Beyond the Burger: Greek Souzoukaklia Beef Skewers with Arugula-Grape Salad


My friends from Acabonac Farms sent me some ground beef and the gauntlet was thrown. The challenge: Think Beyond the Burger! What could I do with a pound of ground beef that was beyond the oft-consumed American favorite. I got my outside the box thinking cap on, and got to work. 

I had the idea for this recipe, but didn't actually know where to start since I don't even know how to pronounce Souzoukaklia, let alone make one. My initial thinking about this recipe went like this..."Mom, you know in Greek or maybe Turkish or maybe just like general Mediterranean culture, they put ground beef on a skewer?" Her response..."no." In other words, I had a lot of research to do. 

I first tested this recipe on my mom and step-dad and they loved it. After a bit of tweaking, here it is! It's a delicious, LIGHT lunch, which is pretty remarkable for ground beef. You can definitely prepare these indoors, but I'd recommend using a grill if you can. They get a little char and the grill-marks add to the flavor. 


What You'll Need:

  • 1lb Acabonac Farms grass-finished ground beef
  • 1 organic yellow onion
  • 6 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tsp each: cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cayenne
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • Wooden skewers
  • 2 organic lemons
  • 1/2 pound organic red or other grapes
  • 6 tablespoons roasted hazelnuts
  • 4 large handfuls organic baby arugula or other leafy greens
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Paleo Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1-14 ounce can coconut cream not milk
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and grated
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder*
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder*
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

What I Did:

  1. First make the tzatziki. Combine ingredients and put it in the fridge until needed. The longer it has to combine the better it will taste!

  2. Turn on the grill and pre-heat to medium.

  3. Open the ground beef, and transfer to a plate. Pat dry with a paper towel.

  4. Peel and dice the about half the onion to measure out to 1 cup

  5. Combine the ground beef, onion, raisins, and spices. Season with salt and pepper and mix with your hands until just combined. I find it's easier to work with the ground beef with slightly wet hands, so wet your hands and shape the beef mixture into 12 ovals, and then skewer them with the wooden skewers.

  6. Cut the lemons in to 3-4 slices each and brush with a touch of olive oil. Then, place the cut side down, and char them on the grill. 

  7. Add the souzoukaklia to the grill and cook until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side. 

  8. While the beef souzoukaklia cook, prepare the salad. Slice grapes in half. Place the hazelnuts in a ziptop bag and crush slightly with the bottom of a cup or jar.

  9. Toss together the arugula, grapes, hazelnuts and 2 TBSP olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

  10. Squeeze the lemon juice from the charred lemons over the souzoukaklia and salad. 


Anna GlennonComment