Welcome to Lazaro Actually Cooks Saturday
I get annoyed every year when people wax poetic about “Grilling Season.” Mostly because I cannot have a grill, the joys of condo living. So for us unfortunate souls we must be able to cook meat beautifully in the kitchen. Skirt steak, or Churrasco, is a wonderful cut of meat. There are a two skirt steak cuts that come from the diaphragm of cattle, the outside skirt and the inside skirt.
The Inside skirt is a more uneven piece of meat, smaller, and less expensive. The Outside skirt is the more appealing of the two, more uniform in size, and thus more expensive. Skirt steak is a favorite choice cut of meat in South America, predominately in Argentina, and Uruguay where red meat consumption is quite high.
Tough cuts of meat have long muscle fibers that tenderize through extensive cooking. Skirt steak cannot be cooked for long so it must be cut against the grain to shorten those muscles. The marinade with the beer and fresh herbs imparts a lot of flavor to the meat. Alcohol does not tenderize, cooking or cutting tenderize, so always cook any alcohol before marinating. Raw alcohol “cooks” the exterior of meat preventing the meat from fully absorbing the flavors of the marinade.
Chimichurri is a green sauce condiment and marinade used in Argentina, Uruguay, Central America, the United States and by extension in the 305. Here I decided to highlight it two ways; first making the original sauce and then creating an herb salad inspired by the ingredients that make up the sauce. Garlic chips make a wonderful crunchy garnish, while Mission figs add a sweet touch.
Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Salad
For the Skirt Steak:
6 savory sprigs
6 thyme sprigs
3 culantro sprigs
2 bay leaf
½ tbs black peppercorns
3 garlic cloves – (smashed and skin left on)
16 oz Killian’s Irish Red
½ cup cane sugar
Four 6-ounces trimmed outside skirt steaks
Fleur de Sel
2 tbs unsalted butter
Combine the marinade ingredients in a saucepot. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool to room temperature. In a glass bowl, place the steaks and cover with marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge overnight.
Remove the meat from the marinade. Allow the meat to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Discard marinade. Pat dry the steaks with paper towel. Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a heavy bottom pan, heat the canola oil over high heat. Season the steaks with sea salt and black pepper. Add to the pan and brown the steak on the first side. Flip the steaks and add the butter to the pan. Baste the steak with the butter as you brown the second side. Transfer the steak to the oven and cook for 8 minutes for medium rare. Remove the steaks to a wire rack to rest for 8 minutes.
For the Chimichurri Sauce:
1 cup Olive oil
2 limes juiced
2 elephant garlic cloves
Flat leaf parsley
Note: All herbs are fresh. Quantities at the discretion of the cook.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until pureed. Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes for flavor to meld. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.
For the Garlic Chips:
Elephant garlic cloves
Slice the garlic cloves as thin as possible on a mandoline. In small saucepan, cover the garlic slices with cold milk. Bring to the boil. Drain the garlic in a strainer and rinse under cold water. Heat the oil to 300 F. Pat dry the garlic slices with paper towel. Fry the garlic slices until golden brown. Drain the garlic chips on paper towel.
Note: These garlic chips can be stored in an airtight container for 2 days.
For the Chimichuri Herb Salad:
Flat Leaf Parsley
Red Bell Pepper – (sliced thin on the mandoline)
For the Honey Mustard Vinaigrette:
Combine in a glass bowl. Whisk vigorously to emulsify.
1. Center the herb salad on the plate
2. Spoon some of the mustard vinaigrette
3. Top with the mission figs, red bell pepper, and garlic chip
4. Slice the steak across the grain
5. Plate the steak
6. Season with sea salt, smoked paprika, marjoram, black pepper
7. Add the Chimichuri Sauce
That’s it for now…till we exchange a few words again…Peace!