From America's Test Kitchen Season 12: Mediterranean Specials
Most beef kebabs are disappointing, with overcooked meat and vegetables that are either raw or mushy. We wanted to develop a foolproof approach to creating meaty kebabs that looked and tasted like the real thing: chunks of beef with a thick, caramelized char on the outside and a juicy, pink interior, all thoroughly seasoned by a marinade and paired with nicely browned, tender-firm vegetables. For the meat, we chose well-marbled steak tips, with their beefy flavor and tender texture. For the marinade, we included salt for moisture, oil for flavor, and sugar for browning. For even more depth, we used tomato paste, a host of seasonings and herbs, and beef broth. We chose three grill favorites for the vegetables: peppers, onions, and zucchini. Grilling the beef kebabs and vegetables on separate skewers over a two-level fire, which has hotter and cooler areas, allowed us to cook the vegetables over a lower temperature while the beef seared over the hotter area.
For thoroughly seasoned meat with a thick, caramelized crust and tender-crisp vegetables, the typical marinade—and the typical grill setup—would have to go.Watch the Video
Serves 4 to 6
To ensure evenly sized chunks, we prefer to purchase whole steak tips (sometimes labeled “flap meat”) and cut them ourselves. However, if you have long, thin pieces of meat, roll or fold them into approximate 2-inch cubes before skewering. (For more information, see related How-to-Cook.) Two and one-half pounds of blade steak can be substituted for the flap meat; if using, cut the steak in half and remove the gristle that runs through it. You will need four 12-inch metal skewers for this recipe. Our preferred brand of beef broth is Rachael Ray Stock-in-a-Box All-Natural Beef Flavored Stock.