Espetada (beef kebabs with bay leaves) recipe

  • Serves 6 or 7 ‘big piece’ skewers
  • 10 mins to prepare, 25 mins to cook and 2 hrs marinating time
  • 327 calories / serving
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TWC 28 Recipe 2 Eapetada Beef hero

Put the meat in a bowl and sprinkle with the paprika. Add 2 whole bay leaves, 3 squashed garlic cloves, the olive oil, and the pepper. Turn it all through, massaging the mixture into the meat. Cover, refrigerate and leave for a couple of hours. If you're using wooden skewers, put them to soak now, so they don't scorch on the barbecue.

Heat up the barbecue and, while it's warming, thread the meat and bay leaves alternately onto skewers. Brush the bay leaves with a touch of oil to stop them burning. Put a rack fairly close over the hot barbecue, about 10cm (4in) away, and cook the skewers, turning often, until charred here and there but rosy inside.

Meanwhile, heat the butter with the last garlic clove in a small pan until it's a bit golden and smells good. Keep warm on the side of the barbecue if the skewers aren't yet ready. Put the skewers on a platter, drizzle with the warm butter and serve at once. The meat will be deliciously soft and tender and the juices will seep out and mingle with the butter.


Recipe from Piri Piri Starfish, by Tessa Kiros, published by Murdoch Publishing, £22·50. 

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

  • Ingredients

  • 1kg (2lb) beef fillet, cut into 5cm (2in) pieces
  • ¾tsp ground sweet paprika
  • 20 or more fresh bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and squashed a bit
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 25g butter
  • Energy 1365kj 327kcal 16%
  • Fat 19g 28%
  • Saturates 8g 38%
  • Sugars 0g 0%
  • Salt 0.3g 5%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 2.1g Protein 35.9g Fibre 0.1g


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