Moroccan-Style Beef Kabobs with Spiced Bulgur

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For the second year in a row, I’ve been privileged to be invited by the Texas Beef Council to help tell the world about the wonders of Texas Beef through recipes. Though I’m incredibly honored to be a part of this campaign again this year it is an unfortunately bittersweet kind of pride as well, as this will be the last year that I am able to be a part of it.

In just a bit over a month my wife and I will be leaving Texas. I on my way to California and she on her way to Turkey. For me it’s a homecoming.  For her it’s a new part of the adventure of being in the Air Force. While neither of us are looking forward to being apart, we are both doing what needs to be done and trying to make the best of a somewhat bad situation.

Considering her destination, I decided that the Moroccan-Style Beef I was invited to make sounded fitting.  After all, she’ll have no limit on the kabobs she can get her hands on in the 15 months she’s gone and since I’d never cooked with bulgar before, it seemed to be a fitting last entry for my Texas Beef Council involvement.  Challenges are always good.

So tag along on a journey that spans continents.  Beef from Texas, spices from Morocco and the Orient, bamboo skewers from California and a grill from Illinois were all involved in the making of this dish.  There were smiles, there were tears, there will be retribution and perhaps even a sequel…

But you’ll never know if you don’t read part one:

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Moroccan-Style Beef Kabobs with Spiced Bulgur
(Note, the original recipe called for Pumpkin Pie Spice, I switched this out for Chinese five spice.  I have it on hand and I thought it would be closer to what is actually used in Morocco.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless beef top sirloin steak or beef tenderloin steaks, cut 1 inch thick

Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin

Spiced Bulgur:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quick-cooking bulgur
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Chinese Five Spice Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Method:

Cut beef steak into 1-1/4 inch pieces. Whisk marinade ingredients in large bowl until smooth. Add beef; toss to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Meanwhile prepare Spiced Bulgur. Combine bulgur, water, raisins, orange juice, pumpkin pie spice, cumin, garlic and salt in small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until bulgur is tender and water is absorbed. Fluff with fork; stir in parsley. Keep warm.

Soak eight 6-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes; drain. Remove beef from marinade; discard marinade. Thread beef pieces onto skewers, leaving small space between pieces.

Place kabobs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 6 to 8 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 7 to 9 minutes) for medium rare (145 degrees) to medium (160 degrees) doneness, turning occasionally.

Serve kabobs with Spiced Bulgur.

Share and Enjoy!

What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:

This meal was a comedy of errors.  I blame nothing on the recipe at this point, as I must revisit it to be certain if the errors were mine or the original creator’s, but in the end, this was not the greatest experience ever.

Firstly, while the flavor of the kabobs was wonderful (and I mean transcendentally wonderful), they were tough. I’m not sure if the particular bovine that provided the steak I used was just particularly old and rather inflexible, if I failed to rest the beef properly (not likely) or if I should have marinated the beef for a lot longer than the recommended 30 minutes. (Extremely likely.) Regardless, eating this meal was like trying to chew through the left front tire on a commercial airliner.  At best it was unpleasant, at worst it was a choking hazard. (It happened!)

Secondly.  The bulgur recipe is about half the amount I think that should be made.  In total it barely covered the bottom of a 2.5 quart saucepan, which I feel contributed to its undercooking and eventual demise in my waste-disposal unit.  Again, the flavors were incredible but the texture was, shall we say gravelly.

It is most probable that I cooked the bulgur too quickly, as my stove cooks at high temperatures, even on low.  This would account for the texture.  I will be making this again to verify, since if this had been testured properly, I would probably sleep with a bowl by the side of my bed, the flavor was that good. Unfortunately, I think it would have been possible to chip a tooth on the stuff I cooked.  Disappointing to say the least.

My parting comment here is that you really should try this recipe.  Marinate the beef for a minimum of 2 hours and make sure the cow you got the steaks from was a couch potato. don’t make my mistake with the bulgar.  Make twice as much and be sure to cook it properly. The flavors here are inspirational.  Theoutcome of this dish was dismal.

I blame myself.

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