and crispy skin with flavour from the rub, but is also steamed cooked from the inside by the cider flavoured with herbs. A guaranteed moist, juicy chicken with a surprising apple cider flavour. An added bonus is the remaining cider and herbs can be used as a stock to make delicious gravy.

My wife still thinks this way of cooking is disrespectful to chickens – doesn’t stop her eating it !

Enjoy.

Kamado Joe: Barbecued Bread Scones

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I was fortunate to have been given How To Bake by Paul Hollywood for Christmas. I love making bread and have used our bread machine so far to do the mixing and proving but this book takes you through all the skills needed and, so far, I’m really enjoying myself. So expect some lovely bread recipes to come – all on my Kamado Joe. Firstly fire up your Kamado Joe, setting your heat deflector on the lower setting and get the temperature to about 200C / 390F.

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Mix the flour and salt thoroughly in a bowl, then add the milk and mix it all together using your hands.

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Once you have a ball of dough transfer it over to a lightly floured surface and lightly fold it together to form a soft dough ball. Brush the top of the dough with a beaten egg.

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Lightly flatten the ball of dough to about 3cm thick and cut into 6 segments (like a pizza) and transfer over to a pizza stone lightly floured with semolina flour (stops it sticking).

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Place the pizza stone on top of the heat deflector and bake for about 15 minutes. Once the bread scones have risen and browned, place on a cooling rack and leave to cool. Because these bread scones haven’t been proved, they are quite heavy in texture but are perfect for dipping into a bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar with cherry tomatoes.

A real taste of the Mediterranean on a cold January day.

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Recipe: 125g self-raising flour, 125g whole-meal self-raising flour, 175 ml full fat milk, 1 beaten egg, ½ teaspoon salt

Kamado Joe: Roasted Chicken Pieces with Provençal Veg

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There are so many different ways of cooking chicken on a BBQ but most people stick with the old favourites like beer can chicken. However the versatility of a ceramic BBQ, like the Kamado Joe, means that by changing the position of the Deflector Plates and using it as a plancha – more creative recipes can be made.

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I took four chicken breasts and four thighs (skin on) and coated them with a mix of brown sugar, chilli flakes, crushed coriander, crushed mustard seeds, sweet paprika, salt and pepper. I left them to marinade for most of the day in the fridge, this gives the chicken time to absorb the rub.

Fire up your Kamado Joe and put the deflector plate on it’s highest setting. Once the temperature reached 200 C  I lightly oiled the deflector plate and placed the chicken (skin down) directly onto the deflector plate, closed the lid and left it for about 8 minutes. This gently browned off the skin and started breaking down the fat. I then flipped the chicken over and left it for 20 minutes.

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While the chicken was gently cooking away, I sliced 1 large red onion, 1 yellow pepper,  5 medium mushrooms, a handful of halved cherry tomatoes and a small handful of fresh coriander. Mixed all of this into a bowl with a generous slug of olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

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After the 20 minutes was up, I checked the temperature of the chicken using my Thermapen (probably the best and most accurate thermometer on the market and highly recommended). As soon as the chicken showed an internal temperature above 180F / 82C,  I then covered the meat with the vegetables and left it to cook for 5 minutes.

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This is my version of a chicken BBQ Provençal which is wonderful on a cold wintry night.

Enjoy

Kamado Joe: My Best Burger

Kamado Joe: My Best Burger

There are three secrets, in my opinion, to making tasty and moist burgers and I’m always more than happy to share.

The first is using a mixture of lean minced beef and minced pork, I use lean beef because of the flavour it adds to my burgers however, because of the low fat content, I mix it in with minced pork. As the minced pork cooks, its fat content keeps my burgers moist and tender. The difference is remarkable and I only ever cook burgers this way. Also by adding finely chopped onions, bacon and mushrooms, as these cook inside my burgers their natural juices also add moisture and flavour.

The second, most obviously for me, is to cook burgers on a BBQ. My ceramic BBQ , a Kamado Joe, is built to keep the moisture inside your food. Using lump charcoal adds a natural wood charcoal flavour and, by adding wood chips, you can intensify the wood flavour even more.

The third is the type of burger bun, I love to cook my own buns because burger buns in the shop are very dry and tasteless. My burger buns are more of a brioche which means they are sweeter, softer and more moist – it really makes a difference.

Finely chop the bacon, mushrooms and onion and mix thoroughly into the meat with the breadcrumbs, mustard and egg. Add seasoning at this point.

I typically make about 8 ¼lb burgers from this mix and I usually use a burger press to get approx the same size and thickness.

Kamado Joe: My Best Burger

Not only does this look better but it means the cooking times are the same for all the burgers.

Using the direct method, once the Kamado Joe has reached approx 350/400F (always lightly oil your grill prevents the burgers from sticking), place the burgers on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes each side.  This will give you a medium rare burger; you can cook it for longer just remember to cook each side evenly. Remember to leave your burgers to rest for a while and then build up your burger with your favorite condiments, I’m currently into my mayo/ketchup/finely chopped cornichon and chilli.

