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BBQ

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Unleash Your Inner BBQ Master

May 30, 2021
Valley Mill BBQ Tips

In our last blog we wrote about the ‘Rise of the British BBQ’.  This is absolutely true.  Us Brits are banging out some amazing food and recipes in our BBQ get togethers. We are becoming Kings and Queens of the BBQ and we are here to help you unleash your inner BBQ master.

We are all thinking outside of the box when it comes to our recipes ideas. Let your creative side out. Why not host a vegetarian BBQ feast? Think of all the skewers you can create, from colourful vegetables to seasonal fruits. The options are endless.

Become the BBQ Queen or King of your home with some incredible recipes served on Valley Mill's fantastic Denby range
Fig Skewers with a honey & balsamic glaze topped with crushed roast pistachios served on one of our a Denby Studio Blue Chalk Ridged Bowl.

Planning for Success

We’ve teamed up with Oliver Woolnough and the team from Nothing But BBQ to guide you through the summer and show you how to upgrade your outdoor experience. We’ve got recipe ideas and creative ways to style up your ‘al fresco’ dining area.

BBQ Tips with Valley Mill and Olly Woolnough
Oliver Woolnough from Meat Matters Ltd & Nothing But BBQ serves up us his best BBQ and outdoor dining tips

Skewered

One of our favourite BBQ cookery books which was released recently is Skewered by Marcus Bawdon.  Marcus is a bit of a hero of ours as he really knows his stuff.  Marcus not only runs Country Wood Smoke BBQ School from his home in Devon but also is the editor of UK BBQ Magazine and has a series of cookery books available.

Fundamentals of Cooking Outdoors

When cooking outdoors you need to know the fundamentals of cooking on a BBQ.  From the best fuel to use, smoking woods and how to set up your barbeque, Marcus explains all of this and also why a lid on your BBQ can really help.

Tanzanian Chicken Mishkaki

Oliver Woolnough shows us how to cook one of Marcus’ recipes from Skewered. This recipe is inspired by the flavours of India, The Middle East and Africa.

Ingredients:

1 green & 1 red bell pepper

2 skinless chicken breasts

For the Marinade:

4 tbsp plain/natural yogurt

1 tsp ground turmeric

2 finely chopped cloves of garlic

1 tsp runny honey

Juice of 1/2 a lime

Pinch of salt & pepper

2 tsp freshly chopped coriander

Chop your herbs with one of our hand forged stainless steel herb choppers.

Method

Cut the peppers and chicken breasts into 3 x 3cm squares. Mix the marinade ingredients together and stir in the cubes of chicken. Leave to marinate for approximately 1 hour.

Set up your grill with medium to hot coals for close proximity cooking.

Thread 2 cubes of chicken onto each skewer. Now add a few squares of bell pepper. Continue until your skewers are loaded.

Place your skewers onto the grill and cook for a few minutes before turning. Make sure they are cooked thoroughly before serving. This should take approximately 8-10 minutes in total.

Sprinkle with extra coriander to serve.

Now you’ve unleashed your inner BBQ master.

Monkfish Skewers

Check out this video of how to create the BBQ Coconut Curry Monkfish recipe from Skewered.  This is a mix of coconut milk, curry powder and lime, finished with coriander and freshly chopped chillies.

Don’t Forget The Extras

Your BBQ party doesn’t just have to revolve around the food cooked on the grill. Give your guests a treat with some of their favourite cheeses. We have a wide range of Welsh Slate cheeseboards.

Make It Personal

If it’s a personal touch you’re looking for then look no further than our amazing personalised products. You may be celebrating a ‘BIG’ birthday or having a corporate event, why not serve up some treats on our Welsh slate trays which can be personalised to your design.

You Didn’t Miss It

Don’t worry! You didn’t miss the recipe for this Grilled Sweet Potato Salad from Genevieve Taylor.

Set The Mood

Set the mood for the evening for a catch up with friends and family with Valley Mill’s ranges of candles and candle holders. Not only do they look fantastic but our huge variety of scents will really set the mood too.

Valley Mill’s Welsh slate tealight holder with our range of tealights make a sophisticated impression

A Gift For Your Garden

Welcome your guests with a Valley Mill Welsh slate hanging sign. We have ready made designs or you can personalise them with your very own design.

Father’s Day is COMING SOON!

Here at Valley Mill we have a whole load of products for your Dad/Step-Dad/Grandad etc lined up just for you.

Check back soon at valleymill.co.uk for the latest.

