Food & drink

James St Recipes: Cooking in the great outdoors with Niall McKenna's BBQ beef ribs and Moroccan chicken wings

Niall McKenna's BBQ beef ribs
Niall McKenna

THIS week's recipes aim to get everyone outside and cooking in the great outdoors. When we are at home cooking for the family, I love to use cheaper cuts of meat, so you will always find ribs and wings at any of my barbecues.

When delivering our popular barbecue classes at the cookery school, everyone is always amazed at how the simple use of spices and home-made marinades really elevates the meat, and of course everything tastes better when cooked on the barbecue.

We have lots of barbecue classes coming up over the summer, so if you want to impress your guests and master the art of outdoor cooking, come along and join in.

For more information, or to book an experience at Waterman Cookery School, visit


(Serves 6)

BBQ ribs

(Buy a rack of beef ribs from your butcher, you can get him to slice into individual ribs. Allow approximately three per person)

For the sauce you will need:

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 chillis, deseeded and diced (add more dependent on taste)

5 sprigs of thyme

2 bay leaves

1tbsp fennel seeds

1 pinch cumin

1tbsp paprika

1tbsp Worcester sauce

1.5tbsp Dijon mustard

150g brown sugar

150ml apple juice

200ml tomato ketchup

100ml HP Sauce

1tbsp sea salt

1 clove

Zest of 1 orange


Place the ribs in a large pot of salted water and bring to the boil. Once boiled, simmer for 60-70 minutes until cooked. Remove from water and leave to the side.

Place all ingredients in large pot and cook on a simmer for up to 50 minutes or until the juices have evaporated.

Leave to cool and blend thoroughly. Once cooled, coat the ribs in the marinade, cover in cling film and place in fridge overnight.

You can pre-prepare the marinade and place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 14 days.

Cook on the barbecue, and enjoy the flavours.


900g chicken wings

3tbsp maple syrup

1tsp harissa paste

1 orange, zested and juiced

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1tsp cumin seeds, crushed


Heat the grill to a high setting and make sure you have your extractor fan on, or the doors open.

Place the chicken wings onto a roasting tin and grill for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes turn over and grill on other side until golden.

Mix the harissa paste, syrup and cumin seeds with the zest of the orange and lemon and season with salt and pepper.

Pour over the chicken wings or use a brush; ensure that all the wings are coated.

Place under the grill again for a further 15 minutes.

The chicken wings can be cooked using the same method on the barbecue.

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