I’m looking at a dime-sized burn on my wrist, feeling like a real-life, serious, cooks-everything-on-the-grill griller.
Just kidding. I still feel like an amateur who doesn’t know how to turn off a propane tank without burning herself. It’s okay, though, because I keep getting back on that grilling horse whenever I can.
I wrote about wanting to gain more grilling confidence two years ago, and with each passing summer, it remains a goal of mine. I’ve thought of getting a small charcoal grill to sit on our front porch, but I haven’t convinced myself…yet. As my mom constantly reminds me, I don’t really need more kitchen equipment (but I always need more kitchen equipment, Mom).
So, I content myself with any grill I can use, which is usually the gas grill at the beach. I’m thinking of resurrecting the charcoal grill I know is lurking in the garage, but it’ll need some TLC and I’ll need to actually try cooking on a charcoal grill first.
In the past few months, I’ve subscribed to emails from the NYT Cooking section and they deliver a helpful dose of inspiration, happily waiting for me in my inbox every few days. Through those newsletters, I’ve discovered the different guides to be found on the Cooking site, including an expansive guide on grilling. It was here that I was directed to a video and recipe for Melissa Clark’s Grilled Skirt Steak with Garlic and Herbs. As a general fan of all those things (Melissa Clark included), I tapped it for my next grill sesh.
The recipe was so simple and adaptable that I didn’t even need to review it before whipping a garlicky herb sauce up from memory and, in true Pinch of Summer fashion, I can only give you ballparks for measurements. I used what I had at my disposal and adapted the sauce to include what I like and exclude what I’m not too hot on (namely, hot peppers, lololololol, good one, T!).
The sauce was punchy and vibrant, salty and piquant. The skirt steak was succulent and, I think, cooked to medium-rare perfection (a lucky accident as I thought I had overcooked it!). Coupled with crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside potatoes and a garden salad, we had a lovely beach dinner, served as per usual at 9:00pm.
(Grilling with a view)
(And a glass of wine)
But don’t be fooled. This steak takes no time at all if you’re not photographing along the way. Or having a tennis lesson at 5:00pm. And then showering. And then starting the marinade. And then pre-heating the oven for the potatoes. And then getting pre-dinner snacks on the table. And then making a vinaigrette.
I mean. You get the point.
I’ll tell you when I won’t be getting dinner on the table at 9:00pm. This Sunday, otherwise known as The Day That Winter Comes. I will be grilling, though. I plan on finally taking on a charcoal grill myself and trying my hand at a beer can chicken. There’s just something about cooking a piece of meat over flames that you can then rip into with your hands and teeth before washing it down with a Cersei-sized glass of wine to get you in the mood for, finally, the Game of Thrones season premiere.
Wow. That GoT pretty dark pretty quickly. I guess I’m already fully prepared for the premiere, whether I grill a whole chicken or not.
Happy grilling, y’all! Just try not to burn yourselves, ok?
Grilled Skirt Steak with a Garlic and Herb Sauce
Inspired by Melissa Clark
2 ½ lbs skirt steak
Big bunch of Italian parlsey, roughly chopped
6 scallions, roughly chopped
A handful of basil
A handful of chives
6 or so garlic cloves, smashed
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
A big pinch of red chili flakes
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
A few healthy twists of the pepper mill
A glug or two or three of sherry vinegar (or apple cider, or red wine, or white wine vinegars)
Enough olive oil to loosen it up (maybe about a third or a half cup)
Potentially honey and extra lemon juice
*Note: I didn’t measure my salt and the sauce was, ahem, very salty. That’s great for a marinade! But with the leftovers for serving, I had to add honey and more lemon juice to cut that saltiness to a more acceptable level. That worked out fine, but you may want to taste as you add it. You can always add salt to the steak before you rub it with the sauce. I’ve heard a teaspoon of salt per pound of meat is a good formula for marinades and seasoning.
- Throw the parsley, scallions, basil, chives, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, red chili flakes, salt, and pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Give it a whir. Then, slowly add the olive oil until you get to the consistency you like. (It shouldn’t be too saucy, though.)
- Pat the steak dry and slather the sauce on both sides. You should still have sauce left over to serve. Let rest in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
- Here, Melissa has you blot the sauce mostly off of the steak . I didn’t, partly because of laziness, and partly because I wanted as much flavor on the steak as possible. You will get a better char if you dry it off first, but I was still happy with my result. If I had been able to let the steak marinate longer than 30 minutes, I probably would have blotted.
- Grill the steak over direct heat for about 3-5 minutes each side. Once you pull it off the grill, let it rest covered with aluminum foil for 10 minutes before slicing it against the grain (on a 45 degree angle). Serve with the leftover sauce and revel in your growing grill skillz.
*Note: For more confident instructions, head on over to see what Melissa Clark says and shows you in the video.