Donal Skehan

Sticky BBQ Spare Ribs

BBQ Ribs-2 copy

I don’t know about you but my absolute favourite thing about summer barbecues is the ribs! Sweet and sticky tender meat, slow roasted and then finished off over hot coals is my idea of heaven! These ribs are covered in my go to BBQ sauce which I make again and again throughout the summer and makes any meat finger licking good!

Serves 6
For the ribs:
3kg pork baby back ribs
2 onions, peeled and sliced in half
1 bulb of garlic, unpeeled and top sliced off
pinch of sea salt

For the barbecue sauce:
60g (21/2oz) demerara sugar
4 tbsp dark Soy Sauce
4 tbsp tomato ketchup
4 tbsp honey
4 garlic Cloves, Peeled and finely Chopped
1 tbsp dried english mustard
2 tsp tabasco Sauce

Cut the strips of ribs into manageable pieces with about 3–4 ribs to each piece then put the ribs in a large saucepan with the onions, garlic, a generous pinch of salt and enough cold water to cover. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1–11/2 hours or until the meat is tender.

Preheat the oven to 200°C or light the barbecue. Whisk all the ingredients for the barbecue sauce together in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes until you have a thick sauce.

Remove the ribs from the pan and discard the water, onion and garlic. Place the ribs in a large baking dish or roasting tin and coat with half the barbecue sauce. Place in the oven to cook for 20 minutes or place on the barbecue for 5 minutes on each side and then serve with the rest of the barbecue sauce and devour!

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Bacon-Wrapped BLT Beef Burgers


The BLT is one of my favourite sandwiches, so when I saw burgers wrapped in bacon during a trip to America, I had a brain wave. The BLT burger was born!!

Serves 4
500g (1lB 2oz) beef mince
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8–12 sliceS of streaky Bacon

To serve
4–6 burger buns, toasted
1 large vine tomato, cut into chunky slices
2 heads of baby gem lettuce, finely sliced

Preheat the grill to medium. In a large bowl, combine the minced beef, garlic, tomato ketchup, mustard and a generous pinch of
salt and black pepper. Divide the mixture into 4–6 burgers and wrap each burger with two slices of bacon. Arrange the burgers on a grill tray and place under the hot grill for 4–5 minutes on each side.

Serve the burgers in toasted burger buns with a good dollop of mayonnaise, a slice of tomato and shredded lettuce.

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Barbeque Cajun Spatchcock Chicken

The combination of spices here are so tasty, but if you are missing some, don’t be afraid to use dried herbs or even whatever fresh herbs you have available to you. Barbecuing can be a little tricky but the cooking time will depend on the size of your chicken, if you are worried, simple insert a skewer at the thickest part and if the juices run clear, the bird is cooked!

Serves 6-8
2 small chickens
4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons of paprika
2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
A small handful of fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
A small handful of thyme
Juice of 1 lemon
3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
A generous pinch of sea salt and pepper

To prepare the chicken, place the bird breast down, and using a knife or a sharp scissors, cut along the back bone. Open the bird out and flip it over breast side up and using your fist push down hard on the breast to break the back bone.

Thread a skewer diagonally through the bird from the leg to the breast and repeat on the other side. Score the bird on the legs and breasts. Repeat the whole process for the second chicken. Place the chicken in a large roasting tin.

Prepare the marinade.  Place the rest of the ingredients in a pestle and mortar or a food processor and break down until you have a rough paste. Spread the paste over the chicken until it is completely covered.  Cover the roasting tin in tin foil and place in the fridge to marinate for 30 mins to an hour, if you have time. Place the birds on the barbeque over a medium heat and cook breast side up for 25-30 minutes.

Half-way through give the birds a squeeze of lemon juice.  Turn the birds over and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the chickens are cooked through.  If you find the chicken is blackening too much, place them on some tinfoil until they are cooked through.


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