Smoked Paprika Beef Kebabs and The World’s Longest Barbecue Round Up

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03 Aug Smoked Paprika Beef Kebabs and The World’s Longest Barbecue Round Up

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I survived World’s Longest Barbecue. My grill was left a graveyard of charred wooden skewers and guests left happy and full of delicious local food.

Now before you get on my case about nutrition, I assure you, guests brought a wide variety of fresh salads. We had a bathtub’s worth of leafy greens, fresh cut-from-the-cob corn salad, marinated cauliflower and green bean mix, a grated carrot and apple melange and potato salad with herbs. I’ll discuss the desserts in a later post.

I was in charge of meat, so this post is all about the protein.

Instead of pre-threading soaked wooden skewers, I had the brilliant idea of providing various marinated meat options and letting guests load their own with whatever took their fancy. To ensure there was something for everyone, I provided two types of chicken, a beef and even a lamb, all in bite-sized chunks ready for the grill. This make-your-own option worked flawlessly in my mind, but reality proved otherwise.

Within minutes, the lamb kebabs, which my sister aptly christened “Lamb Lumps”, were removed from the grilling equation. I had used ground lamb and didn’t listen to my gut when it told me. “That extra egg will be nothing but trouble!” I hate when my gut is right and I don’t listen. So, while the other meat sizzled on the grill, the lamb lumps were relegated to the oven where they could dissolve to their heart’s content without starting a fire. Problem #1 solved.

Meanwhile, the guests loaded their wooden skewers and looked about desperately for the napkins I had forgotten to put out. They called for forks so they could load the skewers without touching the meat (I still didn’t figure out my mistake!) With plenty of forks and marinade-covered fingers somehow wiped cleaned, everyone enjoyed a smorgasbord of fresh veggies as the meat cooked away. Problem #2 solved.

It was all going splendidly despite Andrew’s absence. (He was proctoring an exam because some masochistic bureaucrat scheduled a final exam for Saturday night of the long weekend). But with kebabs arriving willy-nilly and each skewer containing a different combination, I soon realized I needed a short-order cook at the helm. Fortunately, Denis, a seasoned griller, was happy to step up to the Q and ensure no one died from undercooked chicken. I suspect he didn’t want me to dissolve like the lamb. Problem #3 solved.

In the end, everyone raved about the food and Denis was crowned King of the Q. May his crown never tarnish.

I just might hire Denis to grill for me EVERY DAY. Clearly I cannot be trusted with live flames. Remember the dissolving skewers from last year?

Well, the curse of the Q continues. Although we now have a set of 4 metal skewers that won’t melt (pictured in this post), I swear they are out to get me. Sure the meat looks great, but at what price?

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The next day, I cooked up the left over beef using metal skewers. Metal is an excellent heat conductor. Wood isn’t. This means that meat on metal skewers cooks faster and more evenly.

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My hand is made of meat.

Touch one while picking up a platter of hot metal skewers and you’ll know it. Fast.

I now have a perfect red semi-circle branded into my palm from the loop at the top of the skewer.

On the upside, if you burn your hand, you get out of doing the dishes.

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For those of you who are curious. I used Alton Brown’s misnamed recipe for Spicy Beef Kebabs. They were delicious but not spicy at all. Even my heat-phobic sister liked them (although she perferred the lamb lumps.) The key to this recipe is smoked paprika. If you want hot, I’d substitute some of the smoked paprika with chipotle chili powder.

If you’ll excuse me. I’m going to ice my hand again.

Anyone else have barbecue disasters they care to share, or am I the only one who hasn’t figured out how to handle fire?

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No Comments
  • danamccauley
    Posted at 12:24h, 03 August Reply

    These photos are lovely! Sounds like a great party as well.

    Yesterday we went to a barbecue at my mom's house: steak, salmon, packet potatoes on the grill and then her garden beets, tomatoes and cucumbers at the table. Pretty fantastic!

    Today, I'm going to cook a couple of rock Cornish game hens on the rotisserie. Should be fun – I've never cooked these little birds that way before.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 13:37h, 03 August Reply

    Dana, the meal at your mom's sounds great. I have a rotisserie feature for my BBQ but we have yet to set it up. It's only been two months…

    I haven't had Cornish hens in years and think they'd be prefect for the rotisserie. Perhaps if I find some this will give us the push we need to assemble the blasted rotisserie.

  • Kevin
    Posted at 14:57h, 03 August Reply

    Those kebabs look really tasty!

  • Cheryl Arkison
    Posted at 15:21h, 03 August Reply

    I did something very similar with the handle of my frying pan last week. Thank goodness the nanny stepped up and kept the dishes done because Hubby was away.
    Glad you survived! What party isn't like this, really?

  • Cheryl Arkison
    Posted at 15:21h, 03 August Reply

    I did something very similar with the handle of my frying pan last week. Thank goodness the nanny stepped up and kept the dishes done because Hubby was away.
    Glad you survived! What party isn't like this, really?

  • Cheryl Sternman Rule
    Posted at 16:02h, 03 August Reply

    hand has finally healed, until I scorch it again. What do I have to do to get you to learn from my mistakes?

    I love skewers, and I'm with you on the metal kind. Even when I soak the bamboo skewers in water they still seem to char and dissolve on the grill.

    Looks like you had fun!

  • Roving Lemon
    Posted at 17:02h, 03 August Reply

    "My hand is made of meat." Classic.

    I will bear this in mind because I am now determined to buy some metal skewers–just as soon as I get my new grill up and running. (Yes, it's the middle of winter here, but I don't care.)

  • Katerina
    Posted at 21:17h, 03 August Reply

    Great story! I hope you are enjoying your recovery.

  • Justin Kade
    Posted at 02:49h, 31 August Reply

    Thanks for sharing this Tasty Recipe!
    Barbeque Grilling

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