Life Eat & Drink The best recipes to impress your friends at a barbecue

The best recipes to impress your friends at a barbecue

Maggie Beer's pavlova with dried apricots will be a favourite at your next BBQ.
Maggie Beer's pavlova with dried apricots will be a favourite at your next BBQ. Photo: Good Food and Wine Show
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Some of Australia’s top celebrity chefs have shared their best recipes for entertaining with readers of The New Daily before setting off around the country as part of the Good Food and Wine Show.

We challenged Matt Moran, Maggie Beer and Matt Wilkinson and Sharlee Gibb to provide us with simple recipes for entertaining.

Our goal: to help average cooks convince their friends they’re world class chefs.

You’re welcome.

Matt Moran’s killer potato salad


  • 600g scrubbed kipfler or other salad potatoes, larger ones thickly sliced and smaller ones halved
  • 2 small french shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 110ml of olive oil
  • 6 rindless streaky bacon rashers or slices of speck
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or to taste 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 handful coarsely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 small handful coarsely chopped dill
  • 1 small handful chives, finely chopped


  1. Combine the potatoes in a saucepan with plenty of cold salted water to cover generously. Bring to the boil over a medium-high heat and cook for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes feel tender when you pierce them with the tip of a sharp knife.
  2. Drain and return to the saucepan to steam, adding the sliced shallots so the heat from the potatoes softens them slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the eggs in a separate saucepan of boiling water for 7 minutes. This is for soft yolks. If you prefer your eggs firmer, cook for another minute or two. Drain, refresh under cold running water and peel.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, make the dressing. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat.
  5. Cut the bacon or speck into 5 cm lengths, add to the pan and fry, turning occasionally, for 2-3 minutes until crisp, then transfer to a tray, keeping the fat in the pan.
  6. Return the pan to the heat, add the garlic and remaining oil and stir for about 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice, vinegar and mustard, season to taste and whisk to combine.
  7. Taste to check the acidity – you might want to add a squeeze more lemon, remembering the acidity will mellow once you’ve dressed the potatoes.
  8. When you’re happy with the balance, add the dressing to the potatoes, toss to combine and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  9. Serves 4 people as a side.
To serve, add the bacon and eggs to the potato mixture along with the herbs, toss to combine and serve at room temperature.
To serve, add the bacon and eggs to the potato mixture along with the herbs, toss to combine and serve at room temperature. Photo: Good Food and Wine Show

Matt Wilkinson and Sharlee Gibb’s scallops with miso butter


  • 250g unsalted butter, diced and softened
  • 3 tablespoons red or yellow miso paste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 12 cleaned scallops on their shells


  1. Add the butter, miso paste and lemon to a bowl and beat together with a fork.
  2. Spoon the butter into the centre of a piece of plastic wrap, roll into a sausage and twist the ends to seal. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill and firm.
  3. Once firm, cut thin discs of the butter and lay them over the scallops in the shell. Place the scallops shell down on a hot barbecue or under a grill on low heat and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until cooked through.
  4. Transfer to a serving platter and eat straight from the shell. Serves 2 people.

Matt Moran’s barbecued prawns with gremolata


  • 12 large raw prawns, peeled and deveined, tails intact
  • ½ large cucumber, thinly sliced
  • ½ fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced, fronds reserved Handful of torn radicchio leaves
  • 1 spring onion, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • ½ long red chilli, very finely sliced lengthways
  • Small handful of mint leaves
  • Small handful of coriander leaves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lime halves, to garnish


  • 1 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Wash and thoroughly dry the parsley. Remove the leaves and finely mince until you have about 2 tablespoons worth. Finely mince the garlic.
  2. Use a lemon zester to remove about 1 teaspoon of lemon zest.
    Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with Kosher salt and black pepper.
  3. You can pound the ingredients together with a mortal and pestle or just use the back of a spoon or the bottom of a glass.
  4. Preheat a barbecue to its hottest setting or a char-grill to high heat.
  5. Combine prawns and the remaining vegetable oil in a bowl, season to taste and toss to coat evenly.
  6. Grill the prawns, turning once, for 3 minutes or until pink in colour and cooked through, then transfer to a platter. Serves 4.
Serve by dividing salad among small bowls and serve with the prawns and lime halves to squeeze over top.
Serve by dividing salad among small bowls and serve with the prawns and lime halves to squeeze over top. Photo: Good Food and Wine Show

Matt Moran’s barbecue wagyu beef with onion rings, capers and aioli


  • 500g wagyu sirloin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander, finely chopped olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • Baby coriander, to garnish
  • 60g baby capers
  • Salsa verde (see recipe)
  • Aioli (see recipe)


