Annie Bell barbecue recipes: Classics made with just three key ingredients

Easy as 1, 2, 3! These sizzling Annie Bell barbecue recipes are made with just three key ingredients.

Annie bell barbecue recipes
Ellis Parrinder

No fuss marinades

Sticky ginger prawns

A bit like teriyaki spiced with fresh ginger – fab with any seafood or chicken you are grilling.

sticky ginger prawn skewers
Ellis Parrinder

SERVES 4

300g raw shelled king prawns
lemon wedges to serve (optional)

MARINADE

2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp runny honey
2 heaped tsp finely grated fresh ginger

1. Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl, stir in the prawns, then cover and chill for up to an hour.

2. Thread the prawns on to skewers so they sit flat in a row, and arrange these on a plate. Spoon over some of the marinade, then drizzle with oil on each side.

3. Barbecue over hot coals for about 2 minutes on each side then serve with lemon wedges.

Lime and rosemary chicken thighs

This is lively and richly scented with rosemary. Chicken thigh fillets cook in a matter of minutes, making them a much better bet than drumsticks or wings.

lime and rosemary chicken thighs
Ellis Parrinder

SERVES 4

450g-500g chicken thigh fillets

MARINADE

3 tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp finely grated zest, plus wedges to serve
2 tbsp date syrup
2 heaped tsp finely chopped rosemary

1. Open out the chicken fillets and lightly bash with a rolling pin to an even thickness of about 1cm.

2. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl, add the fillets and stir to coat them, then cover and chill for up to an hour.

3. Lay out the fillets on a plate, drizzle over a little vegetable oil and season each side.

4. Barbecue over hot coals for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden and firm when pressed.

Chilli barbecued pork fillet

Sticky barbecued pork is always a hit, and these tender little medallions grill up a treat.

chilli barbecued pork fillet
Ellis Parrinder

SERVES 4

350g-400g pork fillet, sliced into 2cm medallions
coarsely chopped coriander and finely sliced red chilli

MARINADE

2 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp sriracha chilli sauce
2 tsp worcestershire sauce

1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl with 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Add the pork and stir to coat. Cover and chill for up to a couple of hours.

2. Lay out the pork medallions on a plate, drizzle a little vegetable oil over both sides and season them.

3. Barbecue over hot coals for 3-4 minutes each side until golden and firm when pressed.

4. Arrange on a serving plate and leave to rest for 5 minutes, then scatter over coriander and chilli.

Portobello steaks

Suitable for veggies. Oozing rich savoury juices like the best steaks. This calls for bread or a bulgur salad or some dressed green lentils to soak up all the flavour.

portobello steaks
Ellis Parrinder

SERVES 4

4 portobello mushrooms, stalks trimmed level
finely chopped spring onion and flat-leaf parsley, to serve

MARINADE

2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 heaped tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp maple syrup

1. Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil until smooth.

2. Place the mushrooms on a plate, coat each side with the marinade, then drizzle over some vegetable oil and season with salt.

3. Barbecue the mushrooms over hot coals for 4-6 minutes on each side, cupped-side down first so as to collect the juices given out when you turn them. Remove them carefully from the grill to avoid spilling these.

4. Serve scattered with spring onion and parsley.

Lemon and garlic lamb steaks

This is my go-to marinade for lamb, chicken and seafood. There is little that isn’t enlivened by lemon, garlic and thyme.

lemon and garlic lamb steaks
Ellis Parrinder

SERVES 4

450g-500g lamb leg steaks, approx 2cm thick

MARINADE

3 tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed to a paste
1 tbsp thyme leaves

1. Combine the marinade ingredients with 4 tbsp of olive oil in a large bowl, add the lamb steaks and coat evenly. Cover and chill for up to an hour.

2. Season the steaks on each side with salt and pepper before placing over hot coals for 3-4 minutes each side until golden but with a slight give when pressed for medium-rare.

3. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Simple salads

Turkish cucumber salad

This makes a generous quantity and has endless uses as a dip in the days that follow – but you can halve the quantity if wished. The richer your yogurt the better.

Turkish cucumber salad
Ellis Parrinder

SERVES 6

500g full-fat greek yogurt
2 heaped tbsp finely chopped chives, plus a few extra
1 cucumber, ends discarded, peeled and coarsely grated

1. Spoon the yogurt into a large bowl, stir in two thirds of the chives and season with a little salt.

2. Using your hands, squeeze out and discard as much of the liquid from the grated cucumber as possible, then stir the cucumber strips into the yogurt.

3. Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle over some olive oil and scatter with more chives.

