Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Recipe: Shish Kebab Marinade

Have you ever grated an onion?

I spotted this recipe in the weekend paper, had a craving, so I tried to make it.

Beef Shish Kebabs (Sun Herald, 17/1/2010, Karen Martini)
Serves 4-6 (8 kebabs)
2 brown onions, grated in a bowl with 2tbsp salt on top. Leave for 10 minutes, then strain and discard the solids.
1 tsp extra salt
4 cloves garlic
4 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp caraway seeds (I substituted Nigella seeds)
Pound the above ingredients in a mortar and pestle, then add
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
2 tsp harissa
Juice of 2 lemons
Onion 'juice'
1/2 bunch flat leafed parsley
1 bunch coriander (it's fine without it)
Then marinate the following for 4-6 hours:
900g scotch fillet, diced (I used whole steak)
Skewer and chargrill the kebabs (steak) over high heat for 3 minutes on each side until tender & just cooked.
Serve with plain yoghurt, drizzled with a little olive oil & freshly baked flatbread.

I thought that I could get away with dicing the onion, but you don't get the amount of onion 'juice' that you need. I then tried to retro-grate the onion by using my microplane and its attachment for grating very small things, but really: just grate the darn onion from the start.

I forgot to buy harissa, so substituted Indonesian chilli sauce (Brand: Capibu Jari Jempol Sambal Asli), which worked quite well. The smoked paprika added the smoky flavour, without needing to char the meat.

I found that adding the paprika after the lemon and onion juice worked better for me; if I I squashed it using the mortar and pestle, the paprika turned paste-like and didn't meld well with the marinade

You can marinate this overnight with beef, in accordance with the instructions, or you can spike them meat with a fork and marinate it in the time it takes to warm up the bbq. The flavour isn't as intense as an overnight marinade, but if you have some of this stuff lying around, it is quite acceptable.


Also - (attempt no. 3) don't try to take a shortcut by not straining the onion is also a mistake. I ended up with a kind of paste that the meat didn't really absorb as a flavour.


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