Summer sizzling syrup


You will need:
1 kg of pine cones and a handful of pine needles (washed and dried)
1 litre of water
1.5 kg of organic sugar

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and blanch the pine cones for around 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove the pine cones and place them in a clean saucepan along with a litre of water and the sugar.

Slowly bring the contents to a simmer and bubble for around 15-20 min stirring occasionally to ensure the contents don’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.

Add the pine needles to the mixture and stir well.

Take the pan off the heat and place a lid on top then leave overnight to steep.

Remove the pine cones and strain the liquid through a muslin cloth into a jug.

Pour the liquid/syrup into airtight containers and store in the fridge.

You now have a delicious and unusual syrup ready to use!

To make a glaze for ribs or other meat, simply warm some of the syrup in a saucepan, add your balsamic vinegar and herbs, then use the contents to glaze your meat before roasting, grilling or barbecuing.

The beauty about this syrup is not just its flavour but its flexibility. It will keep for a while once it’s made and can be added to cocktails, poured on ice cream or pancakes, and mixed with your favourite herbs and condiments to make meat irresistibly tasty. Enjoy!

Words by:
Nikki Bawn
Featured in:
August 2019

The simple things in life can bring the most pleasure, so they say, and at this time of the year, the smell of freshly mown grass and sizzling barbecues wafting on a summer breeze do just that. By Nikki Bawn.
Despite the trappings of modern living, warm, sunny days tend to bring out our primeval instincts for cooking with fire which has been a preoccupation of us homo sapiens for almost 2 million years.

Modern day barbecue activities, though, can be slightly more technical and cumbersome than those of our ancestors. Nowadays, there’s a plethora of cooking styles, implements, types of smoked wood chips, and even ‘humorous’ cooking aprons to choose from.

There are many theories about where the word barbecue comes from. One thought is that it originates from the Caribbean word ‘barbacoa’, the name given to a wooden structure used by Taíno Indians to smoke their food and a place for shelter.

There’s no denying that food cooked well over glowing embers produces succulence and flavour worth shouting about – which is probably what keeps us cooking alfresco year after year. I love the simplicity and social elements of BBQ get-togethers and admit I do have a soft spot for the traditional Lincolnshire Red beef burgers and local sausage line-up. I’ve even been known to dabble with beer-can chicken and newspaper steamed fish recipes too, but, my die-hard favourite is glazed short rib of beef.

In true Boggle Lane style, foraged ingredients play a vital role in this dish. The glaze is made with pine cones and pine needles to produce the most gorgeous, sticky and fragrant syrup. Surprisingly, almost all pines are edible and they’re nutritious too. It’s always best to check the identity of anything you’ve picked before you eat it – better to be safe than sorry.

The quality of the beef is crucial, I always source mine from Amy Jobe at South Elkington. She puts her heart and soul into producing amazing Lincoln Russet, and it most definitely shows.

I slow cook the beef ribs in a double foil-wrapped oven-tray at 100 degrees centigrade for around 8 hours. This leaves lots of time to potter about, or enjoy a cold one (or two) in the garden.

Then, simply remove the ribs from the oven, take off the foil and glaze them with the pine cone syrup, mixed with a little balsamic vinegar, or, your favourite herbs, before placing them on the hot barbecue. Turn and baste the ribs now and again until they are browned and caramelised. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts with ribs that are mouth-watering, crispy coated and so tender the meat falls apart.

So, as the long shadows of late summer evenings fall against the golden, sun-drenched Lincolnshire landscape, why not get in touch with your inner fire-starter and cook something with a bit of sizzling syrup to bring lovely local produce to the next level of barbecue glory.

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