Current Events Events and Days Out Home Recipes Slate products Valley Mill

Rise of the British BBQ

May 23, 2021
BBQ Tips with Valley Mill and Olly Woolnough

Forget the era of burning your bangers or cremating your chicken wings because the rise of the British BBQ is here.  Valley Mill and ‘Nothing But BBQ’ have teamed up to make your back-yard shindig the absolute best with our top BBQ tips. 

Are you ready for the great outdoors with your family and friends? We’ve teamed up with Oliver Woolnough and the team from Nothing But BBQ to guide you through the summer and show you how to upgrade your outdoor experience.

Part One of Oliver’s Top Tips

British BBQ food served on Valley Mill Welsh Slate tray
BBQ food served on one of Valley Mill’s Welsh slate trays.

Outdoor Cooking

Think of your BBQ as outdoor cooking and not just a sausage chucked on a grill.  When you realise that, almost any dish you can create in the kitchen can be recreated on a BBQ, then your family outdoor fun will become delicious too. Now really is the time of the British BBQ.

Top BBQ Tip – BBQ Choice

You need to get the right BBQ for YOU.  If you love a more traditional feel then a charcoal barbeque is the one for you.  Not got as much time on your hands? A gas BBQ heats up quicker which means you can get creating dishes sooner for your friends and family.   Either choice is good and it can also help if your BBQ has a lid.  This can assist you in keeping the temperature constant. It can even help make the food more moist and delicious.

Valley Mill Creative Marketing Manager Siâny uses a Weber charcoal kettle BBQ and she swears by it.  “I can cook beautiful dishes for the family and some real showstoppers too.  I learnt that the right BBQ makes all the difference.  It’s a top BBQ tip to keep everyone happy and coming back for more.”

Top BBQ tips from Nothing but BBQ personalised Welsh Slate tray
You can personalise your own Welsh Slate trays and table runners

Fuel

It’s so easy to grab a bag of charcoal or briquettes from your local garage but you can find that the chemicals in them can affect the taste of your food.  Just be mindful in which fuel you choose. We recommend you go for a choice which is natural so it doesn’t taint your food.

Top BBQ Tip – How to light your coals

One BBQ accessory we would recommend is a chimney starter.  Oliver said “The next amazing invention after the wheel is the charcoal chimney starter”. OK, he’s sort of kidding but it REALLY is an amazing piece of equipment because it’s one of the easiest and quickest ways to light your fuel.  Check out this YouTube video which shows you how to light your coals.

Top BBQ Tip – How to put your coals in the BBQ

One of the easiest ways to control the temperature of your BBQ is by placing your coals on to one side of the bottom of the BBQ.  Why you ask?  When you cook in the oven you don’t have flames going across the entire bottom, so why would you do it on a BBQ?  It’s all about indirect and direct heat.

One of Oliver’s favourite BBQ sayings is “If you’re looking then you ain’t cooking”.

One of the best top BBQ tips that was shared with us when we were learning how to barbeque like a pro was make sure you have the right tools before you start.  Meat thermometer, extreme heat resistant gloves & tongs are all top of our list when organising a BBQ.  Do NOT panic though as you don’t need to spend a fortune on these and can pick up a thermometer from as little as £8.

BBQ Welsh Slate hanging sign personalised
Why not gift a BBQ lover in your life this wonderful Grillin’ & Chillin’ hanging Welsh Slate BBQ sign. You can also personalise your own.

The first recipe we want to share with you is actually a vegetarian recipe, as be honest, we all turn in to carnivores when it comes to a BBQ. 

Herby Sweet Potato Wedges with a Lemon Tahini Dressing

Live fire and British BBQ expert Genevieve Taylor is the author of ten cookery books including the bestselling Charred, a complete guide to vegetarian BBQ.  A proud omnivore, Genevieve is on a mission to prove that great BBQ isn’t just about Man vs. Meat. 

Valley Mill lifestyle photo shoot with Denby Potter Studio Blue medium ridged bowl.  Serving Genevieve Taylor Charred recipe
Add a touch of class by serving up your dish on one of our Denby Pottery bowls

You’ll need:

1kg sweet potatoes, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp smoked paprika, salt & pepper, 2 bags of 100g watercress.

For the lemon tahini dressing – 50g tahini, zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 crushed clove of garlic.

Oliver shows us to how to recreate this amazing recipe.

Oliver Olly Woolnough from Meat Matters and Nothing But BBQ shows us how to cook like a pro in your garden
Olly Woolnough owner of Meat Matters Ltd & Nothing But BBQ

First up, make sure you scrub your sweet potatoes well with clean water.  Now chop them into wedges around 2cm thick.  Tip them into a bowl with the olive oil, oregano, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and give them a good mix so they are all coated.

