Charcoal-Grilled Beef Kebabs with North African Marinade
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped (1 3/4 cups)
- 6 medium garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 20 cilantro sprigs
- 1/3 cup beef broth (see note)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil, plus extra for cooking grate
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons table salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Beef and Vegetables
- 2 pounds sirloin steak tips, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch chunks (see note)
- 1 large zucchini or summer squash (about 1/2 pound), ends trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices
- 1 large red or green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 large red or sweet onion, ends trimmed, peeled, halved lengthwise, core discarded, each half cut into 4 wedges and each wedge cut crosswise into thirds
1. FOR THE MARINADE: Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth, about 45 seconds. Transfer ¾ cup marinade to large bowl and set aside.
2. FOR THE BEEF AND VEGETABLES: Toss remaining marinade and beef in second large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 2 hours, tossing beef after 30 -minutes. Meanwhile, prepare vegetables and toss with reserved marinade. Cover and let vegetables marinate at room temperature at least 30 minutes.
3. Remove beef from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Tightly thread beef onto two 12-inch metal skewers, rolling or folding meat as necessary to maintain 2-inch cubes. Thread vegetables onto two 12-inch metal skewers, in alternating pattern of zucchini, pepper, and onion.
4. About 30 minutes before grilling, light large chimney starter mounded over rim with charcoal (7 quarts, about 120 briquettes) and allow to burn until coals are fully ignited and partially covered with ash, about 25 minutes. Build single-level fire by arranging all coals in center of grill in even layer, leaving 2-inch gap between grill wall and charcoal. Position cooking grate over coals, cover grill, and heat grate until hot, about 5 minutes; scrape grate clean with grill brush. Dip wad of paper towels in oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate. Grill is ready when coals are hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above grate for 2 seconds).
5. Place meat skewers in center of grill directly over coals and vegetable skewers near edge of coals but still over fire. Grill beef skewers until well browned, slightly charred, and instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meat registers 125 degrees for medium-rare, 12 to 16 minutes, turning every 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer beef skewers to serving platter, loosely tent with foil, and let rest 10 minutes. Continue to grill vegetable skewers until vegetables are tender and slightly charred, about 5 minutes longer (17 to 21 minutes total), turning every 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer vegetables to platter with beef. Remove beef and vegetables from skewers and serve