Grilled skewers of marinated meat and vegetables make a savory treat for a barbecue. They also are great for eating on a budget.
Marinating meat not only adds flavor, it also tenderizes. And that lets you take advantage of less expensive cuts of meat, such as beef and pork sirloin or lamb shoulder.
Adding vegetables to the skewers stretches the protein and makes each a complete entree.
The Coffee and Black Pepper Beef Kebabs cost about $2.50 per serving and can me made with lamb or pork as well. To finish the plate, serve on a bed of couscous or orzo pasta.
Coffee and Black Pepper Beef Kebabs
1 cup chopped shallots
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons instant coffee
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 pounds top sirloin beef, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
16 medium button mushrooms, cleaned and stems trimmed
16 cherry tomatoes
2 small red onions, cut into wedges
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
In a medium bowl, stir together the shallots, vinegar, oil, molasses, coffee, pepper and mustard. Add the meat and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. In a shallow dish, cover eight 10-inch bamboo skewers; set aside to soak. Heat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a charcoal fire. Assemble the kebabs, alternating meat and vegetables. Brush everything with marinade. Grill for 3 minutes. Turn, brush with additional marinade, then grill for another 3 minutes for medium, or until done to your liking. Serves 4.