Nothing beats food that is roasted over a hot coal fire. Whether using a mangal, weber, braai, fire pit, the flavour of the food can’t be beat! We make shashlik or kebabs, usually for special occasions, probably for the amount of work involved! My friend Katya originally posted this recipe on her blog sweetbakedlove.blogspot.ca I have known Katya most of my life, and we lived in the same town when I was going to university in Kamloops. She is an amazing cook and baker, one of the best I know, baking not only awesome Russian baked goods, but cakes, cupcakes, cookie queen and novelty cakes. Please check out her blog. This repost found here shares a delicious meat and stuffed vegetable kebabs recipe, which is also called shashlik, a summer staple for Russians. I’m drooling just thinking about it. Thanks for allowing me to share it below Katya!
It’s that time…bring on the sizzle!!
With the warmer weather approaching it’s time to dust off your BBQ and get that grill fired up!! I tried a new recipe this year and I’m so excited to share it with you. I came across this recipe in December. I was surfing You Tube one snowy day and to my delight found a Russian cooking show called Kазан Mангал. The host is a man named Stalik and man, can he cook!! His mostly does outdoor grilling but with such enthusiasm and passion it’s hard not to get excited watching him. Check out his site by clicking here. I knew as soon as I saw this recipe that I was going to try it and it was going to be so good. I was not disappointed and you will not be either.
So very, very patiently I waited for winter to pass… January… February…March…April and finally it was time to try this delicious mouthwatering recipe that was calling out to me all winter long. Grilled Stuffed Vegetable Kebabs, I know, the name does this dish no justice whatsoever but don’t be fooled these kebabs are outstanding.
Clear sunny skies-check, grill pulled out of storage and ready to use-check, ready to grill some delicious food-check!!! Here goes….the idea was inspired by Stalik but this is my own version, he used a lot of different herbs and spices that I chose to leave out but really all you need is the idea and then be creative use our own favorite ingredients.
- 1lb Ground Beef
- ½ lb Ground Pork
- ½ large or 1 medium onion
- 1 bunch of green onions
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- ½ Tbsp cayenne pepper
- Salt to taste
- 3 Long thin eggplants
- 4-5 Zucchini
- 1-2 Leeks
- 2-3 Long sweet red peppers
- Peel the onions and garlic. Finely chop the onions, the green stalk part of the leeks and garlic. Keep the bottom part of the leeks to stuff with meat filling, set aside for now. Place the ground beef and pork into a large mixing bowl.
- Add finely chopped onions, garlic, chopped green onion. finely chopped green leek tops, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper.
- Mix ingredients together until thoroughly combined.
- Once the meat filling is mixed, cover with saran wrap and put into the fridge. You can make this part 2-3 hours ahead of grilling time. This allows the meat to marinate and incorporate all the flavours.
- About 1 hour prior to grilling prepare the vegetables to stuff with meat filling. Cut the bottom part of the leeks into 3 cm long pieces and very carefully push the rings out one by one.
- Separate the cut leek pieces into individual rings. Cut the zucchini into 3 cm long piece. Carefully cut out the centers with a small paring knife, so there's a hollow center, save the inside part to use for something later.
- Cut the eggplant into 3 cm long pieces too. Hollow out the center with a paring knife, save the inside and use it to make stir fry or something else. Unfortunately I couldn't find any long red peppers to stuff so I made extra zucchini rounds but next time I'm definitely trying the peppers 🙂
- After the vegetables are all cut, separated and hollowed out sprinkle the vegetables with salt. Sprinkle salt in the inside of the zucchini and eggplant too.
- At this point in time get your grill going. I use a grill that is made specially for kebabs and shashlik. The width is the perfect size for the skewers, it's made out of metal and I can start the fire with wood and add charcoal closer to grilling time. I prefer using charcoal to grill.
- The dry, white-hot heat of charcoal sears meat quickly, creating a crusty, caramelized exterior and smoky flavor. You can use whatever method you prefer, a small charcoal kettle grill works great and gas barbecue is fine too. The method I use is not always convenient BUT it you ever get a chance to try grilling with charcoal DO IT, that flavour is completely different you will be amazed at the difference. Once you got the grill going it time to stuff the vegetables with meat.
- Fill the vegetable rings with meat filling make sure to completely fill them full. Make the flush at both ends Don't cram the filling in to hard the vegetable rounds can break and crack.
- After all the vegetables are stuffed with meat it's time to skewers them.
- If you have any meat filling leftover just make meat kebabs by molding the meat around the skewer.
- When you first start grilling the skewers, sear both ends first, this way the meat has a browned crust that stops the meat filling from falling out of the ends.
- Turn the meat/vegetable skewers over continually to get an even grill on all sides. Lightly sprinkle with salt if needed. Keep grilling until the meat is cook all the way through, no pink inside and the vegetables are tender.
- Remove from the grill and let the skewers rest for 5 minutes, (if you can). Serve with your favorite side dish and dig in!! I hope you try this recipe for yourself, I know you'll be so glad you did. Definitely two thumbs up!!