This steak is grilled to a perfect medium rare and served with my version of chimichurri, made with Italian flavors, enhanced by a vibrant tomato salad.
The STAR of this recipe is the Italian Chimichurri I developed, but let’s break it down: You’ll have an amazing steak on your plate. Yum 😋 You’ll have a great, fresh, vibrant tomato salad next to it. Double yum 😋 😋 Then you drizzle on the Italian Chimichurri sauce… 🤦🏻♀️ What just happened?!
Like some of my other recipes, this one looks like it has a lot of steps. You’ll scroll down and think there’s no way you’re going to be able to do all this and get dinner on the table before bedtime. Fear not! Most of this is a quick “mix it and forget it “ kind of deal, and skirt steak literally takes 15 minutes to cook and rest. See? You can totally do this. Are you hungry yet?
- 1 -2 lbs Skirt steak
- Juice from one large lemon
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt (I am a recent convert to Diamond Crystal Kosher salt. It has a coarse grain, but crushes easily in your fingers, to give a finer grain when you want it, and it is less salty than Morton’s Kosher salt. Just my 2 cents worth.)
- 1/2 tsp Black pepper
- 2 Cloves finely minced garlic
- 2 tbsp Finely chopped basil
- 1/2 Cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp White balsamic vinegar (unlike dark balsamic vinegar, this doesn’t discolor the tomatoes, a big plus when making a vibrant salad)
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp Black pepper
- 4 Cloves finely minced or grated garlic
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cup Grape or other small salad tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/4 Cup thinly sliced (chiffonade) basil
Italian Chimichurri (The absolute STAR 🌟 of this meal)
- 6 Cloves of garlic
- 1/2 Cup basil
- 1 Cup Italian flat leaf parsley (don’t go crazy trying to pluck just leaves from your parsley. There is so much flavor in the stems of most soft herbs, and we’ll be chopping these up so finely that you won’t even see the stems.)
- 2 tbsp Fresh oregano
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp Calabrian chili paste (found in a jar in the “Ethnic” or “International” aisle of your local Mega Market, this stuff is HOT 🔥, but man, is it delicious! Use caution. If you are sensitive to spicy foods, start with a little and add more if you want to. Or don’t use it at all. I’m not in your kitchen, nor do I use your mouth for eating. Only you can judge your 🔥 tolerance.)
- 1/4 Cup white balsamic vinegar (again, I don’t want the vibrant green of the herbs to be changed by using dark balsamic vinegar)
- 3/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
Marinating the steak
- We’ll start by getting the steak marinating. The steak will probably be in 2 pieces when you buy it. If not, cut into pieces about 4-6 inches long and place in a gallon sized ziploc bag. Put all of the marinade ingredients in the bag with the steaks and smoosh it around a bit with your hands, from the outside of course. Close the bag, pressing out as much air as possible, and give the steak and marinade another good smooshing, making sure all sides of the meat are covered. Allow the steak to marinate at least one hour, up to all day while you are at work or doing whatever you do during the day 😉 If you’ll be cooking the steak within the hour, just leave it out on the counter. It’ll be fine.
Making the tomato salad
- Now we’ll make the tomato salad. Place your halved tomatoes in a large bowl. Set your cut basil aside for when you serve the salad later. Mix all your dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid, like a mason jar, or a small bowl. Shake, or whisk, the dressing ingredients together and pour over the tomatoes and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. When serving, add the basil and toss again. The reason I don’t add the basil while marinating is that it tends to discolor and lose it’s freshness. Adding it at the end gives the salad that pop of color and the basil flavor is so bright and delicious! 😋
Creating Our Star: Italian Chimichurri
- Chimichurri mise en place. Get everything together and ready to go. There’s nothing worse in the kitchen than starting to cook and realizing you don’t have an important ingredient!
- Place the garlic and the salt in the bowl of your food processor and pulse until the garlic is chopped.
- Rough chop your herbs a bit and add them to the food processor. Pulse 2 or 3 times, just to get them broken down a bit. Then add your Calabrian chili paste, as much or as little as you want. Pulse, pulse. 2 times. Add the balsamic vinegar and pulse just once to mix.
- With the food processor running, pour in your olive oil until fully incorporated. Allow the chimichurri to sit at room temperature until ready to eat. The longer it sits, the more the flavors will become best friends and have an amazing long term relationship 💕 Chimichurri will keep in your refrigerator for a couple of weeks in a tightly sealed container. Yay!
Putting it all together
- I wish I had more pictures, and I promise I’ll add them the next time I make this (and I will make it again). We were just so hungry we forgot to take pictures. Same old story. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking. Any cold meat will cook faster on the outside than on the inside, giving you uneven cooking. Having a nicely charred steak with a raw inside is no bueno. All we have to do now is grill or pan sear the steaks. If grilling, you need to get your grill very hot. Allow it to heat on high for at least 10 minutes. If you’re using a cast iron skillet or pan, heat it on high and add a little vegetable oil right before you put your steaks on. Place the steaks on a paper towel lined baking sheet and pat them dry all over. A wet steak will never get the kind of char that you want. Dry it off! Season well with salt and pepper and let’s go to the grill. Grill the steaks for 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of your steaks. Skirt steaks have a skinny end and a fat end, so adjust accordingly. The same instructions go for pan searing your steaks. Using a cast iron skillet or grill pan, cook on high for 3-5 minutes per side. Allow the steaks to rest for about 10 minutes, so all those delicious steak juices can settle in.
- After the steaks have rested, you will cut them against the grain. What does cutting “against the grain” mean, you ask? If you look closely at any pice of meat, you will see that the muscle fibers go in a certain direction (called “the grain”) How you cut the meat, in relation to the direction of the grain, will affect how tender the meat is. So, we cut against the grain to make the strands of muscle fiber smaller, and the meat more tender. Thinly sliced, against the grain = tender skirt steak. Do it please 🙏 You’ll thank yourself later. Serve this magnificent steak alongside a good scoop of your delicious marinated tomatoes, a nice drizzle of the ✨ MAGICAL ✨ Chimichurri sauce you made, and maybe a few pieces of toasted semolina bread just for funsies. Now all there’s left to do is enjoy this meal! That’ll be easy. 💁🏻♀️