Sunday, February 19, 2017

Grilled Churrasco Skirt Steak With Chimichurri (Plus BONUS VIDEO!)



It's not likely that skirt steak would really be on the same tenderness scale as say, filet mignon... But, ask people who've had it (cooked properly, of course) to rate it's flavor on a scale from 1 to 10 and I'd bet you plenty that 99.9% of the card carrying carnivores on the planet would happily answer that it's an absolute 10. (or maybe even higher!)

We've made this particular steak recipe from Daisy Martinez many times since we first tried it last Summer and I have to say that it's one of the most delicious cuts of beef I've ever tasted. I won't lie...because it comes from a more muscular part of the cow, it does have a texture that's a tiny bit chewy, but not at all in a bad way. Just imagine the texture of perfectly smoked ribs... yeah, it's something like that. It's definitely the type of steak that has to be sliced against the grain, similar to a flank steak or a tri-tip, but it's not too expensive and the incredible flavor will satisfy even the pickiest of "steak connoisseurs".

...And then there's the Chimichurri sauce that tops this steak. It's the perfect compliment to a rich cut of beef like skirt steak. And Daisy uses an amazing little trick that I'd never seen before, that is meant to add extra tenderness to the meat and I kid you not... it works like a charm!

As a little bonus, especially for all of my very dear friends who've stuck around and have never given up on me through all of my unannounced (and often extra long) absences from the blogosphere, I've faced one of my biggest fears - making my own demonstration video) included a bonus video showing you how, after years of trial and error, I figured out the way to saute the perfect mushrooms to serve alongside steak or other dishes.

You can check out that post, complete with the bonus video (made by yours truly!) by clicking ➞HERE.



Churrasco Skirt Steak
By: Daisy Martinez
(Serves 4)

FOR THE STEAK:
  • 2 skirt steaks (about 1Lb each), trimmed of fat and cut in half, crosswise
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar (I prefer red)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1) Rub a generous amount of salt and pepper into both sides of the steaks. Rub the onion powder into the steaks, dividing it evenly. Put the steaks into a baking dish or container that holds them comfortably.

(Now for Daisy's awesome tenderness trick!)
2) Placing your thumb over the top of the bottle to control the flow, sprinkle the (approx) 2 tablespoons of vinegar over the steaks and brush lightly with the olive oil. Allow the steaks to marinate for up to 30 minutes at room temperature, or refrigerate in a tightly covered dish for up to 2 days. I won't go into the science behind doing this step, but trust me, it's amazing what a difference it makes with your tougher cuts of meat!

3) Heat your grill to medium-high, or if cooking your steaks indoors on the top of the stove, place a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the steaks, turning only once, to desired doneness. Remove from the grill and let rest 5 to 10 minutes, loosely covered with some foil. Slice the steaks thinly against the grain just before serving. Drizzle some of the chimichurri over the steaks and pass the rest separately.

FOR THE CHIMICHURRI:
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 heaping teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 4 cups flat-leaf parsley (from about 1 large bunch)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a food processor, pulse the parsley and garlic until finely chopped.


Scrape them into a bowl and stir in the olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. You can add some red pepper flakes, for a spicy chimichurri. (We didn't because unlike my beloved, I have very wimpy taste buds)


Set this aside until you're ready to serve. (this can be kept at room temperature for an hour or two - or refrigerated for 2 to 3 days in an airtight container)


Place the steaks in a flat dish that is large enough to keep them in a single layer. Season them generously on both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Using the bottle itself, place your thumb over the top and drizzle 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar (give or take) over each of the steaks, turning them over so that they're coated on each side.

Then, drizzle about the same amount of a nice light olive or vegetable oil over the steaks in the same manner.

Allow them to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes while your grill (or grill pan) is heating up.


I don't have photos of the grilling process, but it's pretty simple. You can use a gas grill, a charcoal grill (which I recommend, because it gives the meat even more amazing flavor - see *Note a bit closer to the end of the post) or if the weather just isn't conducive to outdoor grilling, you can always use a heavy grill pan on your stove top.

First, prepare your grill, cleaning off the grates with a wire brush or crumpled foil and tongs, if necessary. You'll be grilling the steaks over direct heat.

Next, using long grilling tongs, oil the grill grates with a clean rag or a couple of sheets of folded paper towel coated in a little light olive or vegetable oil to help keep the meat from sticking. (Keep in mind that all meats when being grilled will sear onto the grates for a bit at first. You actually want this to happen because when it releases naturally from the grill, the meat itself is telling you that it's time to turn it.)

Using tongs (or your very clean fingers), place the room temperature steaks on the grill, directly over the prepared coals.

The standard times for grilling, depend on how you like your beef done. (All cooking times are approximate)

For medium rare: About 3 minutes per side, **turning them about 90 degrees on each side once half way during each 3 minute period, to give them those great looking crosshatched grill marks. :)

For medium: About 4 minutes per side, repeating the steps above.

For well done: I'm going to be honest here... when it comes to well done beef, I wouldn't know how long to tell you to cook it because in our house, well done steak has never actually happened. lol

**Please don't use a fork or anything pointed to pick up or move meat around as it's cooking. Piercing the meat, allows all of the delicious juices to escape and that will leave you with dry, tough meat.


Once the meat is cooked to the doneness/temperature that you prefer, place it on a clean plate, cover it with foil and allow it to rest for about 5 to 8 minutes. This helps any juices that naturally want to run out after cooking, to absorb back into the meat fully - and that keeps it moist and flavorful.

When the steak has rested, place it on a cutting board and slice on the diagonal, cutting against the grain of the meat. With skirt steak, you'll usually find that you have to turn the meat slightly as you're slicing it, because the grain in this cut of beef tends to change directions a little bit from one end of the steak to the other.



*Note - We don't use charcoal lighter fluid - or the charcoal briquettes that come already infused with it. If you like it or find it convenient, that's fine. It all comes down to personal choice. It's just that we feel that it adds an unpleasant chemical flavor to the foods that are cooked when using it.

We use a charcoal chimney instead. They aren't expensive and you can find them at just about any retailer that sells barbecue grills and equipment.

As a side note: In case you're afraid it might take longer to get the coals going, the truth is... it really doesn't. As a matter of fact, we've found that to get from fresh out of the bag briquettes to the point where they're just right for cooking, takes the same amount of time!


PS ~ Don't forget to check out my post and video on how to saute mushrooms like a boss! Just click right HERE!

Enjoy!

Mary


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