Tom Kitchin: Barbecue recipes

WHEN we’re lucky enough to get the weather for it, barbecues can be fantastic. It’s a perfect excuse to gather together to enjoy great food in the fresh air, and it’s the ideal way to keep the kids entertained at weekends. It’s such a sociable way to cook and it usually means everyone can get involved with the preparations in some way, without the heat and pressure of a kitchen.
Tom Kitchin. Picture: TSPLTom Kitchin. Picture: TSPL
Tom Kitchin. Picture: TSPL

Rather than stick to the standard sausages and hamburgers, it’s nice to try something different. The flavour you can get from cooking food over a barbecue can be wonderful and the smokiness works well with everything from fresh vegetables to fish and different cuts of meat. If you visit your local butcher, you can pick up some different cuts that will lend themselves really well to a barbecue. I like to think about cuts that are easy to eat for my guests, nothing over-complicated and as much finger food as possible which makes it simple to enjoy outdoors and much more fun – pork ribs, lamb chops, homemade burgers and even steak are all tasty alternatives to sausages.

We’ve recently introduced a Highland BBQ Brisket to our menu at The Scran & Scallie and it’s proved so popular, we’ve made it a fixture at family barbecues as well. Brisket is a cut of beef taken from just below the shoulder, along the length of the chest. It can be quite firm if it’s not cooked in the right way, but it tastes fantastic if you slow cook it over the barbecue until it becomes tender and almost melts in the mouth. We serve it with a lovely sweet and sticky barbecue sauce which you can make and marinade overnight.

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Another important part of cooking on a barbecue is getting the coals at just the right temperature – too hot and your food just tastes charred; too cool and your food is pale and flavourless.

As well as the food we cook over the barbecue, we always like to make some colourful salads or cold pasta to enjoy alongside the meat or fish, and they’re so easy to prepare and pack up.

For me, that should be the essence of any great barbecue – fresh, seasonal, local ingredients complemented by the rustic smokiness that only cooking on fire gives you.

Whatever you’re cooking on the barbecue, remember that simple and seasonal works every time.


Serves four

8 carrots (two per person)

50g goat’s cheese

25ml vegetable oil

25ml extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp Dijon mustard

drizzle of honey

25ml white wine vinegar


1 sprig of thyme

mixed leaves


Boil one carrot per person in salted water with the sprig of thyme until tender, removed from the pan and slice diagonally. Fry the sliced carrots for two minutes and finish with a drizzle of honey.Make the dressing by slowly emulsifying both oils and vinegar. Place the fried carrots on to the plate and crumble over the goat’s cheese. Shave one raw carrot per person over the top of the plate. Dress mixed leaves with vinaigrette and set on top of carrot and goat’s cheese.


Serves four

100g spelt

1 shallot

1 carrot

100g white cabbage

small bunch of coriander

1 chilli

½ tsp finely chopped ginger

2 cloves of garlic

2 tsp rice wine vinegar

juice of ½ lemon

½ tsp table salt


Cook the spelt in salted water for about an hour until soft. Sweat off one shallot with one clove of chopped garlic, combine with the spelt. Slice the cabbage, grate the carrot. Dice (small) chilli, ginger and the other garlic clove. Roughly chop the coriander. Mix the remaining ingredients together and place on top of the spelt mixture to serve.


Serves four


1 litre water

35g sugar

15g salt

15g pink salt

1 garlic clove

1 sprig thyme

¼ tsp coriander seeds

1 white pepper corn

200g brisket per person


Mix all ingredients together and marinate brisket for 24 hours.


water to cover

2 carrots

1 garlic clove

1 onion

6 bay leaves

10 springs of thyme


Place the brisket in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Skim the top of the water for impurities and add vegetables and herbs. Simmer for two to three hours.

BBQ sauce

530g tomato ketchup

85g soy sauce

60g Worcestershire sauce

100g Dijon mustard

1 tbsp five spice powder

50g bourbon/rum

250g maple syrup/honey


Mix the ingredients together. Remove the brisket from the braise, place on a tray, cover with BBQ sauce and grill for about 20 minutes, check frequently.