Persian kabob, termed "Chelow Kabob" is otherwise known as the national dish of Iran. There are many types of kabob, all of which are usually made outside on the grill and served with steamed, saffroned rice (the"Chelow"). The most well known version is "Soltani" meaning "Sultan's Feast" consisting of one skewer of "Barg" (fillets of beef tenderloin or lamb) and another of "Koobideh" (ground lamb, beef or chicken).
The recipe I am about to share is a very simplified version that you can enjoy in any season in the comfort of your own kitchen. And.....it tastes just as delicious if not more than the grilled version!
1 pound lean ground beef (again, I use 90/10 but 85/15 will be even tastier)
One large yellow onion
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
I highly recommend the following veggies as an accompaniment:
2-3 tomatoes cut in half
Half a green pepper sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces
About 6 mushrooms sliced into 1/4 inch thick pieces
1. This is THE MOST important step so please pay close attention :)
Take your onions and place them into the food processor and PULSE for just a few seconds until the onions are chopped but NOT liquefied. If you reach the liquefied state (or partially liquefied state), all is not lost but you will have to squeeze the onion juice COMPLETELY out of the mix with your hands or using a strainer and the kabobs will not be quite as delicious (I guarantee this). The best advice is just to pulse as briefly as possible, check the onions, pulse again, check again, etc...until they are nicely (and finely) chopped but no visible onion juice as seen below:
2. Add your ground beef, salt and pepper to the onion and combine ingredients thoroughly using your hands to knead the mixture well.
4. Remove the kabobs once they are finished cooking. Continue to sauté the veggies, using a wooden spoon or spatula to flip them over; they will take approximately another 5-10 minutes to cook depending on how well done you like them. Once they are done cooking, serve the veggies with the kabob over rice and garnish with some fresh basil.
If you happen to have some "Somagh" (aka powdered sumac) on hand, sprinkle some over this delicious meal. Traditionally, the beverage of choice to accompany this dish is Doogh, made with yogurt, mint and often carbonated water (an entry in and of itself for a later date).
A quick note, the process of cooking Persian rice is a lengthy, multi-step one but very much worth it once you behold the beauty and tastiness of the end product. As a quick version, we make a simplified version called "Kateh" which is much easier and very very tasty too.
Here is my Kateh recipe:
1 cup rice uncooked and washed
1.5-2cups water (depending on type of rice you are using; 1.5 cups for jasmine and 2 for basmati)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Place rice and water into a pot. Add oil and salt and give it a good stir. Bring contents of pot to boil, then cover, reduce heat to low on burner. Rice should be ready in approximately 30 minutes.
And there you have it! A super easy AND super delcious Persian Pan Kabob.
I hope you enjoy this as much as my entire family does :-)