In the photos: Stout, Bacon & Beef Burger, Firey Beef Koftes, Low & Slow Spiced Ribs with Bourbon and Coffee Glaze, Miso Steak – recipes after the jump.

Irish Beef commissioned me to come up with 4 beef recipes, any that I liked, I just had to use the BBQ. The BBQ that I used is a fairly basic one, so these recipes should be good for all of you too. The grill can be moved up and down but that is all the heat control that I have.

Growing up in Ireland, the concept of free range was alien to me. Everything just was free range, and there was no need to declare it. There were cows in the field in front of and behind my house. Bullocks, too. Lots of dairy and beef farming, and also lots of potatoes.  Grass fed cattle work for their food, resulting in a leaner meat too. All of that lovely rain which we moan about but tourists love (for the first few days anyway) gives us terrific pasture. Our soil is rich too.

This is a lovely island we live on but we are on the wrong side of the Atlantic for consistently good weather. So, for a BBQ in all weathers, I have come up with four recipes: Stout, Bacon & Beef Burger, Firey Beef Koftes, Low & Slow Spiced Ribs with Bourbon and Coffee Glaze and Miso Steak.

If you fancy winning a Weber BBQ (I know, I do!), take a look at the Grasstronomy Facebook page and enter there. You can learn lots more about Irish beef there too.


Recipes follow.

Rainy Weather – Stout, Bacon & Beef Burgers, because a good burger can fix anything, even a horrible rainy day


Ok, burgers. So easy to mess up – truly – but also easy to get right. There are a few rules.

Great minced beef or minced chuck steak. Well, that is easy, isn’t it? A coarse grind will give the best texture, if you are going to grind chuck steak yourself.

Fat. You need fat, 20% for nice moist burger. Minced beef is usually 10%, so I add an extra layer of flavour and that important fat by mincing fatty smoked streaky bacon (or pureeing it in a food processor before adding to the minced beef – it sounds gross, but trust me, it is going to be perfect in your burger).

No breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs are for meatballs, and make them nice and light. Sometimes used to stretch meat further, leave them out when you are making your burgers at home.

Time in the fridge to settle and firm up before hitting the BBQ.

Salt. But only just before it hits the BBQ. Salt will draw water from the meat and make the burger tense and dry if added too early.

Here is the recipe:

Stout, Bacon & Beef Burgers

makes 4 burgers

500g minced Irish beef or chuck steak
100g smoked streaky bacon, rind remove, if necessary
75ml stout of your choice
sea salt

Blitz the bacon in a blender or food processor until you get a paste.
Combine the beef, bacon and stout and mix with your hands until all of the stout is absorbed.
Cover and put in the fridge for an hour.
Divide the mixture in 4. Salt each – not too much, the bacon is salty already – and shape each patty.
Cook to your liking. These are terrifically moist due to the beef and bacon fat, the stout provides moisture and a further savoury smoky layer too.

Hot Weather – Beef Koftes (aka Turkish beef kebab) – lets pretend we are in sunny Turkey

Koftes are in a way an elongated spiced and aromatic burger. But don’t tell anyone in Turkey I said that. They wouldn’t be happy you see. Kofte can be made with lamb or beef or a mixture. I like them with just beef, they are like a spicy smooth rumble, and they are my hot dish, because I make them hot, and add chilli.

Note: try and get some pul biber, Turkish chilli flakes – rounded and hot – worth searching for online, it is terrific. Substitute with a little chilli and fresh red pepper chopped fine otherwise.

makes 4 – 6 koftes

500g minced beef
2 tbsp pul biber
1 small red onion, very finely chopped or grated
a couple of tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp good dried chilli (optional – for hot heads!)
4 – 6 wooden skewers (depending on how big you like your koftes)
sea salt

Combine everything except the salt in a bowl and combine thoroughly with your hands.
Cover and put in the fridge for an hour. While the kofte mixture is chilling, soak the skewers in water. This ensures that they don’t burn too much, or catch fire.
Salt the mixture (you can check salt levels by cooking off a little bit in a pan) and divide into 4 or 6, depending on how big you like your kofte. Shape each like a sausage around a skewer. Chill for a further half hour. This firms them up, and salting later ensures that they don’t dry out.
Cook on the barbecue until just cooked through but still moist.

Fair Weather – Miso Steaks

Miso is so gentle and unimposing, but underneath this lies an intense umami whack that makes a perfect steak marinade. Marinade for as long as you can, at least a couple of hours, overnight is even better if you can. Use whatever miso you like but make it a good one. I used a nice sweet pale miso for mine. Most of the work is in the marinade – at that it is very little work at all – and you can cook them super quickly on the BBQ to your liking (I like mine medium rare).

Serves 2

2 x steaks of your choice (I used rib eye)


2 tbsp miso paste
2 tbsp dry sherry (a fino or a manzanilla – drink the rest with your steak nice and cold! :) )
1 heaped tsp good honey
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 big clove of garlic, sliced finely (in the marinade just for the flavour, discarded before it hits the grill)
1 tsp good chilli – either chopped from fresh or dried

sea salt

Combine all of the ingredients for your marinade in a sandwich bag, or similar. Add your steaks and rub the marinade in ensuring they are well massaged. Leave in the fridge for a couple of hours to overnight.
When you are ready to barbecue the steaks, remove them from the bag and remove the garlic if any sticks to the steaks (it will just burn, which won’t be nice).

Barbecue over a medium heat until done to your liking. The rarer they are the more moist. So well done is firm, rare is very springy etc.

Stormy – Low & Slow Smoky Beef Short Ribs with a Bourbon & Coffee Glaze -becuase these rumble and cook nice and gently

I love these. They take time and a little management but once going they really look after themselves. The fat keeps them nice and moist and the bones give deeper flavour and moisture. Short ribs are often overlooked by home cooks who aren’t sure what to do with them, but chefs aren’t so foolish. This is one of my favourite ways to barbecue them.

Serves 2

4 whole beef short ribs

Spice Rub:

2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp ground cumin (I prefer to roast my own seeds and grind them for better flavour)
1 tbsp garlic powder (avoid the industrial ones, I got mine from a garlic farm & it is pure)
1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tbsp light brown sugar

1 tbsp salt

Bourbon & Coffee BBQ Glaze

300ml filter coffee
200ml good bourbon
100g brown sugar
100 ml cider vinegar
100ml tomato ketchup
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp good dried chilli
1 tsp dijon mustard (or a sharp English mustard will do well too)

Combine all ingredients for the rub and – well – rub into the short ribs! Leave for as long as you can, a couple of hours to overnight.
Salt the ribs and cook them on a warm bbq – I put mine as far away from the heat as I could so that they would cook nice and slowly – and cook for a couple of hours, turning frequently to ensure that all bits of the ribs get attention.
While the ribs are cooking make your glaze. Combine all ingredients and reduce until it is at pouring consistency and will coat the back of a spoon. Whisk as you do. Sieve when done to remove any bits.
When the ribs are done they will be very tender and just pulling away from the bone. Serve with glaze poured on top.



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