In a small bowl, mix about two-thirds of the garlic paste with 1 Tbs. of the thyme, 2 tsp. of the black pepper, the chili powder, brown sugar, and 1-1/2 Tbs. of the salt. Arrange the steaks on a rimmed baking sheet and pat the spice rub all over them. Cover and let sit for at least 4 hours and up to 1 day in the refrigerator.
In a 1-qt. sealable container, combine the tomato, onion, red pepper, oil, and vinegar with 1/4 cup water, and the remaining garlic paste, 1 Tbs. thyme, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. black pepper. Shake well. Refrigerate for up to 1 day before serving.
Heat a gas grill to medium high or prepare a hot charcoal fire. Grill the steak (covered on a gas grill) until it has good grill marks on the fi rst side, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the steak; if using a gas grill, reduce the heat to medium and cover the grill. Continue to cook until done to your liking (make a slit in the steak to take a peek), 4 to 5 minutes more for medium rare; 6 to 7 minutes more for medium.
Let the steak rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes and then slice thinly across the grain. Stir or shake the salsa criolla and serve with the steak.
Use any leftover steak and salsa criolla together in Steak & Eggs Rancheros.
The supple, fruity flavors of Black Box Merlot, from California, pair well with the steak, and the 3-liter box is perfect for serving a crowd.
nutrition information (per serving):
18, Fat Calories
160, Saturated Fat
35, Monounsaturated Fat
3, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips