No one is really sure where barbecues began - suggestions range from the southern states of America to France and even Haiti.
But while our overseas colleagues argue over who invented charcoal briquettes, one thing is certain - when the sun shines nothing makes British people happier than sitting in a pub garden in the sun enjoying a pint and barbecued steak or kebab.
However, in these days of sophisticated tastes and overseas influences, few pub-goers will be satisfied with a charred burger served with some limp lettuce in a bun. Instead impress your customers with a variety of choices including duck, lamb, fish and vegetarian options.
Crazy Cola Kebabs with Barbecue Relish
Preparation: 15 minutes plus two to three hours marinatingCooking: 25 minsMakes: eight kebabs
- Four lamb leg steaks (about 350g), well trimmed and thawed
- 200ml cola
- Two tbsp oil
- One medium onion, peeled and chopped
- One garlic clove, peeled and crushed, or one tsp garlic puree
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 50g soft brown sugar
- Two tbsp white wine vinegar
- Two medium courgettes
- Eight closed cup mushrooms
- One red and one yellow pepper
Method:Cut lamb into three centimetre pieces and place in a dish. Pour cola over, cover with cling-film and leave in the fridge for two to three hours. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a medium pan and cook the onion and garlic for five minutes, until softened. Add tomatoes, sugar and vinegar. Simmer gently for 10 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally. Cool.
Slice courgettes into one centimetre pieces, halve mushrooms and cut peppers into three centimetre pieces. Drain the lamb and throw away cola. Thread lamb onto eight skewers with the courgettes, mushrooms and peppers.
Place kebabs on barbecue and brush with a little oil. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes until cooked, turning regularly and brushing with more oil. Serve with relish, salad and jacket potatoes.
Recipe supplied by New Zealand Lamb
Shellfish and Summer Salad Brochettes
Preparation: five minsCooking: 10 minsMakes: four kebabs
- One swordfish fillet
- Eight giant whole prawns
- 16 mussels
- Large cucumber
- 36 cherry tomatoes
- Four tsp chopped dill
Cube swordfish fillet. Place on skewers with two giant whole prawns (crevettes), four mussels, four peeled chunks of cucumber and six whole cherry tomatoes.
Brush with oil, season and sprinkle with chopped dill. Barbecue for 10 minutes, turning half-way through cooking time and serve with 35g salad mix and French dressing.
Garnish with lemon wedges and finely chopped parsley. Serve with baby new potatoes.
Recipe supplied by Brakes
Duckling Kebabs in a Sticky Mexican Marinade
Preparation: 10 mins plus two hours marinatingCooking: 10 to 15 minsServes: one
- One 200g duckling breast fillet
- Two tbs water
- Two tbs muscavado sugar
- Two tbs honey
- Two tbs concentrated orange juice
- Two tbs tomato puree
- Two tbs soy sauce
- One tbs Worcester sauce
- One tbs vegetable oil
- One tsp garlic puree
- One tsp paprika
- Half tsp thyme
- Half tsp chilli powder
- Two tsp cornflour mixed with a little water
- Juice of one small lime
- Salt/pepper to taste
Method:Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and heat until sticky. Leave to cool.
Cut the duckling breast fillet into 12 equal chunks. Marinate the duckling for a minimum of two hours.
Assemble the duckling kebabs using mixed peppers, halved shallots and cherry tomatoes. Barbecue until cooked through. Serve on a bed of wild rice.
Recipe supplied by Cherry Valley Duckling