Polish Shish Kebobs {Szaszłyki}


Every good party needs some grilled meat, says my husband. Obviously Poles don’t do much tailgating at a Super Bowl game but we do a good share of partying spring, summer, fall and winter. 

When I think about grilling, I think shish kebobs. Shish kebobs were a specialty of my uncle Ziggy. He’s my dad’s brother and a chef by trade. At family gatherings, not only in the summer time, he would make these on metal skewers that were about 3 feet long and attached to a grill that my dad made just for the purpose of grilling these. As I said before, we take food very seriously. 

 Each metal rod was suspended over a bed of hot wood coals and spun by a chain attached to a small motor. This way they cooked evenly. The bacon would melt into the veggies and drip onto the red-hot coals, creating a cloud of smoke and flavor making everyone around impatient to eat.  

My favorite part were the onions after they’ve been infuses with the juices running out of smoked bacon and received nice charred edges. I’d always trade those for bacon with my brother or dad. Now, I can apreciate every piece of this luscious and delicious dish. 

Feel free to substitute beef for chicken, just make sure to cut the meat into consistent pieces for even cooking. If you’re going with beef, get a good quality stake or roast (I went with angus beef). Bacon provides a nice layer of flavor and juiciness to the vegetables around. Thick cut smoked bacon is best for this recipe, as it is fattier and stays on the skewer. Alternate meat with veggies to medley the flavors. 

Polish Shish Kebobs {Szaszłyki}

  • Yields: 6-10 servings
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 30-40 min


  • 1.5 lbs of good quality beef (I used Angus beef roast)
  • 6 thick strips of smoked bacon
  • 5-6 small onions
  • 1 large red bell pepper (or 2 smaller ones)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated onion
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 2 tsp paprica
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper


  1. Lay out bacon strips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven at 350°F for 15 min, set aside to cool.

  2. In the meantime cut beef into chunks of about 0.5 in thick and about 2x2 inch wide and place in a bowl. Add spices and mix. Set aside.

  3. Peel the onions and slice into thick slices. Cut bell pepper into consistent pieces. Cooled bacon, but into pieces about the same size as the beef and bell pepper.

  4. Build kebobs by alternating meat and veggy: beef --> bell pepper
    --> bacon --> onion --> repeat.

  5. Grill to the desired temperature (or bake at 465°F for about 30 min, check a middle piece of beef for desired temperature. If still too rare, cook additional 5-7 min).

  6. Once cooked, let rest for 5 minutes covered with aluminum foil and a towel.


What’s your favorite shish-kebob? Do you prefer chicken or beer, grill or oven? Leave a comment below. Thanks!




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