Beef Kebabs with Muhammara

Cumin Kebobs with Muhammara

This meal is a real family favorite.  The combination of flavors are slightly exotic and complex. I love to make this for company because I can prep everything ahead of time and just grill the kebabs right before serving.  Guests always rave about it.  Muhammara is a Middle Eastern spread typically consisting of roasted red peppers, toasted walnuts, bread crumbs and olive oil. It makes the meal!  Don’t skip it!

Adapted from Gourmet, August 2009

This spread is great with almost anything. Serve it up as an appetizer with fresh veggies or dollop some on your next omelette or sandwich.

2 (7-8 oz) jars roasted red peppers, sliced, drained
1-2 slices sandwich bread, enough to make 1 cup of breadcrumbs (substitute GF bread, if necessary)
1 C. chopped, toasted walnuts (350 degrees, 7 mins.)
1 T. red wine vinegar
1-2 T. tomato paste, to taste
1 T. pomegranate molasses (or honey)
1/2 t. cumin
1/4 t. sea salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil

  • Place roasted peppers, roughly torn slices of bread, and toasted walnuts in food processor or blender.  Process for a few seconds, turn off, and scrape down sides.  Process for a few seconds more.  The ingredients should resemble a thickish spread.
  • Add seasonings through pinch of cayenne. Process until incorporated.
  • With processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil and process a few seconds more.
  • With the machine off and using a spoon (never stick your fingers in a food processor unless its unplugged!), taste the spread.  What, if anything, does your muhammara need?  A touch more cumin, a dash more of red wine vinegar, a tiny bit more salt?  Use moderation in your additions.

Adapted from Gourmet, August 2009

I like to use sirloin steaks for beef kebabs, as this cut always stays nice and moist. These are a little pricier, but well worth it. You can also skewer up some veggies (I love to use whole cherry tomatoes and zucchini slices) to make the meat go further. Note that my beef cubes aren’t bunched up too close together. For even cooking leave a little space between each piece of meat.

2 lb. beef sirloin steak (lamb would also be wonderful)
1/4 C. olive oil
1 T. dried oregano
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
1 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne

  • Cut your steak into approximately 1″ cubes, avoiding any big chunks of fat (some fat/marbling is good and keeps the meat tender). Toss in a container for marinating.
  • Add remaining ingredients to container and stir around to coat the meat, cover and refrigerate 30 mins – 2 hours (up to 8 hours).
  • Oil grill rack and then prep grill for medium-high to high heat.
  • Thread meat on skewers, leaving space between each piece.
  • Grill a couple of minutes on each side, until meat is nicely browned but still a little pink inside.
  • Serve immediately with red pepper spread on the side.

Note: Beef kebabs always cook in a flash for me. I would hang out by the grill while these are cooking.  You can also broil these in the oven on a sheet pan; adjust your oven rack to about 3 inches from your broiler.

5 thoughts on “Beef Kebabs with Muhammara

  1. Hi Lara, Thanks again for the yummy salad tonight. Especially those nuts.:) I love your blog your pictures they are so creative and fun to look at. As for the meals you do make my mouth water and only wish I had the gumption to try some of these recipes. Maybe someday!! Have a great week.

    1. Thanks Andrea. I hope you try making the caramelized nuts sometime. Kudos on the great dinner idea for a crowd.

  2. Lara…oh my I’m already hooked. Michael and I went through cook books this last weekend. He is a cumin hound so I will certainly share this with him. I will try one of the recipes this week.
    Thanks for thinking of us. 🙂

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