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BBQ Feast

May 30
BBQ Feast | DonalSkehan.com

In an attempt to keep our heads screwed on during lockdown myself and my wife Sofie take it in turns to get out for some fresh air by ourselves before the onslaught of daily demands kick off from our two under three. My routine is to get out early, before everyone is up, to take some deep breaths and clear the mud in my mind in an attempt to get some clarity on the day. It’s proven to be quite the juggling act to get little slivers of time by a laptop before the many distractions of nap time, lunchtime, potty training and the essential art of driving the choo choo train around the track take precedent. Regardless of the daily demands, getting this walk in the morning can make or break the day and we’ve stuck to it pretty well the last few weeks. The other morning as I pulled on my shorts and a jumper, I was quickly reminded of the indecisive Irish weather which I grew up with. I’ve been made soft by four years in Los Angeles, where the weather tends not to attack you when you walk out the front door. Despite the fact that we are now nearly in June, I found myself pulling the sleeves over my hands and clenching them tightly to try and bring a little warmth to the morning as I battled my way down the road against a fairly ferocious and biting wind. A little technique I haven’t used since waiting for a bus in the baltic winters in my teens! It was the same morning I was writing the recipes for this column… A summer BBQ feast! I would have chuckled to myself had my jaw not been clenched so tightly. Look, I know we can still have spectacular summer days, in fact they were one of the main reasons, the seed was planted to return to Dublin after a visit home last August. When the sun does shine and the temperature does decide not to dip below 10 degrees, recipes just like these are a welcome reprieve to cooking indoors. Crack out BBQ, give it a few test runs with some burgers and sausages and then master it using these simple but really impressive BBQ recipes.

When we lived in Los Angeles, I explored it’s sprawling Koreatown as often as I could. Korean BBQ is one of the most popular ways to enjoy elements of this unique cuisine and cuts like these  Short Ribs Cut Flanken Style across the ribs are commonplace at restaurants there. Marinated in spicy umami, cooked at the table and devoured with banchan (many small side dishes) and cooked rice, its a memorable meat feast. Ring ahead to your butcher to ask for the steaks cut in this style or use rib eye or T-bone with the same marinade. If you can’t get your hands on Gochujang, a Korean spice paste, although it won’t be the same you can replace it with a tablespoon of tomato puree and a teaspoon of chilli flakes or hot sauce.

I am addicted to the nam jim dressing recipe in this  BBQ Shellfish feast. It encapsulates all that I love about Thai cuisine, in it’s funky, spicy sour umami glory and makes the perfect liquor to douse the charred shellfish in hot off the grill. The seafood here is merely a suggestion, most will work well, though avoid white fish on the barbeque unless you fancy scrubbing charred bits off the grill for weeks to come.

This  Thin Crust BBQ Pizza recipe creates a wonderfully thin, crisp yet chewy dough, which ticks all the boxes for me. I make my pizzas on the barbecue on a pizza stone, which you can pick up quite cheaply these days. The idea is to get the stone really hot and assemble your pizza on top.



The hedgerows across Ireland are erupting in colour at the moment and we’ve been out collecting some of the beautiful wildflowers on offer. Keep an eye out for the pinky purple flowers of “vetch”, a vine like cousin of the pea plant, whose leaves are edible and can be popped into ice cube trays for splash of colour in Summer drinks.

Pork Chops

Sofie seriously brought home the bacon this week in the form of four free range pork loin chops with the skin on, after a visit to our local butchers Higgins in Sutton. Simply pan fried with some garlic and rosemary and finished with a little butter in the pan they were a treat of a midweek supper with some roast vegetables on the side. Higgins have just started deliveries nationwide so if you’ve a hankering for some chops, get your order in.


Breakfast In Bed

As we missed Irish mother’s day a couple of weeks ago in the midst of leaving LA, we celebrated the US version last weekend and Sofie got treated to breakfast in bed. However our son Noah, never one to be left out when it comes to food, wanted in on the action!

Follow these links for the recipes in the photos:

Korean Flanken Style Short Ribs

BBQ Shellfish with Nam Jim Dressing

Thin-Crust Barbecue Pizza