What’s Cooking Now: Skirt steak with chimichurri sauce
The customer in front of me was hesitating and wondering which piece of meat to buy. He was amused and wanted to impress. I couldn’t help myself. I had to jump. Was he thinking of sirloin? Well, I said, why don’t we step it up and go to the New York area, which has more marbling, or fat, which means more flavor. And I said to him, Don’t forget to remove the cold before you cook it; Leave them to dry before seasoning, and let them rest before cutting and serving. I debated introducing more from the Culinary Council, but decided to leave it at that. He nodded appropriately, thanked me for the unsolicited advice, and headed off to the dairy section.
As for me, I settled on the skirt steak. I intended to marinate the meat in a chimichurri sauce, which meant I didn’t need to spend a fortune on more expensive cuts of meat like filet mignon, porterhouse, or even New York Strip for that matter, all of which I prefer simply seasoned generously with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. For marinated meats, I’ve always preferred sirloin or skirt steak. The skirt has more marbling and flavor; It’s a richer taste. The wing is smaller and can be a bit harsh. There’s nothing like a good marinade with some acidity and salt to tenderize these chops. One more thing: Skirt and sirloin steak are so versatile! They’re served as a main dish, on top of a salad, stuffed into a taco, sliced into a sandwich or wrapped as a delicious appetizer.
It is worth noting that the price of beef has risen significantly over the past seven or eight years due to a combination of factors, which means that many Americans are consuming less red meat. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Even in well-educated and health-conscious demographic pockets, including communities like Scarsdale, I notice that meat still dominates the dinner plate.
If you’re looking for a guide on how to prepare a healthy meal, check out My Plate from the USDA (www.choosemyplate.gov). Protein makes up about a quarter of the suggested dinner plate; The rest is roughly equal parts fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, plus milk. Personally, I prefer Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate, which ditches the milk and highlights drinking water and consuming healthy oils. (www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource.)
However, let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater. High-quality lean beef options (and I mean at 10% or less fat content) provide some of the essential nutrients our bodies need to function: B vitamins (2,3,6 and 12) as well as important minerals like iron, zinc and selenium. High quality in my book also means hormone and antibiotic free, and organic when possible. Portion control is key here. I recommend a serving size of about 4 ounces. Now, I’m not going to lie. The 4-ounce portion size takes some getting used to; It is the size of a medium plum. If you’re interested in getting a better idea of serving sizes, buy yourself a food scale.
I hope you’re newly inspired by today’s article featuring skirt steak with chimichurri sauce. Parting words from my kitchen to yours: Learn, practice, taste, and enjoy!
Written by Jennifer Rosano
For questions about this recipe, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Skirt steak with chimichurri sauce
½ cup olive oil
A quarter cup of red wine vinegar
2 TB fresh lemon juice
¾ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh leafy herbs of choice: basil, cilantro, and/or mint (optional)
3 Tb fresh oregano, coarsely chopped (or 3 teaspoons dried)
4 TB minced garlic
2 TB chopped shallots
¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
More salt and freshly ground pepper to season the steak before grilling
2 pounds skirt steak
Place all ingredients (except the steak!) in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse until well mixed, but not pureed. The sauce should be of course firm and firm in flavour. Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference.
Cut the skirt steak into smaller pieces, about 4 inches long, noting the thinner cuts from the thicker cuts, as thicker cuts may need more cooking time. Place the steak in a bowl or shallow dish and pour the sauce over it, making sure to cover the meat well. Cover it with plastic and put it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.
30 minutes before you’re ready to grill, take the steak out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Skim excess chimichurri sauce from steak and season lightly with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Preheat your grill to medium to high temperature (between 400-500 degrees). When grill is hot, cook steak for about 3 minutes per side for medium/medium doneness. For better temperature, leave on the grill for an additional minute or two on each side.
Place the cooked steak on a cutting board or plate, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing it thinly against the grain.
Serve with grilled vegetables and a hearty slice of grilled bread to soak up the sauce and juices.
Makes eight 4 oz portions.
Jennifer Rosano – Chef and Culinary Instructor
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