The cost per serving for this recipe is almost double than most my recipes, but when I stop to think about how much this would cost in a restaurant, I'm very, very happy. It might not be an every night splurge, but it's very worth it for a Friday date night or lazy Sunday afternoon with the fam. Also, I served my kebabs over rice, but didn't include that in the price because you could serve these with any number of sides (pasta salad, garden salad, rice pilafs, fresh rolls... many options).
Kebabs are definitely best on the grill, but I, like many people, don't have a grill. So, I cooked these kebabs under my broiler. Broilers are very similar to grills in that they cook food via direct heat at a close range. I have a gas stove, so my broiler is even closer to a grill because there is an open flame. Every oven is different and when cooking hot and fast (as with a broiler), you'll really need to just test out the cook time with your particular oven. In other words: keep an eye on it! Mine took about 5-7 minutes on each side at a distance of about 4-5 inches from the heat source.
Balsamic Beef Kebabs
Total Recipe cost: $16.95
Servings Per Recipe: 6 (2 kebabs each)
Cost per serving: $2.82
Prep time: 15 min. Marinate time: 1-4 hrs. Cook time: 15 min. Total: 1 hr. 30 min.
|2 lb.||top round roast||$10.01|
|1/3 cup||balsamic vinegar||$0.96|
|1 Tbsp||olive oil||$0.18|
|1/2 tsp||worcestershire sauce||$0.02|
|2 cloves||garlic, minced||$0.16|
|2 medium||bell peppers||$0.99|
|1 large||red onion||$1.45|
|8 oz.||button mushrooms||$2.50|
|2 Tbsp||balsamic vinegar||$0.40|
|1 Tbsp||olive oil||$0.18|
STEP 1: Cut the beef roast into one inch cubes (or 36 pieces of roughly the same size). In a small bowl combine 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 tsp of salt, and some freshly cracked black pepper. Pour the marinade into a zip top bag, add the beef cubes, and marinate for at least an hour.
STEP 2: Lightly wipe off the mushrooms and cut each one in half. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbsp of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and some more pepper. Toss the mushrooms to coat, and refrigerate until you're ready to make the kebabs.
STEP 3: Just before you're ready to make the kebabs, cut the bell pepper and red onion into one inch pieces. Preheat the broiler on high. Take the meat and mushrooms out of the refrigerator and begin to build your kebabs. If you cut 36 pieces of beef, make sure each kebab has 3 pieces.
STEP 4: Coat a broiler pan with non-stick spray. Place the kebabs on top (6 at a time). Adjust the oven rack so that the top of the broiler pan will be about 4-5 inches from the heat source. Place the kebabs in the oven and broil for 5-7 minutes, turn the kebabs over, and broil for another 5-7 minutes on the second side. Every oven is different, so check your first batch after 3-4 minutes. You will want to flip the kebabs when they have achieved a crispy brown exterior. Use that time as a guide for the rest of your kebabs.
Step By Step Photos
This is the roast that I bought. Many stores will have kebab meat already cut, but they may charge more per pound for it. This "top round roast" is flat like a steak, but about an inch or so thick. Also, since the kebabs will cook quickly, you will want a meat that does not have a lot of connective tissue running through it. Connective tissue breaks down and gets soft when you cook long and slow, but does not during quick cooking, like with grills or broilers.
First I cut the beef into one inch cubes. I wanted to make sure that I had enough for three pieces of beef for all 12 kebabs, so I cut a few cubes on the diagonal until I had 36 pieces.
Next, mix up the marinade. Combine 2 cloves minced garlic (not pictured), with 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce, about a 1/2 tsp of salt, and a generous helping of freshly cracked pepper.
Add the marinade and beef chunks to a zip top bag, mix it all up, and then refrigerate fro 1 to 4 hours.
Mushrooms are like little flavor sponges, so I wanted to marinate those too. I kept the rest of the vegetables fresh and not marinated because I didn't want everything to taste exactly the same. To marinate the mushrooms, throw them into a bowl or container and sprinkle with a little more balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss them to coat and refrigerate them until you're ready.
Cut the onion and bell pepper into one inch chunks as well.
If you have a broiler pan, coat it lightly with non-stick spray. If you don't have one, you can simply place some wire cooling racks over a baking sheet. This will keep the kebabs up and out of the juices as they drip off. Adjust the rack in your oven so that the tops of the kebabs will be 4-5 inches from the heat source (make sure the top of the pan/kebabs will be at that distance, not the ove rack itself). Turn the broiler on high to preheat. Build the kebabs by alternating vegetables and meat. I made sure that I had 3 pieces of meat and 2 mushrooms per kebab (since those were the yummiest pieces!).
So here is the slightly tricky part... every oven is different. My broiler is a gas flame, yours may be an electric element. Your 4-5 inches may be slightly different than my 4-5 inches were... SO, you have to keep an eye on them. Let them cook for a few minutes and then give them a peek. When they achieve a nice brown, almost crispy on the edges color, flip them over and cook the second side. Mine took about 5-7 minutes on each side. Also, use your nose as a guide. When you start to smell that awesome caramelized beef scent, you know you're about ready to flip them.
I served mine over jasmine rice because it's my absolute favorite! To bring these as my work lunch, I simply put some rice in a container and then slid the meat and vegetable pieces off of the stick and into the bowl. Lunch has been a happy time the past few days :D