There is no doubt that the 4th of July is grilling time. So we wanted to highlight a quick and easy combination you can prepare and grill in no time, even if you live in a small apt.
Men are drawn to fire, that’s just the way it’s been since the beginning of time. And, cooking is a great way to play with fire.
This recipe was inspired from a very specific region and person, Patagonia, and one of it’s most famous chef’s, Francis Mallmann. Patagonia is an incredibly amazing place, and when you love nature like we do at The Vital Guide, Patagonia is definitely on the bucket list. And, Francis Mallmann, who is arguably South America’s most famous chef, is a lover of cooking all things over open fires. In fact, he has a book called Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way, in which he teaches the reader a series of grilling techniques that have been adapted for the home cook.
Three things: Steak, potatoes and tomatoes.
We used a grass fed, grass finished skirt steak because for us the quality of our food matters, a lot. We highly recommend that if you’re eating animal products you get the best quality possible and we don’t mean expensive cuts. We’re talking about how the animals where raised and treated. CAFO operations are a nightmare, but that’s a whole other post.
So skirt, flank, or even flap steaks all work really well here and lend themselves to a high heat and quick sear method. They aren’t as tender as some of the pricier cuts, but these “lesser” pieces of meat are more affordable and rich in flavor.
When grilling meat, it’s a good practice to marinate to reduce the harmful carcinogenic compounds. In this recipe I used a simple herb and citrus combination that is effective in adding flavor, tenderizing the meat and reducing carcinogens. We’re finishing the dish with a highly flavorful chimichurri.
1 lb skirt, flank or flap meat
3 medium red potatoes
2 medium tomatoes
1 head garlic
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh rosemary
1/2 cup fresh oregano
1 cup flat leaf parsley
3/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
cracked black pepper
sea salt flakes
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
Squeeze the juice from two large lemons. Make sure to avoid the seeds. Mince the fresh rosemary until you have roughly 1/4 cup worth. Pour 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice and freshly chopped rosemary into a non-reactive container (use glass, stainless steel or even ceramic). Add a 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper and whisk or shake all ingredients until combined.
Place your steak in a ziplock bag and add the marinade. Mix really well so the entire steak gets coated. Let sit for a minimum of half an hour to overnight for best results.
Peel and rough chop garlic and add it to your mortar, if you have one, otherwise use a food processor. Add a pinch of salt to the garlic as you muddle it. Rough chop the parsley and oregano and add to the garlic along with the crushed red pepper flakes. Add another bit of salt, about one and a half tablespoons, total. Add the red wine vinegar and olive oil and combine. Add to a jar with a tight lid and let sit for a day ideally to let the flavors mingle, but this isn’t necessary.
Preheat your grill or skillet on a high heat. Place the steak on a dish or cutting board and gently pat down to remove excess moisture. Season with a bit of sea salt flakes and dust with cracked pepper. Place on the grill and sear. When the blood begins to sweat through, turn to the other side and sear. Remove from the grill and let rest for a few minutes before cutting into it to avoid the juices fully running out. For a very thin steak I’d say no more than one minute coking on each side. Thicker cuts will need more time.
Preheat your grill or oven to about 375 or 400 degrees. Rinse and cut the potatoes in half and then cut again crosswise to about a half inch. Add olive oil, sea salt flakes, crushed black pepper and toss. Place in an oven or grill friendly pan and cook for 30 minutes covered, and then another 10 minutes uncovered and flipped to the other side. Remove and plate.
Preheat your grill, cast iron skillet or griddle to a medium high heat. Rinse and cut the tomatoes in half. Toss in olive oil and some salt and pepper and place cut side down on the heat and cook/char for about 10 - 12 minutes until desired charred crust forms on the bottom. Remove from heat.
Add a nice big veggie filled, greens salad and you have a more than complete meal for the family.
That’s it! Enjoy your outdoor, or indoor cooking adventure this holiday weekend, and as always let us know how it turns out.