Over the last couple of months I have prepared and perfected a kebab recipe to my liking. Shish kebab is the Armenian word for "skewer," It is a dish consisting of meat threaded on a skewer and grilled. Any kind of meat may be used; cubes of fruit or vegetables are often threaded on the spit as well. Typical vegetables include tomato, bell pepper, onions, and mushrooms.
In Southern Africa they are often made using pork, beef, lamb and chicken. Onion slices, bell pepper, pineapple and mushrooms are often added to the skewer. I love a mixture of vegetables and meat with something sweet also added. On different occasions have used plum slices, peach slices and pineapple.
Photo courtesy Jenn whos photo was better than mine and whose excellent recipe is here
I always cook Shish Kebabs over wood coals, but of course it can be done over charcoal, gas or in the oven. Try and just "catch" the caramel sauce so that you get a very slight charring.
The marinade is quite important and there are many variations. Here is a recipe which works really well and I recently prepared for my family visiting from New Zealand and Zimbabwe.
Serves 6 with plenty of left-overs
1kg pork fillet, leg chops, shoulder or whatever cut is cheap. I used leg chops. Cut into matchbox size chunks.
1 kg of beef rump steak. You can also use ribeye or fillet. Cut into matchbox size chunks.
3 onions cut in half lengthways and separated into flakes. Then spend a bit of time trimming the flakes to roughly round shapes, sort of matchbox size.
1 large bell pepper also cut to round matchbox sizes
20 button mushrooms, stalks removed or trimmed flush
(by the way, keep all the above trimmings in the fridge for a soup, stew or similar dish)
Pineapple slices cut into suitable matchbox size rounds. I use fresh pineapple if available.Try peach halves if you can get them, either canned or fresh.
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato puree concentrate.
half cup good red wine. Cabernet or Pinotage or a Claret
half cup brown sugar or preferably honey.
about 2 tablespoons grated fresh garlic
about 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
3 chillies chopped finely
Pinch of ground cloves.
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary.
2 teaspoons salt.
Mix the marinade ingredients well making sure all the sugar is dissolved. Put the meat cubes into the marinade and then toss them every hour or so for a whole day. (Start this in the morning if you are going to barbeque in the evening)
Starting with meat alternately skewer pork, pineapple,beef,onion,mushroom,pork, pepper etc. Obviously this order is entirely to your taste, but as a general guide, pork is best next to the sweet pineapple or other fruit and beef next to savoury onion or pepper.
I then pile all the shish kebabs up on a dish and pour the marinade over them a few times.
Next. Get cooking and basting. Turn the skewers once or twice and try and end up slightly burning some tips and edges of the meat for flavour.
I served these with sweetcorn boiled, and tumbled in butter, cracked black pepper and a teaspoon of lemon zest.
photo credit emily of food porn