Get grilling: four tasty barbecue dishes to try this weekend

The team at Asador in Dublin share perfect barbecue recipes to try at home over the sunny bank holiday weekend, so dust off the BBQ, get the parasol up and get cooking

Vegetarian carrot and sesame burger: tasty meat-free choice

It’s not all about meat at Asador. This is on our menu and is a tasty choice whether you are a vegetarian or not. To create a blend of textures we make the burger from a combination of raw and cooked carrot, with chickpeas for added bite. You can serve the burger with any decent quality bread bun. Brioche or sesame buns are best.

Ingredients, serves 6

3 tbsp olive oil

750g carrots, peeled and grated

1 x 410g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 small onion, roughly chopped

2 tbsp tahini paste

1 tsp ground cumin

1 whole egg

100g wholemeal breadcrumbs

1 lemon, zest only

3 tbsp sesame seeds

For the sesame yoghurt

1 tsp tahini

1 tsp lemon juice

150ml natural yoghurt

To garnish

6 buns, sesame or brioche

Avocado, thinly sliced

Red onion, sliced

Handful rocket leaves

Cherry tomatoes


1. Heat one tablespoon oil in a large frying pan over a low to medium heat. Tip in two-thirds of the carrot and stir gently. Cook for eight to ten minutes until the carrot is soft. Set aside and allow to cool.

2. Take the remaining grated carrot and blend, in a food processor, with the chickpeas, onion, two tablespoons tahini, cumin and the egg. Blend to a thick paste and set aside in a large bowl. Add in the cooled, cooked carrot along with the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and sesame seeds.

3. Season well. Using wet hands, form into six burgers. Cover and chill while you heat the barbecue.

4. For the sesame yoghurt, whisk the tahini and lemon juice into the yoghurt and set aside.

5. When the barbecue is nice and hot, add the burgers and cook for five minutes each side until crisp and golden. While the burgers are cooking, lightly toast the buns.

6. To assemble, spread some sesame yoghurt on the buns, add the avocado, top with the burger, then follow with the onion, rocket and cherry tomatoes. Serve with a spicy chilli sauce.

Tip: try with spicy sweet potato wedges, tossed with crushed coriander seeds and ground cumin.

Baby back ribs: cooked slowly in the oven to make them tender

BBQ baby back ribs in sticky sauce with chargrilled corn

These ribs are cooked low and slow in the oven until tender, then smothered in a sticky sauce before being thrown on the barbecue. At Asador we smoke the sauce with mesquite wood, but you can get a good effect at home with lots of aromatics and plenty of sweetness. We use four different types of sugar: muscovado, honey, treacle and ketjap manis, a type of sweet soy sauce from Indonesia.

Ingredients, serves 4

2kg baby back pork ribs

10g sweet paprika

10g ground cumin

50g dark muscovado sugar

50g salt

5g black pepper

2 ears corn, chopped in half

25g butter, melted

For the sticky barbecue sauce

4 tbsp oil

1 fennel bulb, chopped

1 small onion, diced

1 carrot, chopped

3 cloves garlic

1 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

5g fennel seeds

100g dark muscovado sugar

2 tbsp smoked paprika

2 tbsp Maldon smoked salt

2 x 400g tins chopped tomato

100ml ketjap manis

50g honey

50g black treacle

Salt and pepper


1. Cut the ribs into two equal portions (or ask your butcher to do this for you). Combine the spices, sugar, salt and black pepper together and rub into the ribs. Cover loosely and place in the fridge to marinate for a minimum of two hours; overnight is better.

2. Remove the ribs from the fridge and preheat the oven to 110°C/gas mark ¼. Place the ribs in the oven, uncovered, and lower the heat to 80°C. If using a gas oven, only keep the pilot light on. Cook for eight hours or overnight. Remove, allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to cook.

3. For the barbecue sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the vegetables and garlic. Sweat gently until the veg has softened.

4. Add the star anise, cinnamon stick and fennel seeds. Stir in the muscovado sugar, smoked paprika and smoked salt.

5. Pour in the tinned tomatoes and turn the heat down low. Continue to heat gently until the sauce reduces. It should take approximately two hours to become nice and thick.

6. Pour over the ketjap manis, honey and treacle. Season with salt and pepper and continue to heat for another 30 minutes.

7. Remove the star anise and cinnamon stick and blend the sauce, using a stick blender, until smooth. Set aside and allow to cool.

8. Par-boil the corn in boiling salted water until just tender, approximately four minutes.

9. Light the coals of the barbecue and, while waiting to heat up and turn grey, brush the ribs with the cold sauce. Reserve some sauce for serving.

10. Once the barbecue is medium hot, place the ribs on the grill and cook for 10 minutes on both sides. The sauce will caramelise and turn dark brown. Brush the par-boiled corn with the melted butter and, for the last two minutes, grill until lightly charred. Serve immediately with a side of barbecue sauce.

Tip: the sauce can also be used as a marinade.

Côte de bœuf: also known as cowboy steak

Grilled côte de bœuf with chimichurri dressing, oven-roasted tomatoes and onion strings

The côte de bœuf or cowboy steak is a fantastic whopper of a steak that has amazing flavour. We recommend one between two people, but some ambitious customers at Asador have ordered a whole one all for themselves. The steaks come from Hick’s butcher in Dublin who dry-age the meat for 21 days. Because it is such a thick steak, it helps to place a lid on the barbecue to speed things up.

