Friday, May 16, 2014

Cafe Drake HRV Does Arabic Beef Kebabs

Our kebab recipe was invented last week when dreaming of the Arabic stretch of Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens and its myriad kebab shops, some Egyptian, some Persian, some Tunisian, some Lebanese. Normally we'd make these with ground lamb but we depleted our small supply in the freezer and didn't fancy a trip to the grocer's on a rainy night. Turns out beef works great as a substitute, especially the grass-fed variety we used. Let's get started by combining in a mixing bowl: 1 lb. grass-fed, humanely raised ground beef, 2 t. each ground cumin and whole coriander seeds, 1 t. caraway seeds, 1 t. ground allspice, 1-2 t. salt, 2 t. paprika and a large dash of cayenne pepper. Mix well and let rest, covered for about 45 minutes at room temperature.

While the meat rests in its dry marinade, slice 1 large onion into thick rings and slice 2 tomatoes, on the thick side as well. Take 5-6 green chilies and halve lengthwise. Arrange all in a single layer on a baking sheet. No need to oil the baking sheet as the rendered fat from the beef will prevent sticking.

Form the beef into kebab/sausage shapes, each approximately the same size. One pound of ground beef should make 6-8 kebabs. Place the kebabs atop the vegetables and broil for around 5 minutes total, flipping the kebabs once, halfway through the cooking time.

When properly cooked the kebabs will be browned but still moist inside and the vegetables just slightly cooked, with a texture reminiscent of a few minutes on a grill.

Dinner at Cafe Drake HRV: Beef Kebabs, Bulgur Pilaf, Broiled Veggies, Kale, Tahini Sauce and Tiny Pickles.


Be sure to garnish kebabs and veggies liberally with fresh parsley and mint leaves.

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