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Looking for shish-kabob and marinade recipes.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am on a limited budget to serve 100 people.
Ideas for the cut of beef and chicken to make the kabobs as well as any suggestions, recipes etc. would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 15
Boneless chicken thighs are cheaper than boneless breasts. For beef I usually only use sirloin or tenderloin. If you want to use a cheaper cut of beef why not use ground chuck and make it into a beef kofta kebab? They are like spicy kebabs but you press the ground meat around the skewer to hold its shape (burger on a stick so to speak).

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #3 of 15
100 people - that's a lot of skewers to fill. What cooking method are you planning for these? Serving on the sticks or pulling off with various wrappers and sauces on the side?

Chicken thighs taste better than breasts, in my opinion, especially in this situation. For the beef I'll also recommend sirloin. There are some pieces of the chuck that could work after marinating, like top blade steaks, though that terminology might not be that common, you might end up with some pretty tough chunks of meat. Sirloin usually gives a good mix of tenderness, flavor and value.

For the chicken I'll suggest a simple sprinkle of salt, pepper and lemon juice for one batch, and some sort of teriyaki style marinade for another. When I make it from scratch it is usually along the lines of 2 parts soy sauce, one part rice vinegar, one part sherry, one part water, seasoned with garlic, fresh ginger root and some brown sugar. Or maybe a Thai style satay with a spicy dipping sauce.

For beef I'll also suggest one batch of lightly seasoned, salt, pepper and garlic powder, served with a barbeque style sauce of some kind. Another batch could lean more towards Greek and Turkish flavors, cumin, turmeric, ground coriander seeds, etc. A nice tzatziki sauce on the side, some warm pitas to wrap it in. If the budget allows, a few skewers of lamb shoulder chunks might be appreciated by some.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Teamfat, thanks, I will be using a charcoal grill, it is an outdoor event.
post #5 of 15
For the chicken -- thighs. Don't even think about anything else.

For the beef -- top sirloin is the minimum for tender enough unless you jaccard first and do some serious marinating. In that case, you can get away with round steak. In quantity, you should be able to get a good deal on top sirloin. Since you're probably cooking over fairly high direct heat, you want something pretty tender to begin with.

FWIW, in those parts of the world where kabab is way of life, they're usually cooked over a fairly slow fire.

You said "shish-kabob," do you have a particular style or ethnic thing in mind? Or, do you just mean chunks of meat threaded on a skewer? The term has a fairly elastic meaning.

post #6 of 15
I wanted to get a chuck roll the a few weeks ago to smoke and shred for pulled beef. Top sirloin was $1 a pound cheaper. The butcher said the Koreans were buying a lot of chuck so the price was being driven up. I picked up the sirloin, gave it a quick smoke to 130 internal. Let it rest overnight then ran it through my slicer for french dips.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have seen it spelled shish, sheesh etc. but basically chunks of meat with onion, green and red pepper maybe mushroom on a skewer. Looking for a unique marinade to really make it special.
post #8 of 15
Here's an eastern Med style marinade good with all meats. It's also, pretty much, a marinade for spiedies: I wrote this a long time ago, when I was still catering and used to do a lot of mezze parties.

Aegean Marinade no. 2
(Makes 1 gal, about; enough for about 25 pounds of meat)

2 quarts extra virgin olive oil
1 bottle wine (dry red or white)
1 quart wine vinegar (red or white)
Juice from 1 doz lemons
3 heads of garlic, cloves peeled and crushed
8 large onions, quartered and separated into pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup table salt
1/2 cup mild paprika
6 tbs coarsely ground black pepper
1 doz bay leaves, crumbled
1/4 cup dried oregano
1/4 cup finely minced fresh rosemary

Mix all together.

Add the meat and the marinade to plastic bags, get as much air out as possible, seal the bags and refrigerate. Twice a day, remove the the bags from the refrigerator so the oil can reliquify, smush everything around to mix.

Marinate meat for at least thirty six hours, and as long as five days.

Wipe the meat thoroughly before threading onto skewers to prevent flare ups.

Prepare the fire -- and if it's charcoal allow it to mature a little. Grill a variety of all sorts of vegetables (but definitely including eggplant and peppers) while the fire is still at its hottest. Set them aside to rest and soften.

After the fire has settled, grill the meat slowly. Salt the meat lightly while it grills. When the meat has almost cooked, crumble a little bit of oregano over it, and squeeze some lemon. Just before taking the meat off the fire, squeeze some more lemon.