Ingredients, serves 2

20g duck fat

20g clarified butter/ghee

1 clove garlic, whole

Sprig thyme

Sprig rosemary

1kg côte de bœuf/cowboy steak

Salt and freshly ground pink peppercorns

1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed

½ tsp chilli flakes

For the chimichurri dressing

50g fresh oregano

100g fresh parsley

1 shallot, finely diced

1 garlic clove

½ red chilli

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground coriander

10ml sherry vinegar

100ml extra virgin olive oil

For the oven-roasted tomatoes

500g plum tomatoes, cut in half, lengthways

20g salt

10g chives, finely chopped

10g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

For the onion strings

1 large onion, finely sliced

50g flour


1. In a small saucepan, melt the duck fat and butter together over a low heat. Add the garlic clove, thyme and rosemary to the pan and heat very gently to allow the flavours to infuse for 15 minutes. Strain, discard the herbs and garlic and set aside. This is your glaze for the steak.

2. Next, make the chimichurri dressing. Finely chop the herbs and combine with the shallots, garlic and chilli. Tip into a blender or food processor, add the spices, vinegar and oil and blitz for one minute until well combined. The mixture will not emulsify so you must whisk it again before serving.

3. Prepare the oven-roasted tomatoes a day ahead. Line a baking tray with foil and scatter over the salt. Toss the tomatoes with the chopped herbs and olive oil and lay on top of the salt. Place in a very low oven, 50°C or, for a gas oven, with only the pilot light lit, for eight hours or overnight.

4. For the onion strings, toss the onion with the flour, then shake off any excess. Set aside to deep-fry while your steak is resting.

5. Prepare your barbecue by getting the coals nice and hot. Take the steak from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature (about 30-40 minutes before you plan to grill it). Season well and brush with the glaze. You may need to melt the glaze again if it has set.

6. Place the steak on the hottest part of the grill, for five minutes each side. Move the steak to a cooler side of the grill and close the lid, if you have one; if not, cover with foil. Cook, covered, for five to seven minutes, then flip over and grill the other side for another five to seven minutes. You can use an inexpensive meat thermometer to probe the meat. For medium rare, it should read 50°C/122°F.

7. Take off the heat, cover and rest for 15 minutes (the internal temperature will rise to 55°C/131°F). This gives time for the proteins to relax. If you do not rest the meat, all the juice will run out when you slice it. While the steak is resting, deep-fry the onion strings until crispy and golden and place the roasted tomatoes in foil to reheat on the barbecue.

8. Slice the steak and serve with the onion strings and the chimichurri dressing on the side.

Tip: buy good-quality charcoal from oak or lumpwood.

Dover sole: white fish and rich, buttery hollandaise sauce are a classic combination

BBQ whole Dover sole with chargrilled aubergine, yellow pepper escabeche and hollandaise sauce

This dish uses two sauces that work really well with fish. White fish and rich, buttery hollandaise are a classic combination, while the escabeche is another fantastic match with fish. The key to grilling fish on the barbecue is heat. If the grill is not hot enough, the flesh will stick to the barbecue. If you don’t feel brave enough to turn the fish, you can place a pot lid over the fish to cook it through.

Ingredients, serves 4

2 aubergines, cut in half lengthways

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped

4 whole Dover sole, skin removed

2 lemons, cut in half

For the yellow pepper escabeche

4 yellow peppers

2 banana shallots, finely diced

3 cloves garlic

½ tbsp coriander seeds

1 star anise

50ml white wine

50ml white wine vinegar

Splash of olive oil

Salt and pepper

For the hollandaise

200g butter

4 egg yolks

2 tbsp white wine

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

Salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. For the yellow pepper escabeche, place the whole peppers on a foil-lined baking tray and drizzle with two tablespoons of oil. Roast the peppers for 30 minutes until they begin to blacken. Remove from the oven and place in a bowl, then cover with cling film.

2. Heat one tablespoon of oil over a medium heat and add the shallots and garlic. Sweat gently, then add the coriander seeds and star anise. Pour in the wine and vinegar and reduce to a syrup-like consistency.

3. Once the peppers have cooled, peel, deseed and slice thinly. Add to the syrupy shallot mix and cook for a further ten minutes. Add a splash of olive oil and season.

4. For the hollandaise sauce, melt the butter in a microwave and set aside. Place a mixing bowl over a saucepan of water set on a medium heat. It should fit neatly on top. Whisk the egg yolk, wine and vinegar in the bowl until it becomes thick. Gradually whisk in the melted butter until fully combined. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and cover the bowl with cling film to keep the sauce warm.

5. Brush the aubergine with oil, season and scatter over the thyme and garlic. Season and brush the Dover sole with oil on both sides.

6. Place the aubergine on a hot barbecue grill, skin side down, followed by the Dover sole. Grill the aubergine for seven to eight minutes on each side. Grill the Dover sole for five minutes each side, until the flesh starts to come away from the bone. For the last five minutes, place the lemons on the grill to colour.

7. Just before serving, reheat the escabeche. Serve the fish with the two sauces, the aubergine and the grilled lemon

Tip: lemon is not just a garnish – scoop out the flesh after grilling and enjoy.

See for more information. Photography by Harry Weir and Brian Clarke