{Kabab Chenjeh} Grilled Saffron Beef Kebab with Blistered Tomatoes

{Kabab Chenjeh} Grilled Saffron Beef Kebab with Blistered Tomatoes

Inspired by Darya, Los Angeles, California

{Kabab Chenjeh} Grilled Saffron Beef Kebab with Blistered Tomatoes | http://saltandwind.com Here in Los Angeles there are a few super hot button topics: water shortages, the Lakers, and I'd add in kebabs. Okay, maybe it's only amongst food people wh...
Skill
Course
Ingredients
16
Hands-On Time
15 minutes
Total Time
1 hour
Yield
-
Servings
4 to 6
{Kabab Chenjeh} Grilled Saffron Beef Kebab with Blistered Tomatoes | http://saltandwind.com
Skill
Beginner
Course
Dinner, Lunch, Main
Cuisine
Middle Eastern, Persian
Ingredients
16
Hands-On Time
15 minutes
Total Time
1 hour
Yield
-
Servings
4 to 6
{Kabab Chenjeh} Grilled Saffron Beef Kebab with Blistered Tomatoes | http://saltandwind.com

Here in Los Angeles there are a few super hot button topics: water shortages, the Lakers, and I'd add in kebabs. Okay, maybe it's only amongst food people who love Persian food but where to get the best Persian food and, specifically, kebabs quickly gets heated. 

The area of Westwood Boulevard around UCLA has so many Persian business, it's known as Little Persia to locals. And, while there are a lot of good restaurants, my personal favorite is Darya down on Santa Monica Boulevard. It's in a totally non-specific part of West LA and you could blow by it if you weren't using your GPS but it's worth the visit. 

Perhaps other places do other Persian dishes better but the beef kebab (aka kebab barg) and Darya is so good that I talked them into showing me how they make it. The result is a lot of flavor for minimal work as it really involves nothing more than blending the marinade, letting it marinate as long as you can handle before your hunger gets the best of you, and then cooking — or, more aptly, searing it — on the grill. Though it’s often served over long-grain rice, I prefer the more mobile version where it’s wrapped up in warm lavosh, tossed with grilled tomatoes, onions, and greens and then topped with a dollop of tangy yogurt.

Ingredients

  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 2 1/2 pounds New York Strip Steaks or Top Sirloin Steaks
  • 1 medium white onion

    finely chopped

  • 6 medium garlic cloves

    smashed

  • Juice from 1 Lime
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 (12-inch) metal or wooden skewers

     if wooden, soak in water for 15 minutes

  • 12 small Roma tomatoes
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Warmed whole wheat lavash or tortillas
  • Handful baby spinach or baby tatsoi

    optional

  • 1 medium yellow onion

    thinly sliced, optional

  • 1 Lime

    cut into sixths for serving, optional

Instructions

For the kebabs: Place saffron in a few tablespoons of hot water and let steep while you trim the meat. Trim any excess fat from the steaks, then cut into 1-inch cubes, and place in a large nonreactive bowl. Place the white onion, garlic, lime juice, salt, pepper, and saffron and saffron liquid, in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour mixture over meat, toss to coat, cover and marinate 30 minutes at room temperature, or up to 12 hours in the refrigerator.

Tip

Buy saffron from a reputable buyer and always only buy it in whole, thread form as there are many knockoffs sold in ground form.

When ready to cook, heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium (about 350°F) and rub the grill with a towel dipped in vegetable oil. Remove the meat from the marinade and let any excess marinade drip off.

Thread meat on skewers, leaving at least 1/2-inch space between each piece of meat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl and the tomatoes, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat thoroughly. Place meat and tomatoes on grill. Cook meat, turning once, until charred and medium-rare, about 7 to 10 minutes. Cook tomatoes, turning rarely, until blistered and soft, about 10 minutes.

For serving: Remove meat and tomatoes from skewers. Stir together the cilantro and yogurt until well mixed. Assemble a sandwich as desired with the meat, tomatoes, lavash, yogurt, thinly sliced onions, and greens. Squeeze some lime over the top and serve.

Footnotes

Did you make this recipe? Give us your thoughts by leaving a comment below and show us how it turned out by sharing it on Instagram with the #swsociety hashtag!

http://saltandwind.com/recipes/373-kabab-barg-grilled-saffron-beef-kebab-recipe

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