The moment I laid eyes on this very new recipe from Gourmet (and its gorgeous accompanying photo), I knew it would be mine—and that it would be good. Skirt steak is one of my favorite cuts of meat, and the simple salad and sauce made from lots of tomatillos sounded so simple and satisfying. I couldn't wait to get started.
The two ways of tomatillos may seem a little persnickety, but they both function differently. The salad is tart and bright, providing a simple, crisp contrast to the fatty meat. The sauce is warm and rich, with just enough spice coming from the dried chiles. If I had to pick the essential one, I'd probably opt for the salad, but both were worth the effort. This also marks maybe the first time I've ever had of "raw tomatillo," and it certainly won't be the last. Why haven't I been eating them in salads before?
- Yield:3 to 4
- 4 dried pasilla chiles, stems and seeds removed
- 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked and rinsed
- 2 cups cilantro, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 3/4 pounds skirt steak
- 2 teaspoons shallot, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- Salt and pepper
Heat a large iron skillet over a medium-high flame. Add the dried chiles and toast on both sides for a minute. Transfer to a large bowl, and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 20 minutes. Drain when done.
Add 1 pound of tomatillos, 1 cup of cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of salt, and all the chiles, garlic, brown sugar, and molasses to a blender. Puree until smooth, about a minute.
Pour 1/4 cup of the oil into the iron skillet and turn the heat to medium high. When hot, pour in the chile mixture. Cook for 5 minutes, or until thickened, and set aside.
Mix together 2 tablespoons of the oil, 3/4 teaspoon of cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of ground pepper. Spread the mixture on the steaks.
Heat a grill pan over high heat or turn on the broiler. Cook the steaks for 4-6 minutes if you like it medium-rare, flipping halfway through. Remove to a cutting board, and let rest for at least 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the rest of the tomatillos. Dump them in a large bowl along with the rest of the cilantro, the shallot, lime juice, and the rest of the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Plate the salad, set the steak on top, and drizzle on the sauce. Thinly slice the steak across the grain for best results.