Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Persian Quick Beef Kebabs

The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 1998)

  • Active Prep: 15 minutes for marinating the kebabs

Beef tenderloin, red-ripe plum tomatoes, Bermuda onions and Anaheim chili peppers – individually skewered and grilled to perfection.


  • Yield: 4
  • Method: Direct grilling
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  • 1-1/2 pounds beef tenderloin, all fat and sinew trimmed off
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) to taste

For serving

  • Anaheim peppers, on skewers
  • Plum tomatoes, on skewers
  • Onion, cut into wedges, then skewered
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, in one piece
  • Chopped parsley
  • Basil

Step 1 : Cut the tenderloin crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices. Place the slices flat on the cutting board and cut into 1-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 1/2-inch thick pieces. Thread the beef onto the skewers and place them on a large nonreactive platter.

Step 2: Puree the onion in a food processor. Strain the resulting puree over the kebabs, turning to coat all sides. Using a fork, beat the lime juice, oil, pepper, and salt in a small bowl, then pour the mixture over the kebabs, again turning to coat on all sides. Marinate for 15 minutes.

Step 3: Skewer peppers, tomatoes, and wedged onion.

Step 4: Meanwhile, preheat the grill to high.

Step 5: When ready to cook, oil the grill grate. Drain the beef kebabs, arrange on the hot grate, and grill until cooked to taste, 1 to 2 minutes per side (4 to 8 minutes in all; Iranians like their beef on the medium side of medium-rare). Grill the skewered vegetables until tender (they will take about the same amount of time as the beef kebabs). Transfer the kebabs to a platter. With the butter on the end of a fork for easy handling, rub it over each kebab. Serve immediately.