Five easy Heston Blumenthal Barbecue recipes from Waitrose for you to try out this summer. Plus one simple summer dessert recipe from Heston.
Over the years we’ve read a few articles where Heston has confessed to his love of barbecues (and a lot of paid promos for the Big Green Egg). But we haven’t had many actual Heston Blumenthal barbecue recipes until now.
This seems to be because Heston likes to keep his barbecues simple: bangers, burgers and a few things on sticks. These Heston BBQ recipes definitely fall into the simple and easy category. Just like Heston’s barbecue burgers recipe did.
These Heston Blumenthal BBQ recipes were released a couple of years ago for Waitrose. And since all of these Heston barbecue recipes are so easy, we decided we’d have a go at making all five. Even the lamb one! So, in the words of Mel Gibson, “Who wants to eat?”
Recipes: Heston’s Lamb & Salsa Barbecue Pitta recipe, Heston’s Hot Dogs with Crispy Shallots recipe, Heston’s Asian style Beef Kebabs BBQ recipe, Heston’s Sweet Chilli Sauce Barbecue Chicken recipe, Heston’s Barbecue Pork Sauce recipe
Special Equipment: A barbecue! (and good weather)
Special Ingredients: None
Time: 30 minutes – 2 hours each
Cost: About £5 – £10 per recipe
Serves: 4 (each recipe)
Difficulty: Very easy
None of these Heston Blumenthal barbecue recipes is particularly difficult to make. They’re not that expensive either, provided your house is well stocked with all the myriad bottles, jars and packets each recipe requires, (Note: almost all those jars will be empty once you’re done).
We’ll tell you about these recipe by recipe.
Most of Heston’s barbecue recipes are for the sauces that accompany each dish. This is radically different – but only coz it’s a recipe for salsa rather than sauce.
The rest of Heston’s barbecue lamb pitta recipe is just about treating your ingredients well: gently toast the pittas, finely shred the cabbage and turn the lamb steaks regularly as they cook, making sure they get at least 5 minutes to rest.
The coriander, mint and lime make the salsa zingy. I might have been a bit too heavy handed with the lime. Obnoxiously small quantities of herbs are used though. If you don’t grow these herbs their cost is hard to justify (I tore some leaves into a bag of onions at the supermarket).
We didn’t season the meat enough, so it was slightly bland. We’d recommend plenty salt and pepper.
A very decent variation on a simple and classic dish. Even though it’s made with The Devil’s Meat.
Another incredibly simple Heston Blumenthal barbecue recipe. Just pour eight things into a bowl, add the beef, tomatoes and onions for 30 minutes. Slide the lot onto skewers and cook.
We wouldn’t call the overall flavour particularly Asian, but the combo has plenty of umami and, given how simple these are to make, definitely a recipe worth repeating. The tomatoes didn’t really absorb any of this marinade though. It’d be cheaper and easier to make half the volume of marinade and just use it for the meat.
Heston’s Asian style beef kebabs are missing a bit of crunchy texture though, we’d add hunks of red pepper.
Again, a recipe for a sauce. Heston’s Sweet Chilli BBQ Chicken sauce is even easier than his barbecue Beef Kebab recipe. This time you only mix five ingredients and marinade the meat for just fifteen minutes.
In a now-familiar twist Heston’s Barbecue Chicken recipe has you cook the poultry pieces in the oven before finishing them on the barbecue.
By this time the light was fading rapidly. I had to ferry the rest of the ingredients into the kitchen for photos, in order for you to be able to see what they actually look like.
These needed marinating for a lot longer really. And the meat ought to have been slashed to allow the flavours to penetrate further. Heston’s barbecue chicken recipe is really just a pleasantly smartened up chilli sauce, so you need to start with a good brand of that.
Cooking the chicken in the oven makes a lot of sense. Unless you’re some kind of barbecue Yoda you’ll probably burn the skin before the chicken is cooked through. Crisping the skin over coals afterwards makes sense: Heston’s barbecue chicken recipe is almost identical in principle to this chicken recipe from Modernist Cuisine.
These were the least favourite of the dishes we made, but everyone was getting OMed by this point.
Another simple sauce recipe, with some added faff at the end. The complicated bits: frying the shallot and garlic, hand blending, sieving. The just marinate, cook, and brush with more sauce while cooking.
As you’re assembling the ingredients list for Heston’s barbecue pork recipe you’ll see exactly what the problem is going to be with this recipe. Apart from tomato the main ingredients are sugar and vinegar. So sugar and vinegar is all the sauce really tastes of.
On its own this sauce isn’t very nice, but combined with the meat it actually works out really well. We can’t promise it’s a whole lot better than the better shop-bought sauces you can buy, but it’s definitely worth trying.
