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Herb-Marinated Skirt Steaks

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Serves six to eight.

  • Make the menu:
    A Summertime Steak Dinner
  • by Maria Helm Sinskey from Fine Cooking
    Issue 72

For the best flavor and tenderness, cook these steaks to medium rare or just barely medium. Thinner skirt steaks will cook more quickly. If you can’t grill these steaks, sear-roast them.

For more tips on grilling perfect steaks, visit our Guide to Grilling.

  • 4 lb. skirt steaks (about 3 or 4 steaks)
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 4 5-inch fresh sprigs rosemary
  • 16 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbs. freshly cracked black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1 recipe Pesto-Style Salsa Verde 

Trim the steaks of excess fat and cut into pieces that are of relatively even thickness and of manageable size. Smash the garlic cloves with the flat part of a heavy knife and then peel the cloves. Crush and tear the rosemary sprigs with your hands to release their perfume. In a medium-large bowl, combine the steaks with the herbs, garlic, pepper, and 6 Tbs. olive oil. Toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for one to two days.

To grill the steaks:

Take the steaks out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling and brush off the herb sprigs and garlic. Prepare a medium-hot gas or charcoal grill fire. Season the steaks with salt. Oil the grill and then grill the steaks for 2 to 3 minutes on each side for medium rare (thicker steaks will be medium rare after 3 to 5 minutes per side). Let rest for 10 minutes on a clean cutting board before slicing thinly across the grain. Serve with the salsa verde.

To sear-roast the steaks:

Heat the oven to 400°F. Put a rack in a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Let the steaks sit at room temperature for 30 min. Brush off the herb sprigs and garlic and season the steaks with salt. Heat a 12-inch sauté pan over high heat until very hot. Add a small amount of olive oil and as many pieces of steak as will fit without crowding (and use a splatter screen if you have one). Sear until the first side is well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and sear the other side until well browned, 2 to 3 min. (Reduce the heat to ­medium high if the pan is too hot and smoky.) Transfer the steaks to the rack on the baking sheet and continue searing the ­remaining steaks in batches.

When all the steaks are seared, roast them in the oven until done to your liking, 5 to 10 min. Let the steaks rest for 10 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain. Serve with the salsa verde.

Serving Suggestions

Go all out for your first big cookout of the year. Serve the steaks with Sun-Ripened Tomato & Olive Salad, your favorite potato salad, Grilled Asparagus, and Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler with Honey for dessert. And a pitcher of Strawberry-Melon Sangria makes a crowd-pleasing drink.
 

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings; Calories (kcal): 476; Fat (g): 29; Fat Calories (kcal): 263; Saturated Fat (g): 9; Protein (g): 48; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 18; Carbohydrates (g): 2; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 433; Cholesterol (mg): 129; Fiber (g): 0;

Photo: Ben Fink

This recipe is quick (in terms of hands-on time; the meat actually marinates a day or two), easy, and delicious. It can be enjoyed either as is (three members of my family prefer it this way), or with the related pesto-syle salsa verde (the other three prefer this). For whatever it's worth, the salsa verde recipe makes way more than my family will use during the meal, so I just refrigerate or freeze the leftovers to use the next time; they seem to keep indefinitely either way. Skirt steak is a less expensive cut of meat than many, so that's a plus, while the taste is rich and delicious. I'm back looking at this recipe because I served it to guests a few days ago and they requested the recipe. It's a winner!

Please see the review of this dish attached to the salsa verde recipe listed as a "related recipe".

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