Lunchbreak: Chimichurri skirt steak, prepared by Earls Kitchen and Bar chef Chris Memme

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Chef Chris Memme

Earls Kitchen + Bar
1538 North Clybourn Avenue
Chicago
earls Kitchen and Bar

Chimichurri Skirt Steak

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb (675 g) skirt steak
skirt steak marinade
1 lb (450 g) baby potatoes
1 lb (450 g) strawberry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
1/2 lb (225 g) green onion bunch, whole
poblano puree
chimichurri sauce
1 bunch watercress, washed and dried

Directions:
Cut the skirt steak into 6 oz portions. Trim away any excess fat or sinew until you have 4 clean portions of steak. Coat each portion of steak with 2 Tbs skirt steak marinade. Ensure all surfaces are exposed to the marinade. Transfer to a sealed container or ziplock bag and allow to marinade for 24 hours or maximum 48 hours before use. Boil the baby potatoes in well salted water until a knife poked through the center of the largest piece meets no resistance. Allow to cool completely before slicing in half. Remove the steak from the refrigerator for 1 hour before grilling. This will allow the beef to cook evenly. Preheat the grill or if using a grill pan, preheat until smoking hot. Season the skirt steak well with coarse salt and cook for approximately 2 minutes on the first side. Flip and continue cooking for another 2 minutes for medium rare. Cook 1 minute longer for medium. Allow to rest for 3 minutes before slicing. Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and place the potatoes cut side down, cooking until the cut side is golden brown, approximately 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Using the same pan, blister the tomatoes over medium high heat and season with some fine salt. Transfer to a plate, keeping warm while all the other components are being prepared. Trim the root end of the green onions and saute on all sides on the grill or using a grill pan. Chop the green onions into 1/2” pieces and coat lightly with some chimichurri sauce. Slice the skirt steak portions on a 45 degree angle, across the grain, into 1.5” strips. Serve with some baby potatoes, poblano puree, blistered tomatoes and grilled onions. Drizzle chimichurri sauce over the steak and garnish with some watercress leaves.

Skirt Steak Marinade

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (125 ml) dark tamarind paste (common in Asian food sections of your grocery store)
1/2 cup (125 ml) finely chopped green onion
1/2 cup (125 ml) finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup (60 ml) brown sugar
2 Tbs (30 ml) minced shallots
1 Tbs (15 ml) minced serrano peppers
2 tsp (10 ml) minced garlic
2 tsp (10 ml) fine salt
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin
1 tsp (5 ml) ground coriander

Directions:
Combine all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. If using a hand held blender, use a deep container in order to finely mince all the ingredients effectively. Pulse all the ingredients until 1/8” pieces are achieved. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. The marinade can be held refrigerated for 2 days if made ahead.

Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients:
½ cup (125 ml) olive oil
2 tsp (10 ml) minced garlic cloves
3 Tbs (45 ml) lime juice
3 Tbs (45 ml) minced shallots
1 Tbs (15 ml) minced jalapenos, seeded
3 Tbs (45 ml) finely chopped cilantro
3 Tbs (45 ml) finely chopped parsley
1 Tbs (15 ml) finely chopped oregano leaves
1 tsp (5 ml) thyme leaves
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) fine salt

Directions:
Combine all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. If using a hand held blender, use a deep container in order to finely mince all the ingredients effectively. Pulse all the ingredients until 1/8” pieces are achieved. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. The sauce can be held refrigerated for 2 days if made ahead.

Note:
Tamarind paste comes in seeded and seedless varieties. This recipe calls for the seedless type. If you can only find seeded blocks of tamarind, soak first in a minimal amount of hot water to soften the seeds and create a paste. Then strain the seeds out while pushing the pulp through a coarse sieve. Use as directed in the recipe.