Espetada is the Portuguese style of cooking meat on a skewer – a bit like kebabs. The skewers of seasoned meat are usually cooked over a flame or hot coals, so you can cook these on the BBQ when the weather permits, but cooking on a griddle pan indoors would work too. The lightly spiced marinade not only infuses the beef with flavour, but makes the meat extra tender too. We’ve served our espetada beef skewers with a simple salad of mustardy green beans, with some lovely crusty bread to soak up the juices. For a barbecue dish that will catch the attention of all your friends and family, try making these Portuguese espetada beef skewers.
- 1.2kg piece rump or top rump
for the marinade
- 2tbsp smoked paprika
- 1tsp cayenne pepper
- 1tbsp cumin
- 1tbsp dried oregano
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 3tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3tbsp brown sugarf
or the sauce
- 6tbsp flat-leaf parsley
- 2tbsp fresh oregano
- 4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
for the beans
- 300g French beans, trimmed
- 1tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2tbsp red wine vinegar
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil
- Cut the beef into large chunks, trimming off any sinew. Mix together the marinade ingredients and mix into the beef, then transfer to a bowl and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 3hrs (overnight is fine). Once marinated, thread onto metal skewers. To make the sauce, simply whizz all the ingredients together in a food processor. Cover and set aside.
- Cook the beans until just tender then drain. Whisk the mustard and vinegar together then gradually whisk in the oil. Toss the vinaigrette into the warm beans.
- Grill the skewers under the grill or on the barbecue until cooked to your liking. Spoon over the herb sauce and serve with the beans and plenty of crusty bread.
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Jane Curran is a freelance food editor, stylist, writer and consultant based in Cape Town. Former food director of TI Media & woman&home. All about food, wine (dipWSET), gardening and the Arsenal.
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