It is important, so very important that we eat, cook and relax as a family. Despite life trying its best to get in the way. Once a week we should all make the time.” – SIMON WOOD

I thought I’d lay out my food and family ethos as well as showing you some amazing hands on child friendly Summer BBQ recipes and a little something for the grown-ups to enjoy.

Food and families are two topics in which everyone claims some expertise, and rightly so. Families are made up of people who eat food. Both families and food contribute to a person’s physical and social well-being throughout life and are the foundation of many memories, both good and maybe not.

Dictionary definitions of food include terms such as wholesome, supporting growth, or providing energy. People recognize that food is necessary for the physical survival of their families. Although sometimes the purpose of food intake is only to satisfy hunger, the role of food in families goes much further than meeting physical needs.

We can all recall many memories, special occasions, sad times and celebrations and in every one of them, Food, will at some point be what joins us together. The flavours, smells and sounds of a meal all evoke a sixth sense in us that immediately transport us to that event or period in time.

It is important, so very important that we eat, cook and relax as a family. Despite life trying its best to get in the way. Once a week we should all make the time.

Woods Restaurant


Today I’m going to focus on the Summer, the smell of a barbeque and dinner in the garden. And a recipe you can get the kids involved making.


When I’m cooking in the restaurant or developing a new dish I have one brief. “Classic flavours served with playful authenticity” and this recipe does just that. It reminds me of my first Chinese, even though I’m using local Manchester products, Hangar Steak from my Butcher, Gav at Albion Farm. Vimto, there aren’t many Children (or Adults) that don’t enjoy the soft drink first sold in Lancashire. It was first manufactured as a health tonic in cordial form, then decades later as a carbonated drink. It contains the juice of grapes, raspberries and blackcurrants and that itself generates many childhood recollections.


I use it as the sweetness in my Beef and Green Pepper Glaze, reminiscent of sweet and sour or beef in black bean sauce from family take-away treat nights.


Using measures of two parts Vimto, one water and half red wine vinegar it’s a great yet simple marinade. In a saucepan add a little oil gently soften some sliced shallots before adding in your liquid marinade and reducing until sticky


  • 2 Shallots (Sliced)
  • 20ml Sunflower Oil
  • 300ml Vimto
  • 150ml Water
  • 75ml Red Wine Vinegar


  • Place a pan on a medium heat and add the oil, followed by the shallots. Soften the shallot gently and then add in the marinade. Reduce by just over half. Later in the recipe you’ll use a bunch of rosemary to glaze the almost cooked kebabs to give them a sticky sweet and sour glaze.


In this recipe I’m using Hangar steak for my kebabs, you can use any steak for this recipe, it will work with Chicken or even Tofu. However I think beef is best and for that you need to get on good terms with your local butcher. I use Butcher Gav (@butcher_gav) from Albion Farm Shop Butchers in Saddleworth. He is an avid Grill master as well as being one of the best butchers in the business, the produce is amazing and it fits this recipe a treat, plus I’m supporting a local business which in the current climate is absolutely vital.


Simon Wood

For this recipe I’m going to cook for the family, that’s me and the kids (and Grandchild) so in total around 8 People. Here is what you’ll need.


  • 5 kilos of Beef
  • 8 Large Green Peppers
  • 8 Large Spring Onions (The giant ones)
  • 6 big sprigs of rosemary (to brush)
  • Maldon Sea Salt
  • 8 Metal 14” Kebab Skewers
  • 200ml Sunflower oil
  • 5 Sprigs of rosemary tied with string




  • First Dice your beef into equal sized pieces, around 1.5 inches square is best
  • De-seed and chop your peppers into the same size
  • Then, Half your onions
  • Next starting with the onion, then pepper, followed the beef layer up your kebab skewers with a piece of pepper between every chunk of steak.
  • Drizzle in oil and then Season with a good amount of Maldon Salt before grilling at 200ºc turning until thoroughly cooked, around 15 minutes
  • For the last 5 minutes use the sticky glaze and rosemary brush to coat the meat in the delicious marinade. Don’t do this to soon or the sugar will burn before the meat is cooked.


Once cooked, charred and sticky make sure you leave the kebabs to rest thoroughly at least 10-12 minutes, this is so important and, gives everyone time to take in the smell and anticipation of dinner to be served. I would serve this with a simple green salad and a warm and toasty barbequed flatbread.


Now, while you’re waiting for the meat to rest the grown-ups can enjoy this particularly Summery drink using one of my favourite flavours, Lemon.


A Limoncello Spritz


25ml Luxardo Limoncello

25ml Forty-Five Dry Vermouth

Fill with ice and then Top with Sparkling Wine of Choice.


My choice is Exton Park RB45 this is the drink of choice for my restaurants Chefs Table arrival and shows an abundance of tropical and citrus fruit, with subtle notes of vanilla and orange blossom, it works amazingly well with this cocktail

 Once Poured simply Garnish with a Lemon twist or some Verbena before relaxing and enjoying making invaluable food related memories with the people that matter the most.


I do hope you have enjoyed my first Column for Brood, Thanks for reading and if you have any recipe suggestions or questions please do send them to me at @SimonJWoodUK or


Thanks, Simon



Simon is Chef Patron or WOOD Manchester on First Street Manchester and WOODKRAFT ‘The Artisan Eatery’ on Regent Street in Cheltenham.

WoodKraft Cheltenham
Simon Wood
Written by Simon Wood


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