Sunday, April 24, 2011

Syrian Beef Kebabs















Something a little different for Passover (oops, that's the title of a Hadassah cookbook, sorry ...).    This recipe is inherently pesadik since nothing in it is chometz.  Pine nuts (aka Pignolias) are available K-for-P, but if they are not available in your area, substitute slivered almonds or to get a similar exotic crunch.

Tip Alert!  In the reinventing-the-wheel department, I once discovered that if you pour the contents of a small can of plain tomato sauce into a small pot, heat to simmer then lower heat and go iron shirts forget about it for 15 minutes, it magically becomes a couple tablespoons of tomato paste.

The original recipe suggests tossing these kebabs on the grill, with or without skewers, but they broil beautifully as well.

Don't use very lean beef.   The extra fat helps to flavor the kebabs before it oozes out all over the baking sheet or flares up on the grill.

Syrian Beef Kebabs - Easy
adapted from The Jewish Hostess
Yield: 6-8 servings.

Cooking spray
1 small onion
2 lbs.ground beef (80-85% lean)
4 Tbl. (4 ozs.) tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbl. lemon (about 1/2 of a large lemon)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper)
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/3. cup pine nuts (optional)

Preheat broiler.  Take a large piece of aluminum foil and smoosh it together.  Carefully unsmoosh it, then place on a rimmed baking sheet, leaving all those ridges in foil to allow grease to drop under and away from kebabs.  Lightly mist foil with cooking spray.  Set aside.
  














Chop the onion as fine as you can.  Or care.














Place ground beef in a large bowl;  add onions and all remaining ingredients.  Using your hands, break up the beef while mixing everything just until combined (overworking the beef can make tough kebabs).














Form mixture into torpedo shaped kebabs about 1 inch by 3 inches or into small patties.














 Place kebabs on a prepared baking sheet; refrigerate at least 30 minutes.  Refrigeration helps prevent the kebabs from falling apart during cooking.

About 15 minutes before cooking, turn on broiler. 














Broil kebabs at least 6 inches from heat source 4-5 minutes, or until browned.














Flip kebabs, then broil another 3-5 minutes or until charred to your liking.  These are cooked medium.  Notice all the grease that successfully escaped.

Serve hot with your favorite veggie.  These are also great with cole slaw (made with Passover-friendly mayonnaise) or cucumber salad.  When Passover is over, serve with pita bread and hummus.


















One kebab, please!  Hold the onion.

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