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Dundon's Kitchen: Cracking alternatives for your summer barbecue days

Delicious: Bacon and spuds on the BBQ
Delicious: Bacon and spuds on the BBQ

This week, to make the most of the good weather and shake things up a bit, I am sharing with you some alternative barbecue recipes.

We are all used to cooking burgers and steaks on the barbecue, but what about bacon and spuds? Not just any spuds - baby potatoes wrapped in bacon and cooked in hay on the barbecue. Just a little bit different but a very, very tasty alternative to the usual barbecue wedges. You can add dampened sprigs of rosemary, thyme or any herb to the hay mix to give a wonderful aroma and flavour.
My barbecued loin of bacon is a cool way of cooking bacon, although it is really already cooked in the cider-flavoured cooking stock. Adding the sweet soy and barbecuing it really gives this a new flavour dimension - a taste of the Orient.
I use sweet soy in this recipe, an ingredient that’s constantly found in Asian cooking. It’s much less salty than regular soy sauce, and is much thicker. It has a lovely, rich sweetness that I really enjoy. Keep an eye out for this sauce in Asian markets and shops.
When barbecuing my recipes, I recommend cooking over an indirect heat, this means cooking on the side of the barbecue, away from the direct heat. And close the lid of the barbecue so that everything can cook more evenly and the heat can circulate; the trapped heat will cook over and around the food.
This way of barbecueing is more used for foods that take a little longer to cook, or ones that are normally cooked in the oven. Foods cooked with the indirect methods don’t need to be turned.
So dust down the barbecue and give these a try, and make sure to wash it all down with a long glass of chilled cider. 
Barbecued Loin of Bacon (Serves 4)
  • 600g loin of bacon
  • 100ml Longueville Cider
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • Parsley stems
  • 2 tbsp Sweet soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 3 onions, roughly chopped
  1. Place the loin of bacon in a large pan and just about cover with cold water. Pour in the cider. Then add a carrot, an onion and parsley stems and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for one hour, until the meat is completely tender. Remove the loin of bacon from the liquor and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the barbecue to medium. Place the chopped onions onto a small barbecue tray and place the loin of bacon on top. Score the fat of the bacon, then drizzle with the sweet soy sauce and a little sesame oil.
  3. Cover loosly with foil and place on side of the barbecue, where the heat is not as intense.
  4. Let it cook for 25 to 30 minutes (depending on the heat of your barbecue, the cooking time will vary slightly) until completely heated through and well glazed. Remember to baste the meat occassionally as it is cooking. Once cooked, remove from the heat and let rest for about 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the baby potatoes and some salad.

Hay Barbecued Baby Potatoes (Serves 4)

  • 2 handfuls of hay
  • 16 baby potatoes
  • 16 slices of streaky bacon
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • Fresh herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley etc)
  1. Preheat the charcoal barbecue to medium. Place the hay onto a barbecue-resistant tray or foil tray and sprinkle with some water.
  2. Prick each of the baby potatoes a couple of times with a tooth pick or fork. Wrap each potato in a slice of streaky bacon and place on the hay. Add the garlic and season with some salt and pepper.
  3. Cut a piece of foil to tightly fit over the tray that potatoes are in, then place the tray onto the indirect heat (away from the middle) on a barbecue for 30 to 40 minutes. Check the potatoes are cooked through before serving.
  4. Sprinkle with some chopped fresh herbs and serve immediately with slices of the barbecued loin of bacon