Waitrose's Summer BBQ Party & Heston Inspired Hot Dogs!

Growing up in India, summers were fierce.
Starting from middle of March, stretching till the fag end of September, with the temperatures soaring up to the 40s, summers were mostly indoor times.
Houses were shuttered against the ferocious sun and people avoided being outdoors.
Like everyone other Indian, summers for me meant long stifling days, followed by hot, humid evenings, waiting for the rains to bring in a blessed respite.
Even with the onset of Monsoon the heat lingered on.
It had it's own kind of charm, but spending time outdoors was not one of them.

After shifting to the UK, I realised that summers can be fun too. In fact summers turned out to be exactly what winters are in most parts of India-- short and sweet. It brings along great weather, long days, starry nights and if you are lucky not much rains. It gives you the chance to organise lots of outdoor activities, go on holidays, picnics, outdoor parties and BBQs, festivals, fairs. While the winter drags on slowly and ponderously with swirling grey chill as your constant companion, summer rushes by in a blur of bright days, hectic activities, picnic baskets, walking shoes, the smell of fresh green grass,wild flowers growing on the roadside, the joy of sitting in the sun, a doze in the park. Before you can blink summer is over and you are back to wrapping yourself up warmly against the chilly north wind. So like everyone else we try to make the most of summer. Spend it as much outdoors as possible. In our previous apartment, we had a patch of back garden where we had a BBQ. Given every chance we would fire it and get a party started. In this new place we have a balcony, no more a back garden. However when Waitrose wrote to me asking me to host a BBQ party I just could not resist the temptation. Balcony be it. A quick chat for permission with our upstairs neighbours, a couple of disposable BBQs and we were ready to party. 

I planned the BBQ menu with the help of Heston's Ultimate BBQ recipes. There are loads of options to choose from. After a bit of going to and fro this is the menu I settled on.

Heston Inspired BBQ Party Menu:
1. Heston's BBQ Chicken Wings--I followed the same recipe for chicken strips. It came out juicy and succulent and the charred bits added to taste. I made the blue cheese dipping sauce but instead served it with the nachos.

2. Heston's hot dogs-- It was a whopper of a hot dog recipe with different flavour layers. I deleted the sauerkraut because we are not big fans. But I followed the rest of the recipe including the bacon, fried onion and the  sweet piccalilli mayo. I kept all the ingredients ready and asked my guests to assemble their own hot dogs. The sweet piccalilli mayo proved to be a smash hit. It added a great depth of flavour to the hot dogs, so did the fried onions and made the hot dogs special.To my surprise people did not much add the crispy bacon to their hot dogs. I did not use frankfurters or  traditional hot dogs for the meat. I used Heston's Ultimate Pork Sausage and mustard flavoured sausage from Waitrose. I must say I am rather proud of my decision to use British sausage for the hot dogs. The sausage  were great, tasty and succulent and once they were almost done, we slit them on the sides and clear juices ran into the plates.

3. Heston's prawn cocktail with roasted lettuce-- I bought Heston's Prawn cocktail and served it on gem lettuce leaves after charring them slightly on the BBQ grill. The charred lettuce leaves added to the whole flavour. It was a great starter while we waited for the rest of the meat to grill. An easy starter, it can be served even if we are not having a BBQ party.

4. Heston's grilled sweetcorn-- I am a big fan of sweet corn and loved it one.

5. To munch on while waiting for the BBQ-ed meat to arrive on the table, there were some nachos with a blue cheese dipping sauce

6. Fruit skewers
8. A simple summer salad
9. Elderflower cordial and beer 
10. Ice cream and lick lollies

For this menu there were a few preps that I did beforehand.
I marinated the chicken the previous evening. The morning of the BBQ, I prepared the blue cheese dipping sauce and kept it in the fridge to set for at least 3 to 4 hours. Also for the hot dog, I prepared the piccalilli mayo and kept it in the fridge to set and fried some thinly sliced onion to sprinkle over the hot dogs. Rest of the stuff was prepared when our guests arrived.

Out of all the food I served at the party the hot dogs were the biggest hit. Our guests simply loved them. So sharing with you the recipe for the hot dogs. 

Heston Inspired BBQ Hot Dogs:

According to Heston's recipe this hot dog has several taste layers. On a fresh bun, piccalilli mayo is spread, then a sizzling sausage is placed, topped with sauerkraut, crispy bacon and fried onions. I chucked out the sauerkraut and my guests did not seem too keen on the crispy bacon. So sharing with you the recipe of the hot dog after our trials.

{Makes 8 hot dogs}
1. 8 hot dog buns
2. 8 sausages
3. 1 medium red onion, finely sliced
4. 4 rashes of bacon
5. 50 gm sweet piccalilli
6. 60 gm mayonnaise
7. 3/4 tbsp chives, finely sliced
8. Salt and pepper to taste
9. 1 tsp of sugar
10. A dash to Tabasco sauce
11. Oil to fry the onion

How to Make the Hot Dogs:

Let's first prepare the sweet piccalilli mayo.
Following Heston's recipe, I added 50 gm sweet piccalilli {did not bother blitzing it like mentioned in the original recipe} and then folded in mayonnaise, added salt and pepper. When I tasted it, the spread was a tad too sharp for my taste. So to this I added a tea spoon of sugar and mixed it well. I finished off the spread with a dash of Tabasco sauce to bring in a hint of heat. And topped with fresh chives. I kept this spread in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours so that all the flavours are nicely incorporated.

Next I fried the finely sliced onions on low medium heat with a little salt for about 10 minutes till the onion turned medium brown. I drained the onion on a kitchen towel and kept it aside.

An hour before I was supposed to start grilling the sausages I brought them out of the fridge. Rest of the stuff-- grilling the sausages, frying the bacon and lightly toasting the hot dog buns was done on the BBQ grill. Assembling the hot dogs, I left to my guests. 

This recipe is for keeps and a must have for all our BBQ parties.

Thanks Waitrose for the BBQ vouchers. All the opinion expressed on this post are my own.


  1. Delicious looking and mouthwatering dish. Excellent preparation.

  2. Oh really u did bbq in balcony thats great !! Ur neighbours must have drooled all day or did u give them a share for letting u do it :)


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