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The Weekend Chef

Weekend Chef: Get your summer grill on with rosemary steak kabobs!

Posted 4:40pm on Thursday, Jun. 07, 2012

Grilling season is here! Actually, with the mild winter we had this year, I was grilling all year long. But there is something about the start of the summer grill season that kicks my grilling into overdrive.

Sure, everybody grills hamburgers and hot dogs for Memorial Day, but there seems to be a little confusion on what to grill next. Well, if you are looking for something fun and tasty, try beef kabobs. There is just something about cubes of beef and veggies stuck on a stick over a flaming grill that screams fun!

So here’s some basic kabob tips I have picked up over the years to help you get your grill on this summer.

Kabob tips

This being Texas, beef kabobs are king. So skip the chicken and shrimp and go for the beef.

When buying beef for kabobs, I do a quick check for whatever steaks are on sale. I am surprised how often I find Strip, T-Bone and Rib-eye steaks on sale for less than Top Round or Sirloin. Last week I found Strip steaks for $3.99 a pound at Tom Thumb.

Use wood skewers when grilling beef. Metal skewers conduct heat that can overcook the middle of your beef cubes. Just be sure to soak the wood skewers in water for at least 30 minutes so they don’t burn.

Try rosemary branches as skewers for added flavor. I found some rosemary branches to use as skewers at my local Tom Thumb. Just peel off the sprigs of rosemary along the branch (leaving a few on top) to make a skewer. Check out the slideshow above on how to do this.

Baste kabobs on the grill for extra flavor. I make a baste of olive oil, butter, garlic and fresh herbs that I keep on the grill next to the kabobs to brush on for added flavor. I also like making the brush for the baste out of herbs by tying some sprigs of herbs together on a stick (also in the slideshow.) I picked this up from Adam Perry Lang’s BBQ 25 cookbook.

Rosemary Steak Kabobs

  • 2 to 3 Strip, T-Bone or Rib-eye steaks cut up into 1½ to 2 inch cubes.
  • Assorted vegetables (onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms are some of my favorites) cut up into 1½ to 2 inch pieces.
  • 1 head of garlic
  • A handful of rosemary sprigs
  • A handful of thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • ½ stick of butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 - 8 wood or rosemary skewers (1 to 2 per person)

If using rosemary branches for skewers, peel off sprigs along branch, leaving a few sprigs of rosemary on top. You should have something that looks like a rosemary arrow.

Soak branches or wood skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.

Mince garlic, rosemary and thyme and stir into a small bowl with a half cup of olive oil. Save a few sprigs of both the rosemary and thyme to make herb brush later.

Put steak cubes in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of the garlic-rosemary mixture and mix in with your hands. Set aside for 30 minutes to let the steak cubes come up to room temperature.

In another bowl, add vegetables and season with salt, pepper and a tablespoon of the garlic-rosemary mixture.

Make sure your rosemary/wood skewers have a sharp edge. If not, whittle a sharp point on the end with a paring or pocketknife.

Alternate skewering vegetables and meat onto skewers.

If using rosemary skewers, wrap the sprigs on the end with foil to keep from burning.

Heat grill to medium-high heat.

While grill is heating up, make basting liquid by mixing the leftover garlic-rosemary mixture with the butter and the rest of the olive oil in a small pan. Make herb brush by tying sprigs of herbs to the end of a stick.

Once the grill is heated up, place kabobs on grill over direct heat. Place pan with basting liquid on grill next to kabobs and close lid.

Every 3 to 4 minutes, open lid and turn kabobs with tongs, then baste using the herb brush and close lid.

Kabobs should be ready in 12 to 15 minutes. You can squeeze the steak cubes with your tongs to keep track on how fast they are cooking.

When done, pull off the grill and let rest for 5 minutes.

Unwrap foil from sprigs and serve.

Be sure to check out the slideshow above for step-by-step pictures.

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