So, have you ever wanted to make those kefta kabobs you see floating around the Mediterranean restaurants? Well, follow these easy steps and you too can have an awesome meat stuffing for those pita’s you bought on sale! LOL
OK, what you will need for this is dish is the following:
1.5 lbs of beef stew meat
One green bell pepper
One yellow bell pepper
One orange bell pepper
One red bell pepper
1 medium size vidalia onion
4 to 5 cloves of garlic minced
Fresh lemon thyme (regular thyme is good to)
Fresh oregano (you can use dried, I did)
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 of a cucumber sliced very thin
1/4 of a red onion sliced thin
What you will need to start with is the meat so you can marinate it long enough for the fresh herbs to start penetrating it. Take the rosemary, thyme, oregano and garlic, mince till they are fine and place into a medium size bowl with about 2 to 3 tbls of the olive oil. Add the meat, sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp of salt, mix with your hands or a spoon and set aside to marry together. Ok, so you want to let the meat marinate for about half an hour, you can also make this a day ahead to really let the herbs and meat marry.
Grab a small bowl and add about 1/2 C to 1 C of the Greek yogurt. The amount really depends on how dense you want your sauce to be. I like mine to have an equal balance of veggie and yogurt so I put in about 1/2 to 3/4 of the yogurt. You want to start by peeling the cucumber, slice in half and seed it, then slice into thin moon shapes. Grab your 1/4 of the red onion and slice this really thin and add to the yogurt with the cucumbers. Peel and crush one clove of garlic and mine really fine, add to yogurt. Once you have added all the ingredients, sprinkle with a bit of salt to taste and blend well. Set this aside in the fridge till you are ready to serve.
You want to cut out the tops of the pepper, peel the onion and then roughly chop them into nice chunks to divide the meat on the skewers. I happened to have some left over mushrooms from lunch so I cut them into quarters and added them to my skewers and it came out quite tasty so feel free to add or substitute veggies as you want. One of the girls in my office used the bread cheese we can get at the farmers market downtown as a nice additive to her kabobs over the weekend and she said they were quite tasty. Thanks Melissa O. for the added possibility this weekend 🙂
So now it is time to put these bad boys together. It is rather easy, for the meat eater in your life just make some with all meat and they do not have to fight with the veggies 🙂 For the veggie lovers, you can make all veggie kabobs and just brush with some olive oil and sprinkle with some of the herbs. Now for those of us that love the balance of meat and veggie, you want to alternate with the veggies and the meat. I started with a nice chunk of the meat, a pepper, a couple of pieces of the onions and topped that off with a cube of the mushroom. Just keep alternating till you have about 4 pieces of each (thus the 4 colors of the peppers) and set aside. Once you have all the skewers completed, with exception to the all veggie ones, brush the kabobs with the olive oil and herb mixture that is left in the bowl.
Turn your oven all the way on and use your broiler pan if you have it, or you can cook these on a gas grill. I would place the kabobs as close to the flames and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes a side. The meat will dry out if you cook them too long. Once you start to see that the meat is starting to char or getting that nice dark color it is time to turn them. Once you have completely cooked, remove from the broiler or the grill and let rest.
This is a great dish for a BBQ or an outdoor gathering, will feed about 4 people so feel free to double the recipe for larger parties. Hell, triple it if you’d like so everyone can have second. You can serve this dish with warm pitas to make a sandwich or as a side along with some dill rice like most Mediterranean restaurants. If you would like my recipe for the dill rice, check back when I make this recipe using lamb and some other fresh ingredients!