Moroccan-​Style Beef Kebabs

These ten­der and deli­cious Moroccan-​style beef kebabs have just right amount of spicy fla­vor to tin­gle your taste buds. It’s super sim­ple to make them, and thread­ing them on a skewer is optional. The ground meat mix­ture can be grilled as burg­ers, or even seared in a pan and baked in the oven as meat­balls. You can eat the kebabs with a salad, plain yogurt for dip­ping, and a side of rice. And make more of them than you think you’ll need – I promise you they’ll all be devoured.

Tasty Moroccan-Style Beef KebabsIt might seem tricky to thread these onto a skewer, rather than going the easy route with whole chunks of meat, but there’s a flip­side. Ground meat yields a juicy, softer tex­ture, and absorbs the mari­nade thor­oughly and more quickly. I use beef in this recipe, because it’s nice and rich com­bined with Moroc­can spices. My other kebab favorite is ground turkey thigh — it’s a bit less assertive in fla­vor, and I use it to make my Viet­namese grilled meat skewers.

To get the kebabs ready for the bar­be­cue, shape an oblong meat­ball in your palm and press it into the skewer, spin­ning it around with one hand and press­ing to make the final shape with the other. Make sure to wet your hands before shap­ing, so the meat doesn’t stick, and don’t just poke the skewer through — it will slide off. It’s best to set them down on a flat sur­face and some­thing non-​sticky like parch­ment paper. You can spin them around in your hand, if needed, to fix up the shape right before grilling.

As with any grilled stuff, make sure you pre­heat the bar­be­cue and thor­oughly scrape the grade with a wire brush. I’m always afraid to use my bar­be­cue for the first time each sea­son, because I found a live mouse in our old one — it FREAKED out on me and darted and squeaked all around the inside of the grill before jump­ing out. If you’ve ever seen a mouse, then you know how fast they move. We had to get a new bar­be­cue, it was hor­ri­ble and I’m scarred for life now.

Tasty Moroccan-Style Beef KebabsIt’s impor­tant to brush the kebabs with olive oil, oth­er­wise they will stick. Above is what they look like when ready. See the two rejects? That’s what hap­pens when you don’t brush them with olive oil before grilling. I don’t always lis­ten to myself.

If you’re using wooden skew­ers, make sure to soak them for about 15 min­utes, or they will burn.

Happy grilling to you.

Moroccan-​Style Beef Kebabs
Cui­sine: Moroc­can
Serves: Makes 12 kebabs
  • 450g (1lb) extra lean ground beef
  • 3 tbs finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of gar­lic, finely minced
  • 4 tbs finely chopped Ital­ian parsley
  • 1 table­spoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • salt and gen­er­ous sprin­kling of black pepper
  • olive oil, for brush­ing kebabs
  1. Mix all of the kebab ingre­di­ents together in a bowl. Cover with plas­tic wrap and refrig­er­ate for at least 15 min­utes, ide­ally an hour, to absorb the flavors.
  2. Wet your hands, and take out a small hand­ful of meat mix­ture out of the bowl, then shape it into a kebab cylin­der about 3 inches long. Press the kebab into the skewer, spin­ning the bot­tom of the skewer with one hand and mak­ing the final kebab shape with the palm of the other. Lay the kebabs down on a flat sur­face, parchment-​paper lined sur­face, cover with plas­tic wrap and refrig­er­ate until ready for the grill.
  3. Pre­heat the bar­be­cue to medium-​high and thor­oughly scrape the grade with a wire brush. Brush the kebabs with olive oil. Place on the grill and cook, with the grill lid down, for 2 to 3 min­utes on each side, or until done to your lik­ing. Turn only once.


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