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A few months ago Serious Eats' resident grilling maestro, Joshua Bousel, dropped a handy and comprehensive guide to grilling kebabs. He looked at the optimal cuts for each type of meat, his favorite vegetables for kebabs, and how to marinate them. Along with it, he included a hefty number of great kebab recipes, but because they were all rolled up into one piece they didn't get nearly the attention they deserve. So for the next several weeks, we'll be calling out each of his kebab creations for a little inspiration as we head into late summer and (lone tear rolling down a frowny face) the tail end of grilling season.
First up are his steakhouse kebabs. Josh has worked his way through many beef cuts over the years, trying to figure out which worked best for kebabs. While tenderloin delivers on...erm...tenderness, it lacks flavor and is so lean that it often dries out when cut into kebab-sized pieces. Cuts from the chuck, meanwhile, are big on flavor and fat, but run the risk of being tough. In the end, Josh settled on sirloin tip, which delivers both texture and flavor, while still being relatively inexpensive.
To give the meat a recognizable steakhouse flavor, he marinates it in a bath of Worcestershire, mustard, garlic, black pepper, soy sauce, and lemon juice. The best news is it's a short marination time, as little as 1 hour and no more than 5—any more and the acid from the lemon juice will start to cook the meat and ruin its texture. Which means these babies can be on your plate from start to finish in no time.