Recipes: Georgian Shishkebab

The following recipe if for Georgian Beef Shishkebob. Enjoy!

“Shashlyk”

1/2 cup dry red wine, pomegranate juice, or sparkling water*
3 cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press
1 small onion, grated
8 to 10 black peppercorns, crushed
Salt, to taste
2 1/2 pounds boneless lean sirloin, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
3 small onions, cut into wedges
3 green bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into wedges
1/4 cup olive oil

GARNISHES
Radicchio or red kale leaves
2 tomatoes
2 lemons, cut into wedges
8 scallions (green onions), trimmed
1 long zucchini, cut into six 1-inch-thick slices

1. In a large glass bowl, combine the wine, garlic, grated onion, peppercorns, and salt, then add the meat and toss to coat well. Refrigerate, covered, for 6 to 8 hours, turning the meat occasionally. Bring to room temperature before grilling.

2. Prepare hot coals for grilling until coated with white ash, or preheat the broiler.

3. Toss the onion and pepper wedges in a bowl with the oil.

4. Remove the meat from the marinade and string it on long metal skewers, alternating meat cubes with onion and pepper wedges and pushing everything closely together.

5. Grill or broil the skewers 4 inches away from the heat, turning frequently and sprinkling with the marinade every 3 minutes, 9 to 10 minutes for medium-rare, 12 to 13 minutes for medium.

6. To serve in a traditional way, line two serving platters with radicchio leaves or red kale. Cut into the tomatoes as though you are cutting them into quarters, but leave intact at the stem ends. Place one in the middle of each platter. Scatter lemon wedges and scallions on the platters. Stick the sharp end of each skewer into a zucchini slice. Place three skewers on each platter and bring the open ends together to form a tripod. Wrap the ends with a linen napkin to hold them together. Serve at once.

Serves 6

* Note: Although it is traditional to marinate the beef in wine or vinegar, the truly experienced Georgian cooks suggest that they actually toughen, rather than tenderize, good beef. They recommend using sparkling water instead.

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