MARINATED SKIRT STEAK WITH HORSERADISH BUTTER
by Diana Henry
A very interesting cut, so called for its wide, open-grained fibers that look "pleated". Ask the butcher for "outside" skirt. Properly trimmed, skirt makes a terrific steak. It benefits greatly from marinating, and this marinade is based on a recipe by the great American chef Thomas Keller. Serve medium-rare.
For The Steaks
• 1/2 head of garlic
• 6 thyme sprigs
• 2 rosemary sprigs
• 1 tbsp black peppercorns
• 2/3 cup olive oil
• 6 x 6 oz thin-cut skirt steaks
• salt and pepper
For The Butter
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• freshly grated horseradish
1. Bash the unpeeled garlic cloves with a rolling pin. Put the herbs, pepper, and garlic in a pan with the oil and bring to a simmer. Leave to cool. Remove excess fat and any silverskin from the meat. Put in a dish, pour the marinade over, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
2. Mash the butter with the horseradish and season. Refrigerate until firm, then work into a sausage shape and roll in parchment paper. Chill until completely firm.
3. Bring the steaks to room temperature. Lift them from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels, then lightly rub with oil. Heat a griddle or nonstick frying pan and, when it is very hot, sear the steaks on both sides for a couple of minutes, then reduce the heat and cook until done to your liking. Slice across the grain.
4. Serve the steaks with melting rounds of horseradish butter and watercress salad. Roasted regular or sweet potato wedges are great alongside.
• With soy sauce and wasabi: Prepare and cook the steaks as above. Serve with bowls of soy sauce and wasabi, boiled rice, and cucumber batons.
• With chimichurri: Put a generous bunch of flat-leaf parsley (leaves only), 3 garlic cloves, chopped, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, juice of 1/2 lime, 1 tsp each ground cumin and smoked paprika, 2 tbsp oregano leaves, and 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil into a blender and blend. Season to taste. Serve with the steaks, cooked as above.
• Sandwich with horseradish cream: Mix 1 heaped tbsp grated fresh horseradish with 1 cup creme fraiche, 1½ tsp Dijon mustard, and seasoning. Thinly slice 1 onion and cook over a medium heat in 2 tbsp oil. Increase the heat and cook the onion until almost crisp. Prepare and cook the steaks as above and make into baguette or sourdough sandwiches with the onion and horseradish.