Ground Beef Skewers with Yogurt Mint Sauce

Beef Skewers

1 pound ground beef (80-90% lean)                
1 large sweet onion, grated  
3 large garlic cloves, finely minced                                      
Pinch red pepper flakes (or two)
2 teaspoons dried oregano                
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
2-3 tablespoons finely minced Italian parsley                                                           
Kosher salt and black pepper
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, cut into 6-8 slices

Soak 12-14 wooden skewers in water for at least an hour if using outdoor grill. If using an indoor top stove grill, it is not necessary to soak skewers.

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients.  Take about a teaspoon of meat mixer and cook in a small skillet.  When ready, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Take about 2 tablespoons of the beef mixture and shape into small sausages like shapes. Wrap around skewers, making sure that all skewers are about the same size.  Brush the outside of each skewer lightly with oil.

Grill or cook in large skillet until the beef is nicely golden brown on all sides.  Serve with fresh lemons and yogurt sauce.

Fresh Lemon

Yogurt Mint Sauce
2 cups plain or Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh mint
1 medium shallot, finely minced                                                                   
Kosher salt and black pepper
Drizzle olive oil       
Strain the yogurt in cheese cloth or an extra fine strainer over a bowl.  Strain overnight to remove any excess liquid.
Straining the yogurt

When the yogurt is strained, add all remaining ingredients. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. When ready, chill for a few hours for best flavor. 

Fresh Mint

These skewers can be made with chicken, turkey, beef, pork, as well as beef. The yogurt sauce can be served independently with pita bread, with skewers, with cooked seafood. Both recipes are very versatile.  You can create many dishes by simple changing a few ingredients. 

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