Surf and Turf Kebabs
I’ll admit it, I had no idea how to spell kebabs. Is it kababs? Kabobs? Kebabs? I did a Google search and am still not sure so I went with kebabs. That may be the first time Google has let me down. You know what I’m talking about, meat, skewers, maybe a veggie or two. I will have to admit that I normally don’t mix up ingredients on the same skewer when I do kebabs. But as I imagined this in my head and went straight into thinking how to make the best pictures ever, I realized that a skewer of nothing but mushrooms was not going to make a great photo. I would actually recommend doing each ingredient on it’s own skewer to make sure everything cooks evenly. Otherwise you have to work really hard to make sure portion everything properly to do it right. I did a pretty good job, but only because I wanted the meat rare to medium rare otherwise the shrimp would’ve been really rubbery.
Surf and Turf Kebabs Ingredients:
1.5 lbs of at least 20U shrimp, pealed and deveined (not pictured)
1 tbsp your favorite BBQ rub (also not pictured)
3.5 lbs sirloin steak, cut into cubes a little smaller than a golf ball
3 red peppers, cut into chunks with the white flesh and seeds removed
1 pineapple, cored and cut into one inch chunks
16 oz white cap mushrooms, brushed free of dirt
I realized that I left out something when I had my assembly line of ingredients ready and the shrimp was still in the fridge. So here’s the shrimp that I omitted from the picture above, which I believe were in the U20 range, meaning that 20 units make up a pound, getting a dusting of some Code3Spices 5-0 BBQ rub:
The real star of this show was the meat. It’s not just some simple sirloin. These are sirloin steak tips from C and C Butcher on Manchester in Ellisville, MO. What makes them so special is C and C takes the meat and loads it into this big metal tumbler that sort of looks like a stainless steal, 55 gallon drum on its side. They then load in a marinade, vacuum seal the chamber and proceed to tumble the meat which infuses it with flavor and tenderizes the bejeebers out of it. I love their steak tips by themselves, but when my wife suggested kebabs for dinner, I immediately thought of C and C. The steak tips may in fact be the greatest kebab meat of all time, particularly the two kinds that I got. First I had some Caribbean:
The Caribbean melded perfectly with my kebabs that almost always have a sort of island feel when I make them because I usually use pineapple and shrimp.
I also got some of the Caribalo which is similar to a jerk seasoning in that it is both spicy and full of fantastic flavor plus a little sweet all at the same time:
C and C Butcher is the only game in town when it comes to these steak tips. They come in a variety of flavors, all of which are fantastic: House, Caribbean, Butter Garlic, Burgundy, Caribalo and Teriyaki. They make for a mean, caveman appetizer too. I chunked up the meat a little smaller than golf ball size, chunked up the peppers, cored and chunked the pineapple, brushed the mushrooms free of dirt, and thawed out the shrimp as I bought all the thawed they had and some was frozen. Don’t bother with removing the tails from the shrimp. I left mine on since this is basically finger food anyway, let your guests remove the tails as they eat them. Then I set my ingredients out in order I planned to place them on the skewers and went to town making the surf and turf kebabs:
If you notice, I only use double prong skewers. Single skewers are a pain in the ass. If the meat sticks or is unbalanced, when you go to flip them over only some of the items on the skewer flip. These are a set my Mother in Law gave me. I have another set from Fire Wire that I used before these that work well but are a little shorter.
Now some will argue that the meat will not cook as fast as the veggies and the veggies won’t cook as fast as the shrimp. Or that nothing will get a nice char before the shrimp is done. Well, I grilled these at above 700 degrees and everything charred up nicely. But if I were going to grill the meat to medium or medium well, then the shrimp would’ve been rubber. Also, my fruits and vegetables are quite forgiving. Red pepper, pineapple and mushrooms can handle a lot of heat for a long period of time without burning, particularly with the red pepper being on their sides like this. Here is my Char-Broil TRU Infrared four burner gas grill, pegged on high and loaded with skewers:
One major warning with metal skewers, unlike those little wooden jobs that cool off in about 8 seconds, these things stay hot for a while:
I don’t know how many times someone yanked their hand back with a hiss as air whistled through the teeth during rapid inhalation along with a couple of yelps here and there. Keep a towel or silicon gloves on hand in case you have to touch the handles as flipping these with tongs was not the easiest, but here they are as I began flipping them at maybe the six minute mark. These are the ones on the right:
And here are the ones on the left:
And here is the whole grill of flipped skewers:
Now I realize that you don’t need three different pictures of what flipped skewers look like, but I really liked how they came out and couldn’t decide which one to use, so I’m using all of them. And of course I figured that maybe some of you are coming for the pictures.
I closed the lid for about another 6-8 minutes and then pulled everything off:
Normally when I do kebabs like this, I do pork tenderloin and brush the whole thing with some sort of Caribbean glaze. The advantage of using the preflavored sirloin was that instead of a glaze on everything that makes all the parts remarkably similar, I get the pure flavor of the grilled pineapple and along with the red pepper and mushrooms. I get the shimp with it’s own rub and I get the beef with the Caribbean or Caribalo flavoring. I get the best of both worlds, essentially. There is no better kebab meat than the steak tips from C and C Butcher.
To show how well this went off, I prepared more than five pounds of meat and seafood plus an entire pineapple, a pound of mushrooms and three red peppers to feed seven adults and two kids. There wasn’t a single item left. Not one piece of steak tip. Not one chunk of pineapple. Not one slice of red pepper. Nothing.
That being said, I would’ve done one thing different and have included this in the recipe card below. In the future, I will brush the skewers with some grape seed or canola oil to help keep the meat from sticking to the grill grates. So brush your kebabs with a little oil when you do these.
- 1.5 lbs of at least 20U shrimp, pealed and deveined (not pictured)
- 1 tbsp your favorite BBQ rub (also not pictured)
- 3.5 lbs sirloin steak, cut into cubes a little smaller than a golf ball
- 3 red peppers, cut into chunks with the white flesh and seeds removed
- 1 pineapple, cored and cut into one inch chunks
- 16 oz white cap mushrooms, brushed free of dirt
- ¼ cup of canola or grape seed oil
- Dust the shrimp with the BBQ rub
- Chunk the meat into cubes a little smaller than a golf ball
- Chop the peppers, removing the stem, white flesh and seeds
- Core and chunk the pineapple into 1 inch cubes
- Assemble the kebabs
- Prepare grill for super high heat grilling
- Brush the kebabs with the oil
- Place the kebabs oiled side down on the grill
- Oil the other side of the kebabs and close the lid for 5-6 minutes until the meat has a nice char
- Flip the skewers over, closing the lid for another 5-6 minutes
- Remove from the grill and serve
Here’s a photo collage of the process: