One of the main reasons we live in Texas is the weather, which we appreciate most in the Spring and Fall. Lots of people think that living in Texas, we don’t really get to experience the four traditional “seasons,” but we do. It’s just that two of them — Spring and Fall — happen to be rather short. Here in Dallas, we are lucky enough to still be having some Spring weather, unlike our poor friends and family further south, who are already experiencing the heat and humidity for which the Houston area is infamous. No matter the weather, we grill pretty much year-round. Yet the warm (but not too warm!) temps and sunny, cloud-free days definitely have me drawn to our grilling cookbooks when searching for recipes these days. This pork recipe is one we have had many times before, but for some reason we usually only cook it during warm weather months. Maybe it’s something about the kebab itself — perhaps the idea of grilling almost your entire meal on a “stick” evokes memories/thoughts of summer days and nights roasting hot dogs and marshmallows around a campfire. We decided to enjoy this nostalgic feeling and kick off our short window of Spring with pork kebabs. Check back in about a month (or less) for recipes involving refrigeration and bitching about how it’s already too hot to be outside.
We adapted this recipe from one of our most-used grilling books, Weber’s Real Grilling. Weber’s original recipe only calls for peppers grilled on the skewers with the pork, but we add mushrooms and onion. The ingredients for the pork rub include olive oil, Dijon mustard, paprika, granulated garlic, light brown sugar and salt and pepper.
Prepare the mushrooms by wiping the dirt off them with a slightly damp paper towel. Mushrooms contain a lot of liquid naturally, so you don’t want to wash them with running water.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms and they are ready to be skewered.
Begin preparing the pepper by cutting it in half and removing the stem and seeds. Also cut out any white parts because that portion of the pepper can be bitter.
Cut the pepper into 3/4 to 1 inch squares.
Next, prepare the onion by cutting off the ends and peeling off the outer skin. Cut the onion in half, then cut each half horizontally down the middle.
Then cut the onion layers into pieces about the same size as the peppers. You could also use pearl onions and just skewer them whole.
Mix together the rub ingredients. You’ll be adding the pork directly to the bowl to coat it with the rub, so you may want to use a bigger bowl, depending on how much pork you’re going to cook.
Prepare the pork by trimming off the visible fat, then cut it into 3/4 to 1 inch cubes.
Add the pork to the bowl and coat it evenly with the rub. (See above suggestion to use a bowl big enough to accommodate all the pork.) Let the pork sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before grilling.
Thread the pork, mushrooms, onion and pepper onto the skewers, alternating the ingredients however your OCD will allow. We like to start with mushroom, then pork, then onion and pepper.
Rinse and repeat until all the ingredients are skewered.
Grill the kebabs over direct high heat until the pork is barely pink in the middle — about 5-7 minutes total.
Turn the skewers once during the grilling process. A very handy kitchen gadget to use during this step is the “Ove Glove,” which protects your hand from the heat, but still allows you to get a good grip on the skewers. And may or may not make you feel like doing the moonwalk.
The Ove Glove is also useful for removing the cooked kebabs from the grill and placing them on a plate or tray to bring inside.
We served our kebabs over this rice side dish. We love how the overall grill flavor complements the combined tastes and textures of the slightly mustard-y pork, juicy mushrooms, sweet onion and still-crisp peppers. Tastes like Spring!
- 1 to 1.5 pounds boneless pork sirloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
- red bell pepper, cut into ¾ to 1 inch squares
- white onion, cut into ¾ to 1 inch squares
- mushrooms, stems removed
Ingredients for the pork rub:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine the rub ingredients in a big enough bowl to also accommodate the pork, and mix the rub ingredients together until smooth. Add the pork to the bowl and coat evenly with the rub mixture.
Thread the pork, mushrooms, onion and peppers on skewers, alternating each ingredient. Grill the kebabs over direct high heat until the pork is barely tender in the middle — about 5-7 minutes total. Turn each skewer once during the grilling process.