Recipe: Mix together and shape either by hand or with a burger press 450g minced lean beef; 450g minced pork; 3 finely chopped rashers smoky bacon; 2 finely chopped medium chestnut mushrooms; ½ red onion finely chopped; 2 slices worth of bread crumbed brioche ( normally my home made brioche, white bread will do) ;1 free range egg;1 tsp French Dijon mustard; salt & pepper.

Kamado Joe: Six Grain Bread

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Ceramic barbecues are brilliant as outdoor ovens and I find my Kamado Joe bakes like a traditional wood fired oven, giving the satisfaction of producing home made bread with a crispy outer crust. That’s what I love about ceramic barbecues – whatever I decide to cook that day my Kamado Joe has the versatility to do it.

Remember to only use lump wood charcoal when baking, this is what gives the wood fired flavour to your food.

I use my bread machine for mixing the dough, a much cheaper option than buying a good quality mixer, still surprised how expensive they can be ! I  gently warm the milk and water till it reaches room temp, put into the bread pan and sprinkle over the flour. Follow this by adding the sugar, salt and butter into each corner  with the yeast in the middle.

On my machine I have setting to just make dough, it takes a good 90 minutes to knead and prove the bread. I then work the dough by hand for about 4 minutes and then place it in a pre-oiled container and cover it with cling film it. I then leave it to prove a 2nd time in my airing cupboard for about 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

While the bread is proving set up your Kamado Joe, for baking I use the heat deflector on it’s higher setting and settle the temperature at about 150C / 300F as this will ensure an even bake and a nice golden crust.

Take the bread and shape it into a round ball (boule) and put onto some grease proof paper. Place this onto the heat deflector and cook for about 45/50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

A quick tip is to tap the loaf in the centre of the underside, if the loaf sounds hollow, it is cooked through, or dense, it still has time to go. Once the bread is cooked turn it out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.

Kamado Joe: Six Grain Bread

Bread Recipe:

170ml semi skimmed milk; 150ml water; 340g unbleached bread flour; 110g 6 grain bread flour; 5ml salt; 15ml sugar; 25g unsalted butter; 2.5ml easy blend yeast

Kamado Joe: Apple and Raspberry Crumble

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I must admit to having a bit of a sweet tooth and this is one of my favourite desserts to cook on my Kamado Joe. Ceramic barbecues are fantastic for baking and when you have finished cooking your meat or fish, just chuck on your dessert or pudding.

First, fire up your Kamado Joe. For this recipe we are looking to cook the dish at about 180 – 200C for approx 45 minutes (depending on size). Cooking time is about 45 minutes which means the dessert is ready shortly after we have finished the main course.

ImagePeel and de-core around 6 large cooking apples, cut into medium sized chunks and put into cold water with a squirt of lemon juice (this stops them from browning).

My Crumble Recipe

300g sieved plain flour with pinch of salt

175g unrefined brown sugar

200g unsalted soft butter

Mix together the sugar, flour and salt then start adding the butter and rubbing it with your fingertips until you finish all the butter and have a bowl of bread crumb mix.

Drain the apples off and add about a tablespoon of flour and mix well –  coating the apples. Adding the flour is a simple trick but as the apples cook down releasing all the juices, the flour thickens it up and makes a better consistency.

Place the apples at the bottom of your baking dish and evenly sprinkle over the raspberries. Over this I sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of brown demerara sugar. White sugar will do but brown demerara gives you  extra flavour.

Cover the apple and raspberries with the crumble mixture ensuring you get an even layer across the apples.Image

Place into the Kamado with the deflector plates set high, close the lid and relax. Check the dish after about 30 minutes to ensure the crumble is not burning. You ideally want a toasted golden color. I would also advise using a skewer to prod the apples, if they are hard the dish needs more cook time.

Biggest question now is whether you eat your crumble with custard, cream or ice cream ?

Enjoy

Cornelius

Kamado Joe: Stuffed Barbecued Tomatoes

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The sun came out for a couple of hours today so I grabbed the chance to do a dish that reminds me of summer. English winters are hard for South Africans and my way of coping is barbecuing with lovely fresh ingredients and some brightly coloured food.

This is a really simple dish, takes minutes to prepare and definitely does not disappoint in the flavour stakes.

Take 4 large tomatoes and cut the top off, keep them as they will be used.  Empty out all the seeds and excess flesh (very carefully).

The stuffing is even easier and the beauty of this is you can add or take away ingredients as you wish.

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Finely chop ; one small red onion, 3 medium mushrooms, a small handful of fresh coriander and 3 slices of smoky streaky bacon. Breadcrumb 2/3 slices of crusty white bread and mix everything together with a healthy dollop of olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Using either a spoon or your hands stuff this mixture into the empty tomatoes and put back the lids.

Place on the Kamado Joe and cook at 300 F for about 20 minutes.

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The dressing I used, which definitely adds a little zing, was one chopped spring onion, some finely sliced cucumber, a healthy portion of finely chopped green chili , a squeeze of lemon juice, a capful of white wine vinegar and some olive oil. Mix well and then pour generous amounts over the tomatoes.

This is how I get my dose of summer through the English winter – freshness from the coriander, sweet juices of the tomatoes with the smokiness from the bacon and the BBQ with a kick from the dressing.