  1. Heat the barbecue. Trim the excess fat from the sirloin then split it in half lengthwise and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix the parsley and coriander together and press it all over the sirloin. Drizzle the meat with olive oil and place on the barbecue and cook for 5 minutes on each side. The meat will go quite black.
  3. Remove the meat from the barbecue and allow it to rest for 10 minutes then slice thinly. Peel and finely slice the onion.
  4. Put the slices of sirloin on a platter and drizzle with olive oil. Scatter the onion rings, coriander and capers all over then season to taste.
  5. Serve the barbecued beef with salsa verde and aioli on the side. It serves 6 people.
The end result of Matt Moran's barbecued beef.
The end result of Matt Moran’s barbecued beef. Photo: Good Food and Wine Show

Matt and Sharlee’s berry crostata


  • 150g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g sour cream
  • 400g mixed berries such as raspberries, blueberries and strawberries
  • 100g apricots, quartered and stones removed
  • 100g nectarines, quartered and stones removed
  • 50g raw sugar
  • 1 free-range egg yolk, beaten
  • Vanilla ice cream or softly whipped cream, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and insert a baking tray to heat up.
  2. Add the butter and flour to a food processor and pulse together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then pour over the sour cream and pulse again to form a soft dough.
  3. Transfer the dough to the centre of a 30cm square of baking paper and shape it into a rough circle, then wrap it tightly and transfer to the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
  4. Combine the berries, apricot and nectarine slices in a large bowl. Add the sugar and gently mix together. Set aside.
  5. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out into a rough circle approximately 5mm thick. Remove the top sheet of baking paper and arrange the fruit in the centre of the pastry circle, being sure to leave a 4-5cm border around the outside.
  6. Fold the sides of the pastry over to enclose the fruit, repairing any breaks in the pastry as necessary, then transfer the crostata, still on the baking paper, to the hot baking tray.
  7. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg yolk and bake for 60 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and flaky and the fruit is warmed through.
  8. Leave to cool slightly, then cut into slices and serve warm with ice cream or cream. Serves 8 people.

Maggie Beer’s pavlova with dried apricots in verjuice syrup


  • 8 free range egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoon cornflour
  • 2 tablespoon verjuice
  • 1 cup (100g) flaked almonds
  • 2 cups (500ml) thickened cream
  • 2 cups (500ml) crème fraîche

Apricot filling

  • 500g dried apricots
  • 1 cup (250ml) verjuice
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 2 stems rosemary


  1. Preheat the oven to 140C fan-forced. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Place the eggs whites and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a clean and dry electric mixer and whisk until soft peaks form.
  3. With the motor running, gradually sprinkle in one third of the caster sugar at a time, whisking well until the mixture is stiff, glossing and tripled in volume; it should stand up and not move when the beaters are lifted and turned upside down.
  4. To check the sugar has dissolved, run the meringue between your fingers – if it feels at all grainy, continue to beat. Add the cornflour and verjuice and beat until just combined.
  5. Divide the meringue mixture in half. Place one half on each prepared tray and shape into a 30cm x 24cm x 2cm rectangle. Place in the oven immediately and bake for 40-45 minutes or until crisp on the outside and marshmallow inside.
  6. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues to cool completely in the oven with the door ajar. You can wedge the oven door open with a wooden spoon.
  7. Once the meringues have been removed from the oven, preheat it to 200C fan-forced (220C conventional). Roast the almonds on a baking tray for 4 minutes or until light golden, checking them frequently to make sure they don’t burn. Set aside.
  8. To make the apricot filling, place the dried apricots in a microwave-proof bowl, then pour over the verjuice and water and cover with plastic film.
  9. Microwave on the defrost setting for 4 minutes to plump up and soften the apricots. Remove from the microwave, then strain and reserve the verjuice mixture and set the apricots aside.
  10. Place the reserved verjuice mixture, honey & rosemary in a large heavy based frying pan over low- medium heat and gently simmer for 1-2 minutes or until slightly reduced. Add the apricots and cook over low heat for 3 minutes or until the apricots are soft.
  11. Transfer the apricots to a roasting pan lined with baking paper or a bowl and set aside. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer the syrup for 2 minutes or until it stats to bubble and turn deep golden. Immediately remove from the heat and pour over the apricots, then set aside to cool.
  12. Using hand held electric beaters, whisk the cream until medium-soft peaks form. Add the crème fraîche and whisk for another 40 seconds.
  13. Spoon half of the cream mixture on top of one layer of the meringue, then top with the second layer of the meringue.
  14. Spoon the remaining cream mixture on top. Arrange the cooled apricots and cooled almonds on top of the cream, then drizzle with apricot syrup.
  15. Cut into slices and serve 10-12 people.

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