Flavorful kebabs that are super simple to make!
Kebabs cooked over the grill are always a huge hit. And, just because we are eating healthy, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy this flavorful dish. The trick is to maximize flavor using natural ingredients that come together to create a fabulous and nutritious feast! Our balsamic steak and tomato kebabs will do just that!
Developing the Flavor Profile
The secret to our tasty kebabs is to begin with a marinade. Marinades generally serve two purposes:
- They add flavor.
- They help tenderize our protein.
In order to do the latter, it’s important to include some acid in our marinade. Acids actually perform a few different functions. First, they help break down the connective tissue in meat, which can slightly tenderize the meat. In this case, the acid in our marinade comes from Balsamic vinegar.
The acid has a second benefit: it helps the flavor of the marinade penetrate the meat more deeply. And, that leads us to the first purpose highlighted above — the flavor!
Balsamic vinegar is a highly flavored, intense vinegar that is going to be the base of our marinade. Because of its deep concentrated flavor, we won’t need much…just 1/4 cup will do. We will also have another spot of acid in the next ingredient in our marinade, the barbecue sauce. Granted it’s only a little, but there is vinegar in most barbecue sauces. There’s also gobs of flavor in it, so we’ll drop another 1/4 cup of this into our mix.
Then, we continue to build on our flavors: minced garlic (I mean, you gotta have garlic!), Dijon mustard (again, another little zip of acid, and lots of flavors!), some dried oregano for an herby boost, as well as salt and freshly ground pepper. Whisk all these fabulous ingredients together!
Where’s the Beef?
We promised you “beef kebabs” and beef you shall have! Our recipe calls for sirloin steak, which is a relatively affordable cut of beef. While the basic category of “sirloin” has several different cuts, “top sirloin” (the top of the muscle piece), is the most popular. This is due to its tenderness and flavor. Compared to other steaks, such as New York, Porterhouse, or Ribeye, the sirloin is quite a bit leaner. You can certainly prepare this recipe with any of the steak variations, just know that the nutritional information will be different from what this recipe shows.
For our kebabs, we’ll cut the steak into 1-inch chunks. Once the steak has been cut, toss the chunks in the marinade, cover, and allow to marinate for 3 hours or more. This gives the meat sufficient time to tenderize a bit, and allows those tasty flavors to infuse the meat!
Once you have marinated the steak to your preference, remove the chunks from the marinade. Place each chunk on a skewer alternating steak with a tomato. You can discard the remaining liquid, but if you want to use the leftover marinade to baste your steak during cooking, heat it up in a small pot until boiling. Then, allow it to cool a bit before continuing to cook the steak.
To Grill or Not to Grill?
We all agree that grilling is fabulous for adding extra flavor to meats like steak. You have that option in this recipe. But, there are times when, for a number of reasons — time, convenience, weather — it just doesn’t fit into your day. So, if you aren’t grilling your kebabs, heat a pan (cast iron is fabulous, if you have for that added “sear factor) with a little avocado oil. Cook your kebabs, turning them part way through cooking, for about 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on your desired doneness. Keep in mind that, since you are cooking chunks of steak and not a whole steak, the pieces will cook faster than you might be used to, so just use a meat thermometer to check in the middle of a thick piece if you’re not sure.
That’s it! You are ready for a delicious dinner that has loads of flavor without much muss or fuss! Maybe just put together a quick salad as a side, or serve on a bed of rice, depending on your preferences. Either way, we are sure you’ll love these steakhouse-flavored kebabs.
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup barbecue sauce
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound sirloin cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
In a large glass bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar, barbecue sauce, dijon mustard, dried oregano, kosher salt and black pepper. Place the steak in the bowl and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours.
Coat your grill or a large skillet with the avocado oil. Heat the grill or skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until the steak is done.
Make sure to cut the steak into uniform pieces so it cooks evenly.
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 5
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