Friday, April 25, 2014

Beef Kebabs (Succulent and Delicious)


Here's a beef kebab recipe that's a favourite in my family and also great for gatherings. Not only is it delicious, it's easy to make and affordable. If I can whip this up during the workweek, so can you :) In this post I'm also sharing the recipe for a delicious yoghurt sauce that is refreshing. An excellent accompaniment to the beef kebabs. Happy cooking!

Serving Size: Feeds 6-8 people. You can double or triple the recipe depending on the size of the crowd you're feeding.


Equipment:

-Grill or grill pan.

-2 baking sheets covered in Aluminium foil.

-Kitchen tongs.

-Large mixing bowl with a lid or large ziplock bag (for marinating your beef).

-Small mixing bowl (for yoghurt sauce).

-Medium pan (for cooking the potatoes).



Ingredients
:

-1 1/2 lbs beef top sirloin steak, cubed into bite-size pieces (see tip at the bottom of the page).

-8-12 baby potatoes, cleaned.

-25-30 cherry tomatoes, cleaned.

-1 medium red onion, quartered then the quarters halved (see pictures of assembled kebabs).

-2 cloves of garlic, crashed.

-1 bay leaf.

-1 tablespoon red chili powder (use a teaspoon if you don't want your food too hot. If you like it hot, increase this amount to suit your taste).

-1 tablespoon onion powder (not onion salt).

-1 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt).

-1 satchet onion soup mix (see picture).

-1 teaspoon dry rosemary.

-Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste.

-3 tablespoons olive oil (for the marinade).

-1 tablespoon olive oil (for the potatoes).

-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce.

-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

-1 teaspoon dry sage.



Ingredients for the yoghurt sauce:

-1 cup plain yoghurt (I used full-fat yoghurt. Greek yoghurt would also work).

-1/2 a cucumber, chopped finely (I used an English cucumber because I don't have to seed them and they're sweeter than the regular variety).

-1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill.

-1 tablespoon granulated sugar.



NOTE: If you'll be using wooden skewers to cook your kebabs as opposed to metal skewers, soak them for at least 30minutes, completely submerged in a deep dish of water. This will help prevent them from burning as you cook (if you're using a fire grill).


Instructions for marinating the beef:

-In a bowl (I used a large Ziplock bag for ease of cleanup), add your cubed beef. Pour in the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the Worcestershire sauce. Toss the beef in this mixture to completely coat them.


-Add in your desired amount of salt and pepper.

-Add in the cloves of garlic, bay leaf, chili powder, cinnamon, onion powder, garlic powder and sage. If using a bowl, toss the meat pieces in this mixture well to coat. If using a large ziplock bag like I did, zip up the bag and push out any air as you're doing this, place the bag on it's side and massage the marinade into the pieces of meat.

-Cover the bowl containing the meat and place it in the refrigerator. Allow the meat to marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.


Instructions for the potatoes:

-Place the potatoes (unpeeled) in a medium pan with just enough water to cover them. Add about 1 tablespoon of salt to the water. On medium heat, cook the potatoes just until a fork inserted into them can go through, but with some resistance (8-10 minutes). Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool. 

-Cut the potatoes in half and place them in a small bowl. Drizzle the halved potatoes with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add 2 tablespoons of the onion soup mix  and 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary to the bowl. Gently toss the potatoes in the mixture to coat them well, being careful not to break them. Cover and set aside.



Instructions for the yoghurt sauce:

-In a small bowl, combine the yoghurt, cucumber, dill and sugar. Stir well to combine. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator until ready to use.



****Now is a good time to fire up your grill or heat up your grill pan. I used a grill pan set over medium-high heat.*****


Assembling and grilling your kebabs:

   Gather all the components that will go on your kebab skewer and set up an assembly line (onions, beef, tomatoes and potatoes). There is no particular order that I use to skewer the components. I just try to keep the colors evenly distributed throughout the skewer. See the picture below. Set your assembled skewers on a tray.


   I lightly sprayed my grill pan with cooking spray and once the pan was hot enough, I grilled the kebabs for 5 minutes on each side, making sure to get the grill marks (don't forget to turn your kebabs on all sides to ensure even cooking). As I completed each batch, I sat them on a baking sheet lined with Aluminium foil in a 200-250 degree Fahrenheit oven (93.3-120 degrees Celcius depending on your oven) to ensure that they stayed warm until it was time to eat.



   I served mine up with some whole grain pita bread alongside a bean and carrot salad (a post with that recipe coming up soon).  The beef was succulent and full of flavor! The yoghurt sauce helped mellow out the heat from the chili I added to the beef. This was an easy, healthy and delicious meal that got enthusiastic two thumbs up from across my meza (table). Now that the weather's finally warming up, it's time to fire up those grills and whip up this delicious recipe. Happy cooking!

TIP: I find that beef sirloin steak is the best cut of meat for beef kebabs because it is tender. If you cannot find this cut of meat, just be sure to cut against the grain of the meat as you are cubing it. That will help your kebabs not to be so tough.