Ground meat kebabs on skewers are a very popular street food throughout Greece, Turkey and the Middle East. Each country has of course its own variation of these sausage-shaped kebabs and even the choice of spices differs from region to region within the same country.
The meat used can be ground lamb shoulder, or, a combination of ground beef and ground pork. The onions, fresh herbs and aromatics are typically blended in a small food processor before they are added to the meat mixture to ensure a smooth texture of the patties.
These delicious kebabs (or souvlaki in Greece) are excellent when served with wedges of warm, toasted pita bread and some tzatziki (yogurt and cucumber spread) or tirokafteri (red pepper and feta cheese spread) on the side!
- 1 lb. ground meat (half lean beef & half pork shoulder)
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 med. garlic cloves
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. ground sumac
- Place the onion, garlic, parsley and all the seasoning in the bowl of a small food processor. Pulse until thoroughly mixed.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground meat and the onion mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Take a small spoonful of the mixture, flatten it into a tiny patty and cook in a small skillet. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Refrigerate the bowl with the meat mixture for about two hours so that it firms up and is easier to handle.
- Divide the mixture into 6 portions and shape into 6 oblong patties. Place one patty on your hand and place the skewer on top. Press the meat mixture around the skewer and form it into the shape of a small sausage. Pinch the ends so that the meat sticks to the skewer. Continue forming the rest of the kebabs like this until there is no mixture left. (At this point you can loosely cover them and store them in the refrigerator to grill later in the day).
- Heat the grill. Once it is up to temperature, liberally oil the grill grates. Then place the kebabs on the grill for about 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on the size of the kebabs. If a grill is not available you can also cook the kebabs on a cast iron griddle.
- Serve with toasted pita bread wedges, tzatziki sauce, and a big summer salad on the side.
If the meat mixture seems too loose, add a tablespoon of plain breadcrumbs.
You can use flat metal or bamboo skewers. If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for a few minutes so that they do not burn on the hot grill.
Flat skewers hold the meat patties in place better than the round ones.
After this week, and for the summer months, I will send blog updates once a week. Be sure you check your inbox every Saturday morning!
The long weekend is here and with that in mind I wanted to share a few suggestions of favorite dishes for your Memorial day BBQ:
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