If you are craving big, bold flavors and mouth-watering grilled meat, this chipotle beef kabob is the way to go. Steve and I had these for lunch today, and he was SO impressed, I can’t repeat his slightly inappropriate metaphor. Because I’m self-censored. You know, keeping it family friendly. Let’s just say he was REALLY, REALLY happy with them.
I adjusted this recipe, only very slightly, from a dish that was taught at the Whole Foods Culinary Academy in Austin, TX. The culinary academy was housed in an area under the corporate office and next to the flagship store. For a fee, chefs would demonstrate how to cook featured recipes and the observers then lunched or dined on the dishes. I got this recipe from one of those sessions.
Although the combination of flavors are distinctly Mexican, the final dish is very reminiscent of a Middle Eastern grilled meat. That’s because it is earthy yet bright, aromatic, and very compelling. The tender grilled meat squares are beautifully enhanced with the sour cream-based dipping sauce. As a result, it all comes together beautifully in the form of complimentary contrasts.
Then let’s make Chipotle Beef Kabobs with Lime Cilantro Dipping Sauce
Chipotle in adobo can be quite spicy, and if eaten straight, there can be quite a kick. However, the other marinade ingredients counter that heat. Consequently, the finished kabobs were not spicy at all. So, if you want more kick, you may want to increase either the chipotle, the adobo, or both.
Mix the sauce ingredients first, then refrigerate. That way the flavors meld.
Then mix the marinade ingredients in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.
Add the cubed meat, displace the air inside, and seal. Then lightly massage the meat to distribute the marinade everywhere. Marinade the meat for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer.
Soak some wooden skewers for about 30 minutes.
Stab all the marinated beef cubes, 4 per skewer. I ended up with 10 skewers, but I think I had just slightly more than the 2 lbs of top sirloin that the recipe calls for.
Heat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium. When the grill surface is hot, place the skewers on the grill surface and cook for about 3 minutes per side. The meat should be cooked a lovely medium.
Then serve warm with the chilled sauce.
I couldn’t resist. I had to dip one in right away. And I happen to agree with Steve. AMAZING!
Who doesn’t love the warmth and charred tenderness of a well-grilled top sirloin, infused with the earthy chipotle and the other marinade ingredients. The lime juice and zest in the sour cream make it bright and citrusy, while the cumin gives it a rounded warmth you don’t expect from a chilled dipping sauce.
Serve the skewers on a party platter, or make a meal with some Spanish rice and a fresh salad. Party food or main dish, there is no going wrong with these chipotle beef kabobs with lime cilantro dipping sauce. These are winners every time! And I should know, I ate way more than I should have!
- FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Juice of 1 lime, and 1 teaspoon of zest
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- FOR THE KABOBS
- 2 pounds top sirloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 2 heaping tablespoons chopped chipotles in adobo
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup quality olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Mix the sauce ingredients and refrigerate so the flavors can meld.
- Next, mix the marinade ingredients in a gallon Ziploc bag, add the meat, and refrigerate.
- Marinade the beef for a minimum of 30 minutes, preferably longer.
- Meanwhile, soak some wooden skewers in water for about 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium or medium high, depending on your flame source.
- Remove the marinaded beef from the refrigerator and stab 4 beef cubes per skewer, leaving some length at the base to act as a handle.
- When the grill is hot, cook the beef skewers for about 3 minutes per side for a medium result.
- Serve warm with the chilled dipping sauce.