Chili and Cumin Marinated Skirt Steak
Today‘s my anniversary as well as my oldest son’s birthday. That calls for something extra-special for dinner, don’t you agree? In our house, that means one thing: a really good steak.
This dish pleases because it‘s on the spicy side. It’s similar to what you‘d find at a traditional Brazilian churrascaria, minus the sword-like skewer. The original recipe called for hanger steak, but I couldn’t find it; flank steak also would be a tasty substitute. The marinade, a blend of garlic, vinegar, cumin, oregano and chilies, is equally good on lamb or fish.
I served it with a tossed salad and baked sweet potato fries, but salty shoestring fries, roasted vegetables or creamed spinach also would be stellar. Don’t forget some crusty bread and a bottle of red wine.
4 7-ounce hanger steaks (also known as butchers’ steak or onglet)
4 tablespoons Chili & Cumin Marinade (recipe follows)
Olive oil, for brushing
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Reserve a small bit of marinade for later use. Put steaks in large bowl and toss with remaining marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
Half an hour before cooking, take steaks out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature. Light barbecue and let flames die down before starting to cook. If cooking indoors, heat a griddle pan until very hot.
Scrape marinade off steaks and pat dry with paper towels. Brush with a little oil, season with salt and pepper, then grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until cooked to medium rare (145 degrees). They should feel a little springy when pressed.
Remove from heat and brush with a little fresh marinade. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with sweet potatoes and a salad.
-- “Brazilian Barbecue & Beyond” by David Ponte, Jamie Barber and Lizzy Barber (Sterling Epicure, June 2014, $24.95)
Chili & Cumin Marinade
3 ounces red chiles, seeded and roughly chopped
5 to 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup light olive oil or sunflower oil
Put all ingredients in a small food processor and blend to a smooth, wet paste suitable for coating meats and fish. Use immediately or refrigerate up to a week in a clean sealed jar.
Makes about 3/4 cup.
Gretchen McKay: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1419 or on Twitter @gtmckay.