Shish Kabob – Tender pieces of steak marinated in an aromatic spice blend, skewered with onions, peppers and then grilled to perfection. Paired with a delicious side of whole wheat couscous and you’ll have one fantastic summer outdoor meal!
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s something seriously alluring about eating meat on skewers. No forks, knives or cutting required. Just pure juiciness in every delicious bite. Making your tastebuds yearn for more and more as soon as the last piece is over.
Ah pure pleasure!
Have you noticed that you tend to eat way too much with grilled meat when they are skewered? I certainly do. If you do, high five to that!
What is a Shish Kabob?
You may ask, what is “shish kebab”? This term grilled cube meat in skewers is said to have its Turkish and Armenian roots and has become very popular in Western food culture. In Turkey, the vegetables are grilled separately from the shish kabob and not on the same skewers like how it’s commonly prepared today.
And I’d say it has evolved tremendously with different varieties and is loved by people from all over the world.
What Cut of Beef is Best for Shish Kabobs?
If you are a purist and love the real deal then tenderloin should be on your shopping list. But, before you proceed I’m just going to to throw in my two cents: tenderloin is tasteless, boring and won’t give you value for your money. I said it! Don’t follow the hype.
I remember purchasing my first cut of tenderloin and was sooo disappointed. And I almost took it back to the supermarket. Oh yes, I was furious! I wanted my money back, even though it was on sale. That was the first and only time I’ve ever bought beef tenderloin.
You want flavor? I’d highly recommend you go with Ribeye, New York or Sirloin steak. Fat is a great addition here – especially if it’s uniformly distributed.
Can I Use Another Kind of Meat?
Yes, you can. And aside from beef and lamb meat, shish kabobs can be made from swordfish, chicken, and pork.
How to Cook Shish Kabobs on the Grill?
I have made these kebabs about 3 times in the past two weeks, just playing around with it. And it never disappoints. The main reason why I can just freely prepare it ’cause it’s super easy to prepare. Here’s how to cook these shish kabobs on the grill:
- First, after marinating the meat for hours, start preparing the skewers for the meat. If using wooden skewers soak in water for about 20 minutes to prevent them from burning.
- Next, preheat the grill to medium high heat. Thread the beef, onion and bell pepper onto the skewers. For even cooking, separate the beef from the vegetables. And let it each item cook to desired doneness, thereby preventing over or under cooking.
- Try not to load the skewers with too much meat or vegetables.
- Lastly, grill for 8-10 minutes total until the meat is done to desired liking.
As for the marinade, there are really no strict rules to follow. But if you are after the best, rich-flavored beef kebabs that will make you moan with pleasure, then I’d say marinate it at least two hours or preferably overnight. This would give time for the flavor to penetrate every inch of the meat.
If there are any spices that you don’t particularly care for, then leave it out. Just the garlic and peppers alone will make it really tasty. I sometimes play around with the spices and add or take some out to suit my mood.
It’s your kebab — make it work for you!!!
What Other Vegetables Can I Add?
That’s a great thing about this recipe. You can certainly add or substitute veggies from any of the list below:
- cherry tomatoes
- baby red or yukon potatoes that have been pre-boiled until tender enough
- zucchini sliced into discs
- yellow squash
- pineapple chunks (highly recommended)
Want to turn this shish kebab into a party? Don’t worry, I got you! Make it with this easy whole grain couscous- use the leftover vegetables to to make a quick and easy couscous. And don’t forget to pair it with my all-time favorite East African pan-grilled bread Chapati. You’re all set for a flavorful, smokey dish!
More Skewered Recipes To Enjoy
- Peri Peri Marinated Chicken Skewers
- Curry Beef Satay Skewers
- Marinated Grilled Shrimp
- Spicy Suya
- Grill Caribbean Coconut Shrimp
- Suya Chicken
This post was first published on July 2017 and has been updated for additional content.
- ½ teaspoons nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon all spice
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon pepper flakes
- 1- teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 medium cloves)
- 2 pounds beef Sirloin , New York Steak, Ribeye - cut into chunks
- 3 Tablespoons or more extra-virgin olive oil (sub with vegetable oil)
- 1 large white or red onion , cut into chunks
- 2 bell peppers - red and green , cut into chunks
- 2 cups Couscous
- 1-2 Tablespoons Butter or olive oil
- 1 cup corn thawed , rinsed
- 1 cup bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups broth or water
- Combine nutmeg, thyme, cumin, allspice, white pepper, freshly ground pepper and red pepper flakes, in a small bowl.
- Add to the beef chunks and evenly coat, then add garlic , soy sauce, and desired amount of oil. (I usually start with 1 Tablespoon, add more as needed until every inch of beef is coated )
- Lightly salt.
- Tightly cover beef with plastic or place beef in a large resealable plastic bag. Let beef marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight
- Preheat the grill to medium high heat. Thread the beef, onion and bell pepper onto the skewers.
- Grill for 8-10 minutes until the meat is done to desired liking.
- Add stock or water to medium sauce pan together with butter, salt, vegetables and bring to a boil.
- Gently stir in the couscous. Turn off heat, cover and let steam for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve with Kebabs.
Tips & Notes:
- Shish kebab are usually made with tenderloin . However, don’t waste your money getting beef tenderloin opt for ribeye, New York steak or sirloin instead. It is not as flavorful as the other cuts and meat. Annd is quite pricey . Your wallet and taste buds would thank you.
- For even cooking , separate the beef from the vegetables. It lets cook each item to desired doneness, thereby preventing over or under cooking. You can either use stainless steel skewers or wooden- they both work.
- If using wooden skewers soak in water for about 20 minutes to prevent them from burning.
- Try not to load the skewers with too much meat or vegetable , it might weigh it down and cause it to split apart. You can use two skewers per kebab, it helps flipping it over.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.