Grilled Beef, Apricot and Red Onion Kabobs with Fresh Tomato Salad

This post is a collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.

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Grilled Beef, Apricot & Red Onion Kabobs with Fresh Tomato Salad

To be honest with you, I didn’t know whether to call these Kabobs or the Afrikaans word for the actual dish, “Sosaties.” Growing up in South Africa, we ate these marinated Beef Sosaties with apricots and red onion frequently, but they were particularly popular in the Winter months where there was an abundance of dried apricots or peaches from the previous harvest season. As a South African, grilling over an open flame is always my choice for preparing our favorite cuts of beef, even if it’s snowing outside! However, these skewers can be grilled indoors as well during cooler months and I’ll share some tips below to make that easy. However you choose to grill your beef, this cooking method provides maximum flavor and optimal tenderness! Serve it with a no-cook fresh tomato salad and call it dinner!

Why is grilling so effective?

Grilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above, below or from the side. Grilling usually involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat and vegetables quickly. Because of this, the beef is allowed to caramelize very quickly in a process known as the Maillard reaction, without drying out during the cooking process. This ensures that delicious grilled beef flavor that we all love.

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What are the best cuts of beef for grilling?

When time is of the essence, I love to use Filet Mignon or Strip Steak because I know it’ll be tender without the need to marinate. Typically, more tender cuts like Filet Mignon requires anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours to marinate, while less tender cuts like Flank Steak should be marinated for 6 hours, but no more than 24 hours. When I have more time to spare, Flank Steak and Top Sirloin are great choices. I’ve used Top Sirloin in my recipe today. 

Marinate your beef and place in a drip-proof airtight container and place on the lowest shelf in your refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator right before assembly and cooking. When in doubt about which cut to use and the cooking temperatures required for the thickness of your cuts, the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. website is a very useful resource. 

Grilling Indoors:

Use a cast iron skillet or griddle pan. Cast iron heats up faster and will brown your beef quicker, just be sure to oil it well to prevent sticking. My marinade has oil in it, so the likelihood of these skewers sticking is low.

Turn the stovetop off immediately after cooking and carefully slide the griddle pan off the heat source.

Rest the kabobs just as you would when cooking outside. I don’t think we actively think about resting when grilling outside because most of the time we are preparing the table or side dishes. Be sure to rest for at least 5 minutes to prevent those juices from draining onto your plate. 

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Grilled Beef, Apricot & Red Onion Kabobs
Prep Time:
30 minutes Cook Time:  10-15 minutes  Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:
1 beef Top Sirloin Steak Center Cut, Boneless (about 1 1/4 pounds)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons garlic paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 cup dried apricots, soaked in water for 1 hour
1 cup cubed red onion

Tomato Salad:
4 medium heirloom tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into wedges
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 teaspoon smoked sea salt
1/4 cup reserved marinade
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup freshly torn basil leaves

Guidelines:

Cut beef into 1-1/4-inch pieces and place in a food-safe plastic bag. Add salt and pepper; toss to coat. In a small bowl, add olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic paste, vinegar, Dijon mustard and herbs. Whisk until combined then pour 3/4 of the marinade over the beef. Toss to coat, seal and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to 2 hours. Reserve remaining marinade by storing it separately in the refrigerator. 

Soak six 9-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes; drain. Thread beef, onion and apricots evenly onto skewers. Preheat a cast iron griddle pan over medium-high heat.

Place kabobs in griddle pan and cook for 7 to 9 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. Remove from heat and tent loosely with foil to rest while preparing the tomato salad.

Tomato Salad:
Place tomatoes and spinach on a platter; season with smoked sea salt and red pepper flakes. Whisk reserved marinade and honey until combined, pour over tomatoes right before serving with fresh basil and kabobs. 

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