It's been on my mind for a few weeks now and after a lovely span of cold and crappy weather, fondly known as "May in Chicago", I decided this was a great weekend to pour a glass of wine, fire up the grill pan and pretend like it wasn't actually 50 degrees and rainy.
This ended up being a tiny bit more effort than I expected, but in my opinion that's what Saturday and Sunday evenings are for. I think it's one of those recipes that's easier after you've made it the first time, and it wasn't so much effort that I wouldn't do it again on a work night. It was definitely worth the few extra minutes!
There's a lot of flavor in a marinade that has such a short list of ingredients. I loved the fresh rosemary and the little bit of tang from the mustard. The red wine vinegar brightened things up just a touch without overwhelming the other components. Everything smelled heavenly once I started cooking and the meat had some really nice layers of flavor.
I was also pleasantly surprised by how much the marinade added to the grilled onion and tomato. The savory complimented the sweetness of the red onion really nicely. Personally, the grilled tomato wasn't for me which is surprising because I love tomatoes. I think that by the time they hit the grill, the pan was covered in charred stuff from grilling the meat so it came away tasting of "burn".
I couldn't find regular plain Israeli Couscous (or "starry rice" as Roy calls it, despite the fact that it's pasta and not rice). I opted for a roasted garlic and olive oil flavored version by Near East. I added the parsley per the FN recipe and it was great.
Not only was this delicious, but it was pretty cheap too. I was able to get the tri-tip steak (aka: top sirloin) for $5 a lb so that plus the veggies, couscous and herbs was probably under $15 for 4 people. It leaves plenty of room in your budget for a bottle of wine!
Roy and I agree - three out of three stars. This one will definitely go on the list to be made again this summer. Hopefully on a real grill, with some REAL summer temperatures!
Beef Kebabs with Grilled Veggies and Couscous
35 mins active, serves 4
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 pounds tri-tip steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 large red onion, cut into 4 thick rounds
4 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Soak 4 wooden skewers in water, 20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk 1/4 cup olive oil, the vinegar, rosemary, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade, then add the steak to the bowl with the remaining marinade and toss; set aside at room temperature, 20 minutes.
Cook the couscous as the label directs; toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
While the couscous is cooking, preheat a large grill pan over high heat. Thread the steak onto the skewers. Toss the onion rounds and tomatoes in a bowl with the reserved 2 tablespoons marinade.
Brush the grill pan with olive oil and add the kebabs and onion rounds. Cook the onion, turning once, until charred and tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Cook the kebabs, turning a few times, until charred all over, 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare. Transfer the kebabs and onion to a plate and season with salt. Add the tomatoes to the pan, cut-side down, and cook, turning once, until charred and softened, about 4 minutes. Serve the kebabs with the couscous, tomatoes and onion.
Per serving: Calories 589; Fat 28 g (Saturated 6 g); Cholesterol 98 mg; Sodium 314 mg; Carbohydrate 47 g; Fiber 4 g; Protein 35 g