Beef skewers with chouriço and bay leaves

Beef skewers with chouriço and bay leaves

Espetadas de carne com chouriço e louro

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I have a long-abiding memory of eating kebabs of chouriço and beef threaded together on twigs from a bay tree and cooked over a wood fire. They were truly incredible: the scent of the bay leaves added an amazing aroma to the meat, and the smoky chouriço created the perfect balance of flavour and crunch. If you like, try replacing the beef with thick rings of very fresh squid – mar e terra (surf and turf) is one of the best kebab combinations you can get. It’s really good served with fried cornmeal and a simple watercress salad with lots of cracked black pepper.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
30g butter, plus extra for basting
2 garlic cloves, finely crushed
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons madeira
250g beef fillet or sirloin, cut into medium chunks
1 small white onion
70g chourico, (skin removed), cut into 2cm slices
a small handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 small lemon, Freshly squeezed juiced
Garlic and turnip green rice with piri piri oil, Piri piri oil, to serve (optional)
sea salt flakes
ground white pepper

Method

  1. Soak some wooden skewers, or twigs from a bay tree if you have them, in water overnight. This will help stop them burning. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a low heat, add the garlic, bay leaf and Madeira and cook until the garlic is fragrant. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature, then pour it over the beef. Season with salt and pepper. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight.
  2. Cut the onion in half and separate each half out into individual petals. Put them in a bowl, cover with warm water and a pinch of salt and leave to soak for 10–15 minutes. This will make the onion a little less sharp.
  3. Dry the skewers with kitchen paper. Assemble each one, starting with an onion petal, then a slice of chouriço, then a piece of beef. Repeat until the skewer is full, leaving some space at the end so that you can pick it up.
  4. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat and brush the pan with butter. When the pan is hot, add the skewers and cook for about 2–3 minutes on each side, for medium-rare. Baste them regularly with butter during cooking. Remove and leave them to rest. (If using a barbecue, sear the skewers on the hottest spot on the grill for about 3 minutes, then transfer to a cooler spot and cook for 2 minutes more. Keep basting them with the melted butter as they cook.) Heat the cooking juices in the pan, then take it off the heat and stir in the parsley and lemon juice. Pour this sauce over the skewers before serving. I love to add a drizzle of piri piri oil.
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