Hope you like,

PS. Let me give some perspective to "I wrote this ..." There's nothing particularly exotic or original about the marinade. It's a straight ahead take on food from all around the Adriatic, Aegean, Mediterranean and Armenian regions. The point is that no copyright or plagiarism issues are raised. If you want to share or repost the recipe please credit it to me, Boar D. Laze. And, if you would be so kind mention my eventually to be completed book "COOK FOOD GOOD: American Cooking and Technique for Beginners and Intermediates" to whomever you can get to sit still. Feel free to assure them there will be no recipes for marinade by the gallon.
post #9 of 15
BDL implied this, but I suggest that you cook the meats on seperate skewers from the veggies. Sure, the classic all on one stick approach is nice, visually appealing. The problem arises in that the various chunks of stuff do not all cook the same. You can end up with a skewer containing scorched, dry and lifeless, soggy, raw, et cetera all in one or two mouthfuls. This can especially be the case on larger scale cooks like this where you can't keep your eye on each and every skewer at all times. Seperating the veggies from the meats can make it easier to manage the proper level of doneness.

If pork is an option, boneless, country style 'ribs' which are really chunks of pork shoulder make good skewer fodder. And regarding veggies, cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes and pineapple are all good candidates for the grill as well.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
post #10 of 15
In the UK we usually refer to this as a kebab, shish or otherwise!
post #11 of 15
Here are a couple of marinade recipes that you might try. The first is Peruvian influenced and the second is Tunisian influenced.

Weight or Volume Ingredients
2 ancho chiles
1 beer
1 tablespoon coriander, toasted
½ tablespoon cumin, toasted
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 sprigs thyme leaves
3 sprigs cilantro
1 tablespoon salt

Bring beer to a boil and pour over chiles. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Remove chiles and discard seeds and stems being sure to save beer. Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse to puree.

Cinnamon Chile Oil
Weight or Volume Ingredients
1 cup olive oil
¼ cup cinnamon
1 tablespoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon sugar

Combine all ingredients.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
I know this can be a problem, I have been experimenting some this week and I find if I take whatever color pepper and "scalp" (sorry don't know what the proper term is) and make it thinner it cooks in time with the meat, same with using thin pieces of onion, going to experiment with mushrooms over the weekend.

I appreciate your and everyone’s advice.

I have been experimenting with “Yakitori” style for the chicken.
Today for lunch I decided to make some skewers with chicken and onion since I tried this a few nights ago on the gas grill, I thought I would give the old cast iron skillet a try and WOW was I impressed. I had the skillet on high heat, got a nice sear and cooking time was very quick and the chicken was cooked through and tender not dried out. I was really impressed and thinking about looking at a large cast iron flat grill, my only problem was when I brushed on the sauce it cooked great but the drippings burned in the pan. I can see this could be a problem with cooking a lot of skewers. I am thinking of maybe using a small charcoal grill to use to finish them off. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions I would love to hear them.
post #13 of 15
You know, it's hard to miss a kebab marinade. I find that how you cook it makes quite the difference.

We eat so mush meat skewers on the fire pit while camping ("shashlik") and really, we just do whatever. We cube medium fatty cuts of meat (pork, lamb, beef or poultry) and depending on what we have around, we just improvise on the marinade. We've used beer and peppers, garlic and apple cider vinegar, just vinegar and pepper on fatty pork on one occasion... really, the list is endless. Usually, we just do meat and onions, both marinated together, and cooked on the same skewer. We are yet to have bad shashlik.

The trick though is in the skewering and cooking. Fire is the best, though a grill with wood chips can do. As for the skewering, go cross the grain--that way the meat won't move around when you turn it.

Have you considered some pork for your limited budget?
Necessity is the mother of invention.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
I came across an awesome marinade that I have tweaked some and got fantastic reviews from friends and family I tried it out on last night.

Cubed some top sirloin
½ cup catsup
½ cup Sugar
½ cup Soy Sauce
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 tsp Garlic powder
¼ cup Hot Sauce

Mix ingredients put cubed steak and mixture in a zip lock bag massage mixture into meat and refrigerate for two hours.
You can use this marinade on chicken and pork also.

I skewered red, green, yellow peppers and a yellow sweet onion pieces with the meat and seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked them in a cast iron skillet. They were awesome!
post #15 of 15
Easy to scorch with all the tomato and sugar in that recipe. Watch the food carefully.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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