A kabob is simply pieces of meat (usually cut into 1 or 2 inch size pieces), vegetables or fruit threaded on skewers, which are then grilled or broiled. All pieces are cut about the same size before being put on the skewers, this helps them to cook evenly. You will need to keep an eye on kabobs while cooking because it doesn’t take long for them to cook, they’ll need to be rotated often. During cooking, you can brush the kabobs with any remaining marinade, you will have to discard any leftover marinade because it will not keep well due to its exposure to raw meat.
The Purposes and Value of Marinades
Marinades are nifty sauces that perform two functions:
- They add tantalizing flavors, and
- They tenderize grilled or broiled meats and chicken
Marinades are sauces in which meat is soaked to soften and flavor it. Marinades are marvelous for turning an ordinary steak or breast of chicken into an extraordinary flavorful meal.
Herbs and spices are combined with tenderizing ingredients such as lemon juice or vinegar to give the marinade its hearty and robust flavor.
Tenderizing tough cuts of meat is a different story. The role of the acid, in a marinade, is to “break-down” the long protein strands—the part of the meat that causes it to be tough.
A good marinade for tenderizing has an acidic base like vinegar. Some other good acidic bases are: fruit juice, milk, buttermilk and wine may also serve as a marinade’s base. A nice vinaigrette penetrates meat fibers particularly well, as in the recipe below.
The addition of olive oil in the marinade helps the acidic properties penetrate deeper into the meat making it even more tender.
Balsamic Marinated Beef and Veggie Kabobs Recipe
Ingredients you’ll need:
- 4 (8 inch) wooden or metal skewers
- 1 pound package New York Strip or Tenderloin kabob meat (we use grass-fed beef because of its better nutrition and flavor)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
- 1 small red or green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small purple onion, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 (8-ounce) package whole button mushrooms, or Portobella mushrooms cut into 1′ pieces
If using wooden skewers, soak in water to cover 30 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and pepper. Place beef in a resealable plastic bag or large shallow dish. Pour balsamic mixture over steak, tossing gently. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours (up to 8 hours or overnight).
Preheat grill to medium-high heat (350F to 400F).
Remove beef from marinade and thread steak, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms alternately onto skewers, leaving a 1/4-inch between pieces. Drizzle kabobs with remaining 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar.
Grill kabobs, covered with grill lid, 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve immediately.
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