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Espetada - Portuguese Beef Kebabs flavoured with Bay Leaves

What's the big idea?

This recipe is believed to originate from the island of Madeira. Some versions omit the vegetables and just use beef - it's up to you which you prefer.

Remember to allow plenty of time for marinating.

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 1½lbs beef tenderloin or boneless sirloin
  • 4 tabelspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 20 shallots
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 green peppers, cut into chunks

What To Do

  • Trim any sinews or excess fat from the beef, and cut it into 2 inch cubes
  • In a suitably large casserole, mix together the oil, vinegar, onion, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and bay leaves
  • Add in the beef and mix well. Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours
  • Preheat the grill or barbecue to high
  • Remove the beef and the bay leaves from the marinade and thread onto skewers, interspersing with shallots, tomatoes and green pepper
  • Grill or barbecue, turning regularly and basting with any excess marinade, until the meat is cooked to your taste
  • Remove the meat and vegetables from the skewers and serve with fresh bread for soaking up the juices

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