Top | Latin Grilling

Nicaraguan Grilled Skirt Steak

(recipe, Lourdes Castro)


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Introduction

Churrasco is a term used throughout Latin America to refer to a thin piece of grilled meat. In Nicaragua, churrasco is made from beef tenderloin that is sliced lengthwise to produce long, thin steaks, which are then marinated in chimichurri (fresh parsley sauce). Some skip the butchering step and use skirt steak instead. This is my preference, since skirt steak is already thin and has a delicious beefy flavor that pairs incredibly well with the garlicky chimichurri‚ some of which is used to marinate the steak, while some is reserved to use as a sauce for the cooked steak. The oil-based chimichurri also helps to produce the desirable charred crust on the steak. However, flare-ups can quickly turn into singed beef, so pay attention at the grill.

Ingredients

  1. 3 lb. skirt steak, trimmed of excess fat
  2. 3½ cups Chimichurri

Steps

  1. If desired, cut the large skirt steak into smaller steaks. Place the steak in a resealable plastic bag or deep bowl and pour 2 cups of the chimichurri over it, making sure to coat all surfaces of the meat. If using a plastic bag, press out as much air as possible before sealing the bag. If using a bowl, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the meat and marinade, creating an airtight cover. Allow the meat to marinate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the grill to its highest temperature, close the lid, and wait 15 minutes. Oil the grill grates with a vegetable-oil-soaked paper towel held with a long pair of tongs.
  3. Remove the steaks from the marinade, letting the excess marinade drip off, and place on the grill. Lower the heat to medium-high, close the lid, and cook for 4 minutes. If you tend to get flare-ups on your grill, you may want to leave the lid open; this will result in a longer cooking time (because this is an oil-based marinade, flare-ups may occur). Turn the steaks over and cook for another 4 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 125 to 130 degrees for medium-rare, or until it reaches the desired doneness.
  4. To serve: Place the remaining 1½ cups of chimichurri in a small bowl and serve with the grilled skirt steak.

Note

Advance preparation: The chimichurri can be made a day in advance and will keep, refrigerated, for about a week. The steaks can be left marinating for several hours before grilling.