Round steak is one of the most reasonably priced cuts to be found in the meat counter, partly because a steer yields lots of round, and partly because it's relatively tough and not especially flavorful. Grilling round steak as kabobs neatly addresses both of those criticisms. Cubing the beef shapes it into more chewable portions and gives it additional surface area to flavor with spices and marinades.
Pound your piece of round with a meat mallet, or perforate it thoroughly with a spiked jackard tenderizer if you own one. This step is optional, but improves the tenderness of your kabobs.
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Partially freeze the meat for 15 to 20 minutes, until it's just begun to stiffen. This makes it easier for you to cut uniformly sized kabobs, which in turn helps the beef cook more evenly.
Cut the steak into strips 3/4 inch to 1 inch wide, then cut each strip crosswise into cubes. Toss the cubes with your favorite marinade or spice rub, then refrigerate them for at least an hour or as long as overnight.
Preheat your grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or medium-high, or light your coals and allow them 30 minutes to settle down. If you're using bamboo or wooden skewers, rather than metal, soak them in water for 10 to 15 minutes as the grill heats to keep them from burning on the grill.
Skewer the beef evenly on the kabobs, alternating them with thin slices of onion, bell pepper or other vegetables, if desired. Cook the skewers, turning regularly, until the beef is well-browned on the outside and medium-rare to medium -- 125 to 135 F -- inside. Depending on the size of your cubes, this usually takes 6 to 10 minutes, but can go longer.
Serve hot with rice, buttered noodles or other side dishes as desired.
• Alternatively, instead of making traditional kabobs, cut your steak into strips 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick. Thread these broad, flat strips over your skewer like a ribbon and brush them with a sauce or marinade. Grill them quickly over high heat for just 2 to 3 minutes.
• If you choose to use an acidic marinade, or include a pinch or two of commercial meat tenderizer in your spice rub, pre-tenderize your meat with a mallet for best results. Pounding the steaks even lightly, or piercing them with a jackard tenderizer, creates numerous crevices where the tenderizing enzymes or acids can enter and work their magic.
• If you like grilled vegetables with your kabobs, consider making separate skewers solely for the veggies. They typically don't cook as quickly as the beef, especially when wedged between your cubes of round, so preparing them separately is the easiest way to cook both to the correct degree of doneness.
• Brush the kabobs with a glaze or sauce as they cook for additional flavor.
• If you'll be eating with knife and fork rather than straight from the skewer, you can cut your cubes of beef up to 2 inches thick. They'll take longer to cook -- up to 30 minutes -- but can then be slid from the skewer and sliced across the grain before eating. This makes the thicker cuts easier to chew.