Colourful and juicy, these Beef Kabobs are made using marinated steak pieces to infuse with extra flavour and tenderise. I’ve used capsicum/peppers, red onion and mushroom here, but there’s a plethora of other vegetables that could be used!
I don’t know if it’s “normal” to marinate beef for kebabs, but the reason why I do it is because I reserve premium beef cuts for cooking as steaks or roasting to medium rare for special occasions. So I use better value beef cuts for kebabs and as a consequence, I’ve always marinated them to tenderise, add juiciness and a hint of flavour.
I don’t mean to talk down Beef Kabobs, because they are fabulously moorish, and if your budget stretches to using $50/kg beef fillet to make kebabs for a backyard barbie, I want your life!
THE BEEF KABOB MARINADE
The marinade I use for these Beef Kabobs is my everyday Steak Marinade. It’s savoury with a hint of sweet, and made with pantry essentials – soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, pepper and oil.
And yes, you read that right – soy sauce is in the marinade. No, it doesn’t make it taste Asian-y in the slightest! It’s basically the brine for the marinade, making it ultra juicy.
THE ART OF KABOB THREADING
Just kidding – it’s not an art at all!
There’s no science behind the order in which I thread the beef and vegetables onto the skewers. I always start it with every intention of making them look the same, but I lose focus very quickly. So as you can see below, my skewers are a hodgepodge of random order.
Having said that though, I do follow these Kabob-Threading-Rules:
1. Don’t smush everything together tightly. Thread pretty loosely so some heat can get in between – this helps cook the vegetables more evenly (rather than charred edges and crunchy raw in the middle);
2. Cut your veggies so they are the same size as the meat to encourage even cooking (sometimes I even trim the veggies after threading); and
3. Two pieces of veggies between each piece of beef – it just makes the beef go further so you get 8 big kabobs from 750g/1.5lb of beef, and a nice hit of veggies per serving.
Just to be clear, I totally made these rules up myself. In case it wasn’t obvious…
Hands down, the best way to cook Beef Kabobs is on the barbie. But of course, when I went to do just that for the video, I found that I was out of gas. So I had to try to cook them on the stove – but the skewers are too long for my skillets so I could only fit in 2 at a time on the diagonal.
They looked ridiculous.
But they were still just as tasty!! – Nagi x
PS I don’t know for certain if it’s kabobs or kebabs. I’ve seen skewered meats onTurkish/Lebanese restaurants as kebobs and when I think of kebabs, I think of Doner Kebabs. So I’ve gone with Kabob!
TRY THESE ON THE SIDE
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
As noted above, I had to cook these in a skillet because I ran out of BBQ gas. Because the skewers are so long, I could only fit 2 in at a time – they look ridiculous!!
Marinated Beef Kabobs
Recipe video above. Using a marinade infuses the beef with flavour as well as tenderising so you’ll have juicy steak pieces even if you opt for a more economical cut of beef. Use the reserved marinade to baste the kabobs as they cook for extra flavour! Buy the beef in a block so you can cut them into large cubes. Makes 8 skewers.
- 750g / 1.5 lb beef tri tips (, sirloin steak tips or other steak cut, (Note 1))
- 3 capsicum / bell peppers ((red, yellow green))
- 1 large red onion
- 16 small mushrooms (, 3.25cm / 1.3″ wide)
- 1 tsp minced garlic ((2 large garlic clove))
- 1 tsp onion powder ((or sub with garlic powder))
- 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce ((Note 2))
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil ((or other neutral flavoured oil))
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 16 flat metal skewers (, 25 – 30cm / 10 – 12″ (Note 3))
- Olive oil (, for drizzling and cooking)
- Finely chopped parsley (, garnish (optional))
- Cut the beef into 3.25cm / 1.3″ wide cubes.
- Mix Marinade in a bowl. Add beef. Marinate for 1 – 24 hours, minimum 20 minutes.
- Cut capsicum and onion into 3.25cm / 1.3″ wide squares.
Thread beef (reserve Marinade), vegetables and mushrooms on each skewer. I use 2 pieces of vegetables between each piece of beef. Thread loosely – don’t smush together tightly (helps even cooking).
Brush kebabs lightly with Reserved Marinade (including vegetables), then drizzle with olive oil.
Heat BBQ or large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil, then when smoking, cook kebabs in batches for 2 minutes on each side until slightly charred (4 sides = 8 minutes in total), basting with Reserved Marinade as you go.
Transfer to plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 3 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley if desired. See note for pictured Pink Dipping Sauce.
1. Tri tips and sirloin steak tips are the pointy ends of rump and sirloin respectively. They are ideal for kebabs because they have great beef flavour, hold up well in a cube shape, are juicy cuts and are more economical than expensive steak cuts that I reserve for cooking as steaks.
In Australia, Tri Tips is part of the Curious Cuts economical range sold at Harris Farms – described as the best part of the rump, and I agree!
Sirloin steak tips are not sold in Australia, except by special order at butchers. The sirloin tips are kept attached for roasts. They are more common in the States – sometimes labelled as “flap meat”.
Alternative cuts: Use any other quick grilling cut of beef EXCEPT those that need to be sliced thinly against the grain to be tender to the bite (eg skirt, flank). Rump, sirloin/porterhouse/New York strip (same thing), economical fillets etc. Buy it in a block so you can cut big cubes.
2. Don’t worry, it won’t taste Asiany. Soy sauce is a brilliant brine to tenderise meat. Use all purpose or light soy sauce. Do not use dark or sweet soy sauce.
3. If using bamboo skewers and cooking on the grill, soak in water for 30 minutes before using and use 2 skewers per kebab, side by side about 1cm apart, so the meat doesn’t spin when you turn them (which is what happens if you use 1 skewer).
4. Pink Steak Sauce pictured in top photo is kind of like Yum Yum Sauce which is the sauce served at Japanese steakhouses in the States. The Kabobs are so juicy, it really isn’t required, but I know some people are big fans of Sauce! I used: 1/3 cup mayo, about 1 tbsp ketchup, dash of tabasco (or hot sauce) to taste, 2 – 3 tbsp milk (or water), 1/2 garlic clove minced, pinch of sugar. Mix, thin with milk as desired, and set aside for 10 minutes.
5. Nutrition per skewer.
LIFE OF DOZER
Headed down south of Sydney to a country cabin on the weekend. Dozer spent the entire time gazing (like below) and grazing (on wallaby poo and all other manner of animal droppings littered all over the property ).
He managed to wiggle out of his collar once* and took off after something he heard rustling in the bushes. His pursuit led him to a tight shrub in which he got stuck, so I managed to catch up to him and had to literally haul him out by grabbing his tail, then his butt fur, then eventually grabbing his collar. He got in so much trouble!!!
* For those playing catch up: Dozer busted his knee a couple of months ago and had to undergo surgery. We’re 8 weeks into a 12 – 16 week post op recovery period, and he thinks he is 100% healed.