Skirt steak has a deep, beefy flavor that can stand up to bold spices. So I take this inexpensive, easy-to-find cut and hit it with lots of garlic and a little honey to rev up the caramelization. The result is so outrageously good that it'll tempt you to take skirt steak outside of its standard role as fajita-filler. It's a really thin cut, so it should be served right after it's cooked. Have everything else ready before you throw it on the grill.
For the Marinade:
1 tablespoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
4 skirt steaks, about 1-1/2 pounds each
For the Seasoning Blend:
2 tablespoons mild chile powder, preferably Chimayo, Ancho, or Hatch
For the Resting Butter:
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter
About 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1. Place the pepper flakes in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let sit for 1 to 2 minutes to rehydrate the flakes. Combine all of the remaining marinade ingredients in a blender, or in a bowl, using an immersion/stick blender. Stir in the pepper flakes and the soaking water.
Place the skirt steaks in one extra-large resealable plastic bag (or divide between two large bags). Pour over the marinade, squeeze out any excess air from the bag, and close. Roll the bag to evenly coat all of the meat in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3.
2. Preheat all grates of a well-oiled charcoal or gas grill to high.
3. Combine all of the seasoning blend ingredients.
In a small saucepan, combine all of the resting butter ingredients, stirring to combine as the butter melts. Pour into a baking dish or disposable aluminum pan, preferably a 13-1/2 x 9-5/8 x 2-3/4-inch lasagna pan.
4. Remove the steaks from the bag and lightly pat dry with paper towels.
Season the steaks with the seasoning blend.
Using your hands or a brush, evenly, but lightly, coat the steaks with canola oil. If you have a grill press(es) or a firebrick(s) wrapped in heavy-duty aluminum foil, it is ideal to keep on hand to keep the meat from lifting up and also to maximize the caramelization.
Place the steaks on the grill, keep the lid open, and do not move the steaks until they are well marked and lightly charred, about 2 minutes. Flip the steaks, keep the lid open, and repeat on the second side, grilling for 2 minutes.
Place the steaks into the pan of resting butter, dredging to thoroughly coat both sides in the butter.
5. Clean and re-oil the grill grates.
6. Letting any excess butter run off into the pan, place the steaks back on the grill, close the lid, and do not move them until you reach the desired doneness. Cook about 2 minutes for rare, about 3 minutes for medium, and about 4 minutes for well-done.
7. Remove from the grill and place in the butter, turning to coat, and let rest for at least 5 minutes, or up to 15.
8. Drizzle some of the butter on a cutting board, top with the steaks, and cut against the grain, on the diagonal, into 1/4-inch slices. Sprinkle the cilantro leaves over the top.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
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