Like all the other Heston Blumenthal barbecue recipes this is mainly just instructions on how to make a sauce. Two mustards are spooned into a large dollop of mayo, then drizzled with honey and sprinkled with dill.
The other “unique feature” of this recipe is the crispy fried shallot bit. Use a mandolin to cut them evenly (not too thin though, or they’ll just disintegrate). Fry in small batches or the water in the shallots will boil out and over the sides, bringing the furiously hot oil with it. I don’t want you burning your skin off and blaming me (Sue Heston, if anyone – he can probably afford it).
The hot dogs (regular sausages, actually) are cooked as normal. Like in our other Heston Barbecue recipes we recommend you equip yourself with a temperature probe and keep them on the cooler sides of the barbecue, turning regularly. We suffered some scorched edges, but I’ve obviously tried to conceal that from you by hiding them with Heston’s barbecue hot dog sauce and taking the pictures from a crafty angle.
We found this sauce a little too heavy on the honey and a bit lacking in bite. Heston’s sauce recipe is best suited to really rich, posh, high fat content sausages. We added chopped gherkin which improved it significantly. You can’t go wrong adding more grain mustard and some French’s American mustard either.
The crispy shallots in Heston’s Barbecue Recipes are an absolute waste of time. Half of ours burned so we spent ages picking out the nasty bits. The “good” ones were greasy and brittle. Honestly, just buy a packet of crispy salad onions at the supermarket.
Oh, and to avoid over-carbing we recommend the Hawksmoor trick of cutting a sausage-sized wedge out of your rolls, rather than just splitting them (yes, we used brioche, because we’re gluttons). It might have been because we were horrendously full, but along with the chicken this was one of the recipes we enjoyed least.
Another very easy one provided you’re patient. And provided you have some leftover crumble mix in the freezer, as we did from making Heston’s Apple and Sultana Crumble Recipe. This is basically a fancy fruit fool.
Dumping (a staggering amount of) sugar on the strawberries causes them to turn into a vibrant ooze, after a brief spell on the hob and cooling in an ice bath the bottom layer should be finished in no more than an hour. We left out the Elderflower cordial because: a £3.20 bottle for the sake of 20ml?! Pah.
Combining whipped cream and yoghurt is even easier. Rippling the macerated strawberries through the mixture is where you can let your artistic side flourish. Any idiot can top these with crushed meringue and crumble, I certainly did. It’s not in the recipe, but if you’re sly you can throw some popping candy on the top as well.
The strawberry layer is far too sweet, the yoghurt layer not sweet at all. To help diners get a balanced mouthful you really ought to serve this in wide, shallow portions –unlike we did. I always enjoy a thick dairy later so next time I’d probably try to make one-and-a-half times as much of that.
To balance the sweetness we’d probably reduce the macerating fructose by about 40g. Then add a tablespoon of icing sugar to the yoghurt. I can’t stand boxed meringue, so I change that out for crushed skin-on almonds.
We didn’t miss the Elderflower cordial. Other than that this is a fun, simple, dessert that’s not too heavy and makes great use of showing off British strawberries.
Jeez this was a lot of food! We were so stuffed by the end it was hard to be objective. Like the guy says in that internet video: “Look at all that meat”.
These five Heston Blumenthal barbecue recipes are simple, easy and relatively inexpensive. Which is the complete opposite of what we’re used to from the Fat Duck chef. What on earth is going on!?!
Actually, these are a good example of the more accessible kind of recipes we’ve been seeing from Heston since the Waitrose tie in started. Sometimes those Heston Waitrose recipes can be riddled with flaws (like the oily beef Tagliata, or the useless peas in his Spaghetti Carbonara recipe).
With a few changes to suit your personal taste any and all of these recipes is worth trying out. None of them will be radically different to anything you’ve done before. And – if you want to say you’ve cooked a Heston Blumenthal recipe – all of them are easier than trying to make a Fat Duck dish from scratch!
Now we just need to clear up…
As we said all these recipes are worth repeating. We’d make the following personal improvements:
- Lamb & Salsa Pittas – More seasoning, less lime.
- Hot Dogs – Use shop bought crispy onions and add finely chopped gherkin to the sauce
- Beef Kebabs – Add hunks of red pepper for crunch. Don’t marinade veg.
- BBQ Sweet Chilli Chicken – Marinade overnight and double the lemongrass for greater fragrance
- BBQ Pork – Freeze leftover sauce, he recipe makes enough for several barbecues.
- Strawberry Crumble Crunch – Less sugar and no meringue. Add almonds and popping candy.
Have you made any of these Heston Blumenthal Barbecue recipes yourself? Or what changes would you make to make your own perfect barbecue recipes? Please let us know using the comments section below.