Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Marinated Skirt Steak

Hey look at me making two posts in one week.  I feel all productive and stuff.  However you will notice that the picture is focused only on the meat.  That is because in the background you will see some sad grocery store mashed potatoes and a bagged salad.  I would like to feel guilty about that but I can't.  It's Monday to start with, my meeting went over by about 20 minutes (I had to leave early to pick up the baby) and I had to pick up the husband, and I had to stop at the store.  I am happy that I made dinner at all after the crazy months day I had.  So I would like to feel guilty, but  I don't.  Not even a little.  It's still potatoes and veggies... even if I didn't make the lovely parmesan potato wedges, and grilled asparagus as planned.  If I had it, it would have looked more like this.  Pretty... something that looks appetizing, photo-worthy.  Oh well maybe tomorrow.

Anyway, back to tonight's dinner.  Today I made my maiden voyage from the dream boat that is ad hoc. 

If you have never heard of the cookbook (then I know you don't read my blog because I was just talking about it 3 days ago).  I highly suggest you look into it.  It is a huge book of home style recipes, and has various techniques from how to truss a chicken to how to prepare a roast using a blow torch.  Aside from the blow torch recipe, and who knows maybe you have a blow torch you want to put to good use, most of them are perfect for people who always say "I don't cook."  Which normally translates into... "I am afraid to try to cook for fear it will end up a charred mess and my family will never let me live it down."  Don't you just love family?  I do, which is why I cook for them.  Otherwise I would just throw some chicken nuggets at them and call it a day (not that that little scenario doesn't happen around here as well). 

I am in love with this cook book and have mapped out about 30 recipes in this book that I am dying to make.  Take that 5 recipes per cookbook statistic!

Marinated Skirt Steak
adapted from ad hoc (I only made about 1.5 pounds so I could have halved everything)

6 thyme sprigs, (they store didn't have fresh time so I used 1 tsp of dried)
2 long sprigs rosemary
4 small bay leaves
1 tablespoons whole peppercorns
4 large garlic cloves, smashed, skin left on
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil (I used vegetable oil because... that is a whole lot of oil)  If you're making a smaller amount of meat like I did you could probably halve all the ingredients

Six 8-ounce trimmed outer skirt steaks (or flank steaks)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Canola oil (here I used olive oil)
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 thyme sprigs (I skipped this entirely during this step)
2 garlic cloves, smashed skin left on (I removed the skin and cut them up into slivers)


Combine the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic, and oil in a medium suacepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat (I left it simmering until I could smell the herbs releasing their scent).  Remove from the heat and let the marinade cool to room temperature.

Pull away any excess fat from the skirt steak and discard.  Trim the steak of any silverskin.  Cut rosswise into 6 equal portions.  Put in a dish or a resealable plastic bag, add the marinade, and cover the dish or seal the bag, squeezing out excess air.  Marinate for at least 4 hours, or up to a day, in the refrigerator.

Remove teh meat from the marinade and let sit at roo temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking; discard the marinade.  Dry the meat with paper towels.  Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Set a roasting rack in a roasting pan (I still do not have one that fits our micro oven.  I used a baking rack over a cookie sheet... hey it worked). 

Heat some canola oil in a large frying pan over hih heat.  When it shimmers, add half the meat and quickly brown the first side.  Turn the meat and, working quickly, add 1 tablespoon of the butter, 2 thyme sprigs, and 1 garlic clove and brown the meat on the seasoned side, basting constantly (this may look easy as professional chefs brown one side of their meat while throwing hot oil over the top side with a spoon but I found it a little more challenging, maybe my pan was too hot... or more likely I just haven't done that before and it's not as easy as it looks).

The entire cooking process should take about 90 seconds (that's how hot that pan should be).  Transfer your meat to the baking (er hum) roasting rack.  Spoon the butter, arlic and thyme over the top (oops missed this step until just this second).  Wipe the pan clean and repeat with the remaining steaks

Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and cook for 8 to 10 minutes (I did 10 minutes and it was perfect) or until the centers register 125 degrees F.  Remove from the oven and let the meat rest on the rack in a warm place for about 10 minutes for medium-rare (my piece was medium-rare, but Gregg's was rare).

Arrange the steaks on a serving platter, or slice each piece against th egrain, cutting straight down, and arrrange on the platter.  Garnish with the garlic and thyme.

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