These za’atar crusted steak kebabs use a classic Mediterranean spice blend rubbed over grass-fed rib-eye steaks then skewered & grilled with mushrooms, red onions, tomatoes & bell peppers.
Summer is fast approaching and I’m taking advantage of the beautiful weather with plenty of time in front of the grill. Burgers, ribs, steaks, chicken, veggies… everything tastes better with a bit of smoke & fire. One of my favorite grilling options are kebabs since it’s a full meal on a stick!
Kebabs are a Middle Eastern cuisine that date back for centuries. Mixed meats and vegetables are skewered and cooked over an open flame to give them a rich and smokey taste. Each adjoining ingredient imparts their flavor to one another as they cook. I love using colorful ingredients such as wild tomatoes, mushrooms, red onions and bell peppers, but the options are limitless.
What better option to anchor your skewers than with tender 100% grass-fed ribeye steaks? A well marbled steak makes each bite super tender and flavorful. I opt for grass-fed beef whenever possible, as I find it simply tastes better, and I’m conscious of the food I eat. Moreover, finding sustainably raised animals with no added hormones or antibiotics is an important purchasing decision for me. I’m fortunate that my nearest grocery store is a Sprouts location where they share those same values. As I write this, with the nation is under quarantine, many suppliers have limited stock of meats, but I’ve never had a problem finding high quality options from their store.
Za’tar Spice Blend
If I’m making a Middle Eastern style dish, I want to also spice it accordingly. I decided to use one of my favorite spice mixtures of all time. Za’atar is a combination of dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac & sesame seeds. There are plenty of variations of this spice mixture, but most will have similar ingredients. You can certainly purchase it pre-mixed but be sure to check the ingredients to avoid any fillers (such as wheat) that they might use to bulk up their products. However, it’s really easy to make yourself, and you can generally find all the ingredients in the spice aisle or bulk section of your store.
Pair this with a healthy drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and you get a flavorful paste that can be used in all sorts of dishes. In fact, one of the most common ways is to simply dip flat bread in it to enjoy (so good!).
For these kebabs, I took a couple of thick cut ribeye steaks and cut them into bite size chunks. I then rubbed the za’atar paste all over the beef before skewering them alongside the various vegetables. It’s important to keep the ingredients about the same size though, so they cook evenly. Also, I recommend turning the kebabs fairly often so that they don’t char or burn too quickly. They shouldn’t take more than about 8-10 minutes to cook over a medium-high grill. Once you’ve pulled them off the grill, let them rest about 5 minutes before serving. If you like, a little drizzle of olive oil wouldn’t hurt one bit either.
Za’atar Spice Blend & Marinade
Za'atar Spice Blend
- 2 tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp sumac can substitute with lemon zest
- 2 tbsp dried oregano preferable Greek or Turkish
- 1 tbsp dried marjoram can substitue with more oregano
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- Mix all the dried ingredients together in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container.
- For the marinade, add olive oil to the seasoning blend and mix well. Add additional oil if necessary for a paste-like consistency. Rub marinade all over cubed beef prior to skewering & grilling with your favorite veggies.