• Yield: Makes 4 servings

Here’s a new take on Tex-Mex. The salsa that roasts under the kebabs is something like a cross between salsa and baked beans. It’s spicy and not too sweet, despite the tiny amount of brown sugar which aids in caramelization. Serve the beef and salsa with tortillas and jarred pickled jalapeño slices for easy homemade tacos.


  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels or thawed frozen corn kernels

  • 1 cup canned pink beans, drained and rinsed

  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • 2 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt

  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons mild smoked paprika

  • 1 1/2  pounds beef sirloin, cut into 1-inch cubes

Test Kitchen Notes

  • To drain canned diced tomatoes, use a fine-mesh sieve or line a standard colander with paper towels.

  • If you’d like, substitute apple cider vinegar for the sherry vinegar, but increase the brown sugar to 1 tablespoon.

Dinner Special book cover The Kitchen Shortcut Bible by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough


1. Position the rack in the middle of the oven; heat the oven to 400°F.

2. Stir the tomatoes, corn, beans, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and salt in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Roast for 12 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, mix the brown sugar, cumin, and smoked paprika in a large bowl. Add the beef cubes and stir until evenly coated. Working slightly off-center, thread the beef onto four 10-inch bamboo skewers. Then insert a second skewer through the chunks so each batch is on two parallel skewers.

4. After 12 minutes, stir the corn mixture, then set the skewers crosswise on the roasting pan so the bamboo ends rest on the pan sides and the beef hangs over the corn mixture.

5. Roast for 8 minutes, then turn the skewers over and continue roasting until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into one of the cubes registers 130°F for medium-rare or 140°F for medium, about 3 or 6 minutes longer. Transfer the skewers to serving plates or a platter; dish up the hot corn and bean salsa as the condiment.

Excerpted from The Kitchen Shortcut Bible Copyright 2018 by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough. Used with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York. All rights reserved.