Simple Kebabs for Dinner

Grilled Steak Tips and Red Potatoes with Sour Cream-Chive Sauce

picture 1.I love kebabs! They are simple and can be cooked on the grill.  Usually, the trick is making simplicity taste like it was complicated.  This America’s Test Kitchen recipe for the sour cream-chive sauce is fresh and taste like summer.  This recipe calls for the meat TO MARINATE FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS OR UP TO 24 HOURS.  My recommendation is to prep the meat, placing it in the marinade before you start your work day.  After the 8-9 hour workday, the meat will be perfect.

Tricks I learned while cooking this dinner:

  • Stabbing the meat with the fork is crucial to penetrate the marinade into the meat
  • This is a great marinade for New York strip steaks too
  • I used 2 heaping Tablespoons of brown sugar because I wanted the meat to caramelize
  • Use a large measuring cup to hold your zip lock bag containing the marinade and meat.
  • I spray the metal skewers with olive oil BEFORE sliding on the food. It makes removing the skewers so easy



  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons packed dark brown sugar (I used light brown)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 ounces sirloin steak tips, or sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into 2 1/2 inch pieces



  • 1 Tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 ounces extra-small red potatoes, halved
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (I used slightly more)



picture 5.Whisk soy sauce, oil, sugar, garlic, tomato paste, paprika, pepper and cayenne together in a bowl until sugar dissolves, transfer to a zip lock bag.  ***Remember, place the zip lock bag in a glass measuring device to hold it in place while pouring meat and marinade in it. Pat steak tips dry with paper towels and prick on all sides with a fork.  Add to bag with soy sauce mixture and toss to coat;  press out as much air as possible and seal bag.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 24 hours, flipping occasionally.  (I did not flip mine).


Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, chives, lemon juice and water in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Toss potatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place, cut side down, on plate and microwave until potatoes soften but still hold their shape, 5-7 minutes, flipping them halfway through cooking.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Prep your skewers.


I used a large baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil.  I lay the skewers (I used a total of 6 for this recipe) on the foil lined baking sheet.  Using my olive oil atomizer, I spray each skewer on both sides.  My metal skewers are flat.  Then lay skewers in pan while getting ready to place food on them.

POTATOES, place on skewers, CUT SIDE DOWN, in a row on two skewers.

MEAT, slide each piece of meat onto two skewers.

I rough cut a RED BELL PEPPER and A GREEN BELL PEPPER for a vegetable side dish, sliding each 2″ x 2″ piece of pepper onto skewers.

Make sure only one type of food is on one skewer as each of these require slightly different cook times.


picture 3.Turn all burners to high, cover and heat grill until hot, about 10 minutes.  Turn all burners to high.  (I turned my burners to medium).

Clean and oil cooking grate.  (Article later this week on JoAnn’s Food Bites on cleaning your grill grates)

Place potatoes, turning as needed, until tender and browned on both sides, about 5 minutes.

Cook beef until charred on both sides and it registers 130º for medium, 8 minutes.

picture 2.Bell peppers can be put on at the same time as the potatoes, they will not take more than 5 minutes to become charred and cooked tender, but still have a crunch when bitten.

Transfer potatoes and beef to a serving platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Slide potatoes off skewers, drizzle sauce over potatoes and serve.

picture 6.

Recipe appears in one of my favorite cookbooks: Cooking for Two 2012 (America’s Test Kitchen)

Want another kebab recipe try



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3 Responses to Simple Kebabs for Dinner

  1. Doug says:

    These were great. Nice pics

  2. Debbie says:

    Hey these look really good. Can I do them in my oven, our grill is on the firitz. The marinade that you use, does that make the meat tender, at this altitude it’s very hard to get meat to be tender.? Any other tips for tender meat or high altitude cooking would be greatly appreciated.

    • JoAnn says:

      I believe the flavor, especially on the bell peppers would be diminished if you cooked them in your oven. By pricking the meat with the fork, before submerging the meat in the marinade will aid in tenderness, however, the biggest impact is not to get the meat too hot. I will post an article about tenderizing meat on Thursday for you.

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