Although we don't often marinate, the unique striated texture of the skirt steak makes it a good candidate for this technique. The lime juice actually works its way into the fibers of the meat, giving it some citrus flavor. But don't let the meat sit in the juice for more than an hour, or the acid may start to make the surface of the meat unpleasantly mushy.
Chilean influences figure heavily in this dish, with its green olives, cumin, chiles, and lime juice.
2 pounds skirt steak
1 cup fresh lime juice (about 8 limes)
For the Rub:
3 tablespoons cumin seeds (or 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
For the Relish:
1/2 cup finely chopped pitted green olives
1 teaspoon chopped dried red chile peppers of your choice, or to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper
Place the steak in a shallow dish and pour the lime juice over it. Cover the dish and let it sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour, turning occasionally.
Light a fire in your grill.
In a small bowl, combine all the rub ingredients and mix well. Remove the steak from the marinade, pat dry with paper towels, and rub it all over with the spice rub, pressing gently to be sure it adheres.
When the fire has died down and the coals are hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches from the grill surface for 1 to 2 seconds), place the steak on the grill and cook until well-seared on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn and continue to cook to the desired doneness, about 4 minutes more for rare. To check for doneness, nick, peek, and cheat: Make a 1/4-inch cut in the thickest part of the meat and take a peek; it should be slightly less done than you like it. Remove the steak from the heat, cover it loosely with foil, and allow it to rest for 5 minutes while you make the relish.
In a medium bowl, combine all the relish ingredients and mix well.
Slice the steak as thin as possible against the grain and serve with the relish.
Other Cuts You Can Use: Flank steak is great here and hanger steak would also be fine. Any of the top round steaks or the chuck blade steak are also good options. If you use the check blade, though, remember to remove the line of gristle that runs down the center.
From How to Cook Meat, by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby.
Each week, The Splendid Table brings you stories that expand your world view, inspire you to try something new and show how food brings us together. We rely on you to do this. And, when you donate, you'll become a member of The Splendid Table Co-op. It's a community of like-minded individuals who love good food, good conversation and kitchen companionship. Splendid Table Co-op members will get exclusive content each month and have special opportunities for connecting with The Splendid Table team.
Donate today for as little as $5.00 a month. Your gift only takes a few minutes and has a lasting impact on The Splendid Table and you'll be welcomed into The Splendid Table Co-op.