Marinated skirt steak with hot chilli potatoes

by Fiona Smith | Cuisine issue #150
Serves: 6I urge you to go to a butcher to get skirt steak for this recipe as it is a fantastic cut for marinating. It needs a bit of tenderising, but is full of flavour and cheaper than other steaks. You can bash it a little with a meat mallet, for extra tenderising, before marinating if you like

You’ll need to begin this recipe the day before, to allow time to marinate the steak.

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
500g tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 teaspoons dried oregano
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1kg skirt or rump steak, trimmed of all fat and sinew
1 teaspoon salt

In a dry frying pan, toast the cumin seeds for about 30 seconds until aromatic. Coarsely grind in a mortar and pestle. In the same frying pan, toast the thyme leaves for about 2 minutes then add to the mortar with the cumin and grind a little to combine.

Place the chopped tomatoes in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Combine in a non-reactive dish with the ground cumin and thyme, garlic, oregano, lime juice and sugar. Add the steak and turn to coat well. Cover and refrigerate to marinate for at least 12 hours (up to 24), turning a few times.

Heat a barbecue to very hot.Remove the steak from the marinade, scraping off the excess. Place the marinade in a saucepan and bring to the boil for a few minutes to thicken.

Sprinkle the steak with the salt then cook on the barbecue for about 3-4 minutes each side. Remove to a warmed plate and top with the heated marinade then cover with foil and set aside in a warm place to rest for 10 minutes. Slice finely across the grain and serve with the hot chilli potatoes, green pico de gallo and a green salad.

Beer Epic Stout. Stout is a natural match with barbecued meat and the Epic’s smooth creaminess is a lovely contrast to the heat of the chilli.

Hot chilli potatoes
This dish is a variation on my favourite Portuguese potatoes, spiced up with lots of chilli. The dried ancho chillies are great here as they have a fruity, mild flavour, but if you can’t get hold of them, increase the large fresh chilli quantity to six.

2 ancho chillies
2 serrano or other small hot chillies or 1 teaspoon hot chilli flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1.5kg new potatoes or small waxy potatoes
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
1 red capsicum, deseeded
4 large fresh chillies, halved lengthways, deseeded
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Tabasco or your favourite hot sauce to taste

Heat a large heavy-based casserole dish over medium heat then add the ancho and serrano chillies. Press down on the chillies with tongs for about 30 seconds until puffy and aromatic. Remove from the heat then core, deseed and finely slice the chillies. Set aside.

Heat the oil in the casserole dish then add the potatoes. Add the whole peeled garlic cloves to the potatoes, along with the salt. Stir well then reduce the heat to very low. Cover and cook for 45 minutes (longer if your potatoes are larger), stirring occasionally.

Cut the capsicum into wide strips and add to the potatoes, along with the fresh chillies. Cover and cook for a further 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lastly, stir in the vinegar, sliced ancho and serrano chillies and a splash of hot sauce to taste.

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