Then the kids came home and demolished my Stuffed Tomatoes in under 5 minutes….

Kamado Joe: Roasting Vegetables on the Ceramic Deflector Plates (Plancha)

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Do you only cook your meat or fish on your ceramic BBQ ? If you are then you are definitely missing out. I am not a veggie person at heart, I have eaten every kind of meat and fish but have been nagged for years to ‘eat your veg’ – even by my kids. My philosophy is if it moves it is edible and you don’t see a lot of moving vegetables. However, after visiting a 2 star Michelin chef in London ( not going to name drop) who cooks all his micro vegetables on the ceramic plate – who am I not to give it a try?

So I went home and did and it was the first time I actually enjoyed broccoli, asparagus and, unbelievable, cauliflower. I now eat my veggies with no more nagging. To explain – the veggies keep all their fresh flavour and the texture is like nothing I’ve had before but, more importantly, the charcoal flavour really compliments the veggies and gentle ceramic cooking breaks down the fibre of the veggies so they are soft, succulent but not stringy. If you leave to cook longer you can add a barbecued crispiness to the outside.

This is a selection of vegetables I cooked to accompany my Black Pepper, Juniper Berry and Plum Barbecued Duck that I also cooked on my Kamado Joe. Here I used asparagus, fennel and young shoot broccoli.

I removed the outer skin on the asparagus, quartered the fennel and left the broccoli as is. I then drizzled olive oil over all the vegetables, added salt and pepper to taste and started cooking.

My Kamado Joe was already at temperature due to the duck I had just cooked, but basically you want the heat at 350 F and the heat deflector plates heated up. The Kamado Joe deflector plates need to be on the top level ( deflector plates have two levels – top and bottom. Bottom level means the ceramic is closer to the heat ideal for searing, top level is a gentler heat and great for veggies, fruit, breads etc.) I am using the deflector plates as a ceramic Plancha so the plate needs to be on the high level to avoid burning the outer layers of the vegetables. Place all the vegetables on on the deflector plate and cook each side for approx 3 minutes and then turn over and repeat until all the sides have taken on sear marks.

Once the vegetables are cooked through (test with a fork or taste), add more seasoning if needed and serve.

Really simple and easy but produces incredible results, this is the only way I eat my veggies now and I’m a big fan ( but to be honest I still can’t eat brussel sprouts)

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Enjoy

Cornelius

Kamado Joe: Black Pepper, Juniper Berry and Plum Barbecued Duck

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Why is duck not cooked as much chicken ? Maybe people are put off because they think it is difficult and there is higher risk of getting it wrong. Duck in the oven can dry out which is why I only ever BBQ my duck and the results are delicious. The beauty of using a ceramic BBQ (I refer to mine as my outdoor AGA) is that you can use the Kamado Joe as a traditional BBQ or by using the heat deflector plates turn it into a Low & Slow cooker which is ideal for duck. By using this method all the fat breaks down, the skin crisps beautifully and the duck is tender, juicy and succulent. I also did my asparagus, broccoli, fennel, roast potatoes on my Kamado Joe…. recipes coming soon.

How to cook Duck on a Kamado Joe

I roasted and then crushed 1 tablespoon of both pepper corns and juniper berries. At the same time I “pricked” the duck around the thighs and fatty parts of the duck. It is really important to do this as it allows the fat to break down, I then rubbed sea salt butter over the duck  and then covered the duck in peppercorns and juniper berries.

The giblets I kept aside for my gravy.

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I stuffed the duck with a couple of fresh plums, as duck and plums are a natural combination but also the plum juices adds both flavour and moisture to the duck.

For the gravy I chopped very roughly 5 large mushrooms, 1 large onion, 2 celery sticks and both red and green pepper. I put all of this into an aluminium tray, added the giblets and about 2 pints of water.

I fired up my Kamado Joe and once it hit 300 F I placed the aluminium tray on the lower setting (sitting on the heat deflector plates), placed the grill tray over the plates, added my duck and left cooking gently for 3 hours. Normally I would say there was no need to open the Kamado Joe once you had started cooking, but as I was also doing my gravy I would suggest checking at least once an hour that the water in the gravy has not cooked off. If it looks a little low add more water, if the tray runs dry all you are going to do is burn the gravy mix and that is a real shame.

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After about three hours I took the duck off and left to rest, this allows all the juices to re-absorb back into the meat.

With the gravy I simply poured the entire content of the tray (minus neck) into a blender, added a tablespoon of vegetable stock and blitzed. The gravy is ready but can be a little grainy so I passed it through a fine colander and was left with a very smooth and tasty gravy. Before serving re-heat and add a large knob of butter for extra creaminess.

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As you bite into the duck, you get the flavour of the duck, succulent and juicy, with the sharp and peppery kick of the pepper corns and juniper berries balanced with the sweetness of the roasted plums. In my opinion a great combination.

Using a Kamado Joe Ceramic BBQ not only cooks the duck gently but also adds a delicious charcoal cooked flavour. I wouldn’t dream of cooking a duck in the oven ever again, not after tasting the difference using my Kamado Joe.

Enjoy

Cornelius