The Supreme Court has some biiiiig topics to discuss in the upcoming weeks.
Not to be outdone, let’s discuss important stuff, like…
Steak: to adorn or not to adorn?
I’m going bipartisan on this one and saying a definitive: ‘it depends.’
I love the gray area too much. This is why I would not have made a good Supreme Court Justice. Unless we’re talking milk vs. dark, I have a hard time making decisions.
It is my belief that a good steak needs nothing more than salt, pepper, and a nice glass of wine for me to achieve zen steak status. Slathering a sauce on a juicy ribeye takes away from the supremely awesome flavor of the meat. My only exception to this rule is steak au poivre. I don’t have enough time left in the day to tell you how much I love steak au poivre. Now that I’m thinking about it, I want it. I must make it soon. Like, tomorrow. For breakfast. I have a problem.
But other steaks benefit from, nay, need a marinade or a sauce. Hello, flank steak! With the right seasoning and grilling time, flank can be your friend. It’s also the perfect vehicle for a salsa verde.
Last summer, these Grilled Chicken Thighs with Parsley-Mint-Cilantro Sauce taught me that I do not, in fact, detest parsley, which opened up the wonderful world of salsas verdes. (See that double plural? 9 years of Spanish. Boom.) I watched my newest chef crush, Michael Symon, make his salsa verde recently, and I was like a girl possessed: I had to make it. He put it on chicken, I put it on steak. Deep down I think I’m trying to make up for all that beautiful Argentinian meat I ate in South America sans chimichurri. Needless to say, I want a re-do of that whole trip. Just for the chimichurri. OK, and the pisco sours. And the Zara on every street corner.
This salsa verde is not a traditional chimichurri (I don’t want the entire South American continent coming after me with pitchforks and bayonets, so I had to make that clear) but more like an Italian gremolata. Same concept, though- herbs, citrus, chiles. OMG. It’s unreal. It’s spicy, salty, and fresh, and the perfect accompaniment for grilled meat. It really doesn’t take long to throw together, and it can rest while the steak grills and rests. I made it early in the day and then added the lemon juice right before serving to preserve the color.
There’s one ingredient that might throw you over the edge, and that’s the anchovies. I get it. I know it adds this salty pungency, kind of like fish sauce, but I still have to turn my head and nose away as I add it… again, kind of like fish sauce. It does add a key flavor, so don’t skip it. I use anchovy paste so I don’t actually have to fish those little suckers out of a tin.
Try as you might to use it all up, you’ll probably have leftover sauce. I’m thinking it would be great on the inside of a panini, tossed with roasted potatoes, or as the dressing for some sort of grain salad. Or as a dip for fresh bread if you’re trying for the whole ‘trattoria’ thing at home (aren’t we all?). Or just grill some more meat (yes!).
Think steak can’t get any better? Think salsa verde.
- ½ c olive oil
- 3 T red wine vinegar
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 lbs flank steak
- Salsa Verde
- ½ c olive oil
- ¼ c chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 2 T chopped fresh mint
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp anchovy paste
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Grated zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced (about 1 T)
- 1 shallot, minced
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- To prepare the steak, place the steak in a large zip-top plastic bag. In a small bowl, whisk together the ½ c olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, red pepper, salt and pepper. Pour the marinade over the steak, seal the bag, and let it marinate in the fridge 8 hours to overnight, turning bag occasionally.
- To make the salsa, combine the olive oil, parsley, capers, mint, red pepper flakes, anchovies, garlic, lemon zest and juice, jalapeno and shallots in a bowl and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper, more to taste if desired. Allow the flavors to meld for at least 15 minutes before serving; if planning to serve after more than an hour, add the lemon juice at the last minute to keep the color vibrant.
- Preheat grill.
- Remove steak from bag and discard marinade. Grill on high approximately 7 minutes per side for medium rare. Let rest about 5-10 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute. Serve with the salsa verde.