One of my grilling favorites. The meat is flavored with grated onion, salt, and pepper and grilled.
Koobideh kebab served with rice, onion, tomatoes and romaine lettuce.
Fire up your grill and let's get cooking...
The kebab needs just a few basic ingredients. ground beef, onion, salt, and pepper, that's it.
In a food processor, add one pound of ground beef add half a medium onion that's been grated and add a teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of pepper.
Pulse for a minute, if the meat rides up the sides use a spatula to push it back down. Process for a minute.
Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. That makes it easier to shape and will adhere to the skewer better.
While the meat is chilling, and the grill is ready by now, let's grill some vegetables.
The kebabs are typically served with grilled onions and tomatoes.
On skewers spear some lemons wedges, whole Roma tomatoes, and onion wedges. Be sure and leave the stem attached to the onion so the layers will stay together.
When I have the grill going and have some romaine lettuce on hand, I have to grill the lettuce, I love grilled romaine lettuce.
Cut the head of lettuce in half leaving the stem intact. Brush the lettuce generously with olive oil then sprinkle it with salt and pepper. While the lettuce is still warm, grate some Parmesan cheese over it, Mmmm delicious.
Using about 1/4 cup of the meat mixture, smooth and squeeze the meat around the skewer.
Grill until they are lightly tinged with color or done until they way you like them.
The meat will shrink away from the skewers so you'll need either a pair of tongs or a spatula to help turn them.
Hot off the grill with some rice that's been sprinkled with sumac.
Here's the recipe I followed. It's wonderful and I hope you try it.
I got 7 kebabs not the 12 the recipe says it makes.
Persian Café Kebabs with Grilled Tomatoes
Serves 4 as a main course, 6 to 8 as an appetizer This basic kebab is served at little café-eateries all over Iran.
This basic kebab is served at little café-eateries all over Iran. It’s always the least expensive kebab on the menu and the most tender since it uses ground meat rather than chunks.
The meat is flavored with grated onion, salt, and pepper. Fancier versions of koobideh kebab may also include dried mint or a little tomato. It’s sprinkled with sumac as it grills and served with grilled tomato on the side. Make sure your ground meat is not extra-lean: Fat helps the meat cook evenly.
The most important ingredient is a set of flat metal skewers. Wide ones work better than narrow ones, but I’ve found that even narrow flat skewers work fine if the meat is chilled so that it holds together on the skewer.
If you don’t have skewers, you can use this recipe to make patties, pan-fried or grilled over gas or charcoal.
Instructions for these are given here. Serve with supple flatbreads and grilled tomatoes, along with wedges of raw onion if you wish. Leftovers make great sandwiches.
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb, goat, or beef (about 25% fat)
About 1 cup grated onions (2 medium onions)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
About 1 tablespoon ground sumac
Grilled Tomatoes (recipe follows)
Flatbreads for serving
2 lemons, cut into wedges (optional)
Wedges of raw onion (optional)
Put the meat in a food processor, along with the onions, salt, and pepper. Pulse for about a minute; if the meat rides up the sides of the bowl, use a spatula to push it back down.
(If you are doubling the recipe, or if your processor is small, divide the meat and onions into two batches to process and then combine them.)
Turn the meat out into a bowl and knead it for half a minute. It should be paste-like. Cover the bowl of meat and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.
This makes it easier to shape, and it will adhere to the skewers better too.
Preheat a charcoal or gas grill. Put the ground sumac near your grill, as well as a plate or platter to hold the cooked skewers.
To make the kebabs, scoop up about 1/4 cup of the chilled meat mixture in one hand, pick up a skewer with your other hand, and press the skewer against the mound of meat in your palm to embed it. Smooth and squeeze the meat along and around the skewer so that you have a long, skinny kebab.
Set aside. Shape the remaining skewers the same way. You will have about 12 kebabs.
Place the skewers about 4 inches above the coals or flame and cook, turning several times, until lightly tinged with color or until done the way you like them; sprinkle with the sumac partway through cooking. (As the meat cooks, it will shrink a little, which may mean that it no longer grips the skewer, and if you’re using narrow flat skewers, it will tend to slide around. If that happens, use tongs to help roll the kebabs over.)
Remove from the heat. You can serve the kebabs on the skewers or slide them off onto a serving platter.
Put out the lemon wedges and onion wedges, if using, and tomatoes, and serve hot.
Persian Meat Patties:
To shape the meat mixture into patties, scoop up a scant ¼ cup of the meat, shape it into a ball without squeezing it tightly, then press down lightly to flatten it a little. Repeat with the remaining meat. You’ll have about 15 patties. Grill the patties or grease a heavy skillet with a little oil and cook them over medium-high heat. Turn the patties after about 3 minutes and cook until the second side gets touched with brown or to your desired doneness. Lower the heat if necessary. Sprinkle on sumac shortly before they are done.
Plan on serving a skewer of grilled tomatoes— say 3 smallish tomatoes— per person. Use Roma or other fleshy tomatoes; you want the tomatoes to be firm enough that they won’t become soft and mushy when grilled.
Thread the tomatoes on skewers and grill, turning them frequently, until softened, a little shrunken, and touched with black here and there. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot or at room temperature, heaped on a platter.
Duguid, Naomi. Taste of Persia: A Cook's Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan.
And That's that!