Ground Meat Kebabs with Fresh Herbs


Ground Beef Kabobs

In February 2010, Marvin and I took a Valentine’s trip to Southern Spain and Morocco. Our main objective was the Festival de Jarez – a month-long celebration of all things flamenco in the Andalusian town,  Jarez de la Frontera.  We spent five days in Jarez watching and listening to incredible flamenco performances. In between shows we wandered the rainy streets, enjoyed the delicious food  (huge plates of fried fish, sliced  jamón, olives, cheese, crusty bread, Spanish beer, amazing steaks, delicate pastries) and we drank sherry. Jarez de la Frontera, we discovered, is the sherry capital of the World. One night we even watched a flamenco performance by candlelight inside a Sherry Bodega. It was magical!!

Tio Pepe Bodega

We watched a midnight flamenco performance here, surrounded by barrels of sherry.

What does this story have to do with a meat kabob recipe from the cookbook Balaboosta? Well, after our 5 days in Jarez, we took a ferry ride across the Straight of Gibraltar to Tangier, Morocco, where we ate lunch at a tiny hole in the wall place with three tables and a couple of grills out front. Our waiter served us meat kabobs which tasted almost exactly like the recipe from Balaboosta I am sharing with you today.

Tangier Morocco – Feb. 2010

So there you have it!

I’ve adapted this slightly from the original, with the addition of lamb and a little garlic. Marvin LOVED these kabobs and eating them brought back great memories of our Valentine’s trip a few years ago.

The flavor is definitely Middle Eastern with hints of cumin and cinnamon, but bright with the flavor of fresh herbs, too. You could also form this mixture into patties for a Mediterranean twist on a burger or make meatballs and serve them in pita.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

– Mary

Ground Meat Kebabs with Fresh Herbs
Recipe Type: Entree or Starter, Grilled Meat
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Author: A Passionate Plate – adapted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony
Serves: 4
  • Bamboo skewers (soaked in water) or metal skewers
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro & mint)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse 5 to 10 times to combine well.
  2. Shape the meat mixture into cylinders, about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch in diameter.
  3. Thread onto the skewers and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Heat a gas grill on medium high or light a charcoal grill.
  5. When the grill is ready, place the kabobs over the fire and good until they are cooked through and charred on each side, about 6 minutes.
  6. Serve hot off the grill with tzatziki, salsa, hummus or your favorite dipping sauce.


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