Once your BBQ grill is hot, place a cast iron griddle or plancha on top of your grill.  You could even use one of our bake stones.  You need to be cooking on direct heat for this recipe.  Remember, direct heat means directly above the coals.

Place your seasoned potatoes on top of your griddle in a single layer.   Cook for around 30 minutes, flipping them occasionally.  Make sure they are cooked evenly. 

Whilst cooking you can make the lemon tahini dressing.  Mix together the ingredients with around 50ml of water (more if it’s too thick). 

To serve, place the watercress in a serving dish (check out Valley Mills choice of Denby Pottery).  Place the cooked sweet potatoes on top and drizzle over the dressing. 

Sweet Potato with watercress and lemon tahini dressing from Charred Genevieve Taylor

Genevieve’s Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger

Fancy something meaty and a British BBQ classic?  Then try this version of a classic from Genevieve Taylor. 

Style Dining

Make your outdoor dining experience just as good as your indoor by adding touches of style and class to your ‘al fresco’ dining area.

Welsh Slate Wine Racks

Welsh Slate wine rack, handmade in Blaenau Ffestiniog, oiled and finished in our workshop in Llansamlet, Swansea. The wine racks are completely unique and each wine rack is one of a kind.

Welsh Slate & Ceramic Coasters

Serve up a chilled glass of your favourite tipple on one of our Welsh slate or ceramic coasters.

Enamel Mugs

Our 12 Oz enamel mugs, designed and hand printed by our in-house design team exclusively for Valley Mill. Printed on both sides. Dishwasher safe

Find out now what else Valley Mill have to offer for your next BBQ with friends

BBQ TIPS PART 2 COMING SOON – Sunday 20th May 2021 at 10am

Events and Days Out

Barbecuing steak – How to be a Grill Daddy!

June 23, 2014

It’s BBQ season. Living in Wales, a country dominated by precipitation, we can’t limit ourselves by saying something so silly as “BBQs are for the Summer’”. Oh no, as long as it’s not snowing, whether it’s gas, coal or an old fashioned wood smoker, you fire that bad boy up and head directly to the fridge!

Burgers and sausages get a lot of acclaim on the BBQ, but are you overlooking something glorious? Have you ever barbecued steak? If not, you definitely should. Steak is easy, it’s not that expensive and it goes great on its own, in a roll, or as a crown for your side orders to wear.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I cook burgers or sausages, someone always wants to cut them open, just to make sure they are cooked properly. They don’t trust you, even when you say in your most reassuring voice, “You won’t get Salmonella or E.coli – I promise!”

If your family and friends aren’t completely convinced by your barbecuing prowess, the Valley Mill team has put together some top steak grilling tips. That’s right – we don’t just cut and engrave Welsh slate, make soy candles and soaps – in our spare time, we’re working hard to become the ultimate barbequing machines! So pay attention, here’s the important part…

Preparation:

1. Crank the grill up high – as hot as you can.

2. Get a clean kitchen towel and make sure your steak is wiped as dry as possible.

3. Decide how you want your steak cooked. If you’re cooking for others, make sure they tell you their preferences. Once you take the steak off the grill, there’s no turning back!

Cooking:

 

How Cooked?

1. Lay the the steaks gently on the grill, all facing the same way.

Top Tip: Halfway through cooking (each side), you want to rotate the steaks 90 degrees counter clockwise. This will give you those crossing grill marks, like the professionals!

2. Here’ are the all-important timings to follow, depending on how you like your steak:

a quick guide on cooking times for steak

a quick guide on cooking times for steak

3. Once you’ve presented the steaks to your eagerly awaiting guests, if anyone asks you to cut open their steak to see if it’s cooked, please control yourself and DO NOT slap them with your greasy spatula! The following simple method will help you to reinforce the fact that when it comes to barbecuing steak, you know what you’re doing! The firmness of your hand eerily resembles the firmness of the steak – depending on the cooking time.

rule of thumb

4. Once you and your guests are satisfied that the steaks have been cooked appropriately, it’s your time to stand proudly as people start chowing down on their perfectly cooked steak.

Way to go Grill Daddy! Once you’ve mastered the art of barbequing, you may want to impress your guests with your wine and whiskey knowledge. At Valley Mill, we stock a wide range of Welsh produce – including alcoholic tipples, so why not pay us a visit and let us help you get your BBQ season off to a brilliant start.