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Seared Skirt Steak with Smoky Saffron and Tomato Purée

Servings: 4

Strong Spanish flavors power this sauce. The pimenton offers up smokiness, the vinegar a pleasant tang, and the saffron infuses the tomato with its deep earthiness.


  • 1-1/2 lb. skirt steak, trimmed of excess fatty patches, cut into 4 or 5 even pieces, at room temperature
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup lower-salt beef broth
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves; more sprigs for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp. pimenton de la Vera (smoked Spanish paprika)
  • 1/4 tsp. saffron
  • 1/4 cup capers, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 400
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 215
  • Fat (g): 25
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 115
  • Sodium (mg): 760
  • Carbohydrates (g): 4
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Sugar (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 40


  • Pat the steak dry, and season with 1-1/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
  • In a stand blender (or using a hand-held immersion blender), purée the broth, tomatoes, and vinegar.
  • Put a large, heavy-based stainless-steel skillet over medium-high heat for 1-1/2 minutes (it’s ready when a droplet of water instantly evaporates upon hitting the surface). Add 2 Tbs. of the oil. Once it’s shimmering hot, about 30 seconds, carefully add the steaks, evenly spaced.
  • Cook the steaks, undisturbed, until brown around the edges and a corner easily pulls up when lifted with tongs, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until medium rare, 2 to 3 minutes more; if checked with an instant-read thermometer, a thicker piece will register 130°F to 140°F and the steak will be bright pink when sliced. Transfer to a cutting board, and tent with foil. Rest for at least 10 minutes while you make the sauce.
  • Return the skillet to the stovetop, and lower the heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. of the oil and the garlic, and cook, stirring, until the garlic sizzles and becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the thyme, pimenton, and saffron, and cook, stirring, for 15 seconds. Add the tomato purée. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Stir in the capers and parsley, and season with 1/8 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper.
  • Spoon over the steak and serve immediately. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.


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