Lamb’s lettuce with crispy bacon

Lamb’s lettuce is the most delicate leaf of all, which makes it ideal for some crisp salty snippets of bacon and pine nuts.

lamb's lettuce with crispy bacon
Ellis Parrinder

SERVES 4

100g lardons or diced pancetta
25g pine nuts
around 80g-100g lamb’s lettuce

1. Heat the lardons in a medium nonstick frying pan over a medium heat until the fat starts to render, then continue to cook for a few minutes until just starting to colour, stirring frequently.

2. Stir in the pine nuts and fry for another 2-3 minutes until the lardons and nuts are golden and crisp. Leaving behind the fat, drain on a double thickness of kitchen paper and leave to cool.

3. In a salad bowl, toss the lamb’s lettuce with olive oil to coat it and season with a pinch of salt, then scatter over the lardons and pine nuts.

Tomato and burrata salad

There are so many wonderful tomatoes to choose from – go to town with colours and shapes. Add burrata for a treat, but otherwise buffalo mozzarella will do nicely.

tomato and burrata salad
Ellis Parrinder

SERVES 4

500g assorted tomatoes in different colours and shapes
125g-150g buffalo mozzarella or burrata, torn into 3cm pieces
a few torn basil leaves or handful of rocket

1. Cut out the core (cherry tomatoes excluded), then halve, quarter or slice the tomatoes depending on their size. Place in a bowl, season with sea salt and leave for 30 minutes to draw out the juices.

2. Arrange the tomatoes on a large shallow plate, tuck in the burrata or mozzarella and the basil or rocket, then pour over 3 tbsp of olive oil and serve.

Avocado and red onion salad

The onions are lightly pickled here which marries beautifully with the creamy avocado.

avocado and red onion salad
Ellis Parrinder

SERVES 4

½ small red onion, very finely sliced into half-moons
1 tbsp lemon juice, plus 1 level tsp finely grated zest
2 large avocados, halved and pitted

1. Place the onion in a large bowl, separating the strands, season well with salt, rubbing it into the onion. Add the lemon juice and zest plus 2 tbsp of olive oil. Set aside for 30-60 minutes for the onion to soften.

2. Slice the avocados into long thin strips in the shell. Scoop these out using a spoon then spread over a plate and drizzle over the onion and dressing.

Smashed potato salad

A rustic take on a potato salad where they are casually crushed rather than diced – all the easier.

crushed potato salad
Ellis Parrinder

SERVES 4

500g small waxy potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
100g mayonnaise
2 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced diagonally

1.  Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the potatoes and cook until tender when pierced with a knife, then drain using a colander and leave to cool.

2. Spoon the mayonnaise into a small bowl and thin to a thick trickling consistency with a couple of teaspoons of water.

3. Crush the potatoes in the pan using a potato masher to break them into chunks.

4. Add the mayonnaise and fold over a few times, then mix in two thirds of the onion and taste for seasoning.

5. Transfer to a serving dish and scatter over the rest of the onion. Dust with a little cayenne pepper if wished.

Shortcut pud

Chocolate mousse brownies

A wickedly rich chocolate mousse in brownie form for serving with a spoon of cream. Baked for just six minutes, then chilled overnight.

chocolate mousse brownies
Ellis Parrinder

MAKES 9 BROWNIES

icing sugar for dusting and crème fraîche (optional)

CAKE

200g unsalted butter, diced, plus extra for tin
300g dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa), broken into pieces
6 large eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 240C/ 220C fan/gas 9. Butter and line the base and sides of a 23cm square brownie tin, cutting out the corners so the sides sit flat.

2. Gently melt the chocolate and butter in a large mixing bowl set over a pan with a little simmering water in it.

3. Shortly before the end of this time, whisk the eggs in another large bowl using an electric whisk for 4 minutes until several times the volume, pale and moussey. They should leave a thick trail on themselves.

4. Fold the whisked egg into the chocolate butter mixture, half at a time, then pour into the tin and level the surface.

5. Bake for 6 minutes until the outside is firm and the top just set. Leave to cool then cover and chill overnight.

6. Carefully lift out of the tin using the paper. Serve cut into squares. Dust with icing sugar and serve with crème fraîche if wished.

For perfect results…

  • A few key ingredients are essential for the marinades and salad dressings, so have the following to hand: vegetable and extra virgin olive oils, flaky sea salt, black or cayenne pepper.
  • Barbecuing is an inexact art, so use the timings given in the recipes as guidance and rely on your own judgment for when the food is ready.
  • If your barbecue is particularly hot, you may need to move food to the edge to finish cooking. 
  • A kettle barbecue with a lid is especially handy in avoiding flare-ups.
  • All the marinade recipes can also be cooked indoors on a ridged griddle over a medium-high heat. You may need to adjust cooking times.

Food styling: Lou Kenney. Styling: Charlie Phillips