A late Sunday arvo, out in the yard, kids rolling and tumbling, adults at the ready as smoke fills the air and the smell of barbecue billows.
The tabouli is all set, hummus, mu’tabal (baba ganoush) and fresh Lebanese bread all waiting to be consumed as a row of skewers sizzle and grill side by side.
For my family, most if not all, Sundays are spent out by the barbie cooking up a storm. We love our barbecues!
And if there’s one thing Aussies and the Lebanese have in common it’s their love of a good barbecue…for both it’s a rite of passage and just as sacred.
Nowadays we are not exactly ‘throwing shrimp on the barbie’ or just lighting up to grill some sausages. I believe the traditional Australian barbecue has come a long way from that. Not that there’s anything wrong with the average ‘sausage sizzle’. I mean who doesn’t love a sausage on a piece of white bread lathered in margarine and a good squeeze of sauce! These days, though, I think you can take a BBQ from average to amazing with an array of marinated meat kebabs and gourmet salads.
My BBQ menu always includes a type of meat on skewers (usually beef), a dip (hummus, of course) and a salad.
Choosing the right type of meat to BBQ is important.
If you’re looking to cook something new, I recommend buying secondary cuts such as flank steaks (a cut from the abdominal muscles or lower chest) or tri-tip (from the bottom sirloin sub-primal cut), both relatively inexpensive too.
For me, better quality cuts of meat tend to work best giving the most tender result. They can also be cooked quickly and easily, yet still have such a delicate, melt-in-your mouth flavour.
This week I’ve got a great meat skewer or kebab recipe for you and let me tell you this not just a meat skewer, it’s a succulently spiced beef kebab that will have all your family and friends lining up around the barbie wanting more!
In this recipe you can use sirloin or porterhouse steaks that are tender with a strip of fat along the edge. For a deliciously tender and juicy result, choose beef cuts with a beautifully consistent marble of fat – all the more for added moisture and flavour. The spicy marinade with tangy, lemony sumac and earthy/nutty undertones of cumin is so easy to prepare and once you’ve coated the meat, it doesn’t need long to marinate at all. I make sure my kebabs are at room temperature before I sear to medium rare on a clean barbecue or a hot (thick, heavy-based) grill, making sure to create a charred crusty exterior and a tender pink inner.
These will be a hit at your next barbecue I’m sure, because my family love them!
- 1kg sirloin / porterhouse steaks (cut into 3cm cubes)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sumac
- 1 teaspoon rock salt
- ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 red capsicum (deseeded, cut into 3cm squares)
- 1 green capsicum (deseeded, cut into 3cm squares)
- If using wooden skewers, pre-soak them in cold water for about one hour. This will stop the skewers from burning when in contact with heat.
- In a mortar and pestle, add whole peppercorns and rock salt. Grind until you have a fine ground. Add cumin and garlic and pound until well combined and garlic resembles a paste. Add olive oil and mix through. Set aside.
- Thread beef cubes onto skewers, alternating with red and green capsicum. You should be able to fit four cubes of beef and three squares of capsicum onto each skewer.
- Place beef kebabs on a tray and using a pastry brush, brush marinade onto all sides of the beef kebab. Cover tray and refrigerate for one hour. If short on time, refrigerating isn’t essential.
- Preheat a barbecue or grill on high until hot. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook the beef kebabs for four minutes on one side. Turn and cook for a further two minutes for medium rare. Leave to rest for six minutes before serving.
Serve with your choice of salad and a side of hummus (you can get my hummus recipe here ).
*This post is in collaboration with and sponsored by Australian Beef. Opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. Find more info about Australian Beef on Facebook, Instagram or their website .