Monday, August 4, 2014

Grilled Achiote Skirt Steak - Churrasco Nicaraguan Style


Grilled Achiote Skirt Steak, served with shoestring french fries
 and Spicy Tomato Jam (recipe coming soon)

Most folks think of churrasco (CHEW-ROSS-COE) a.k.a skirt steak as a purely Argentinian dish, but I can tell you it is not. I had never eaten skirt steak (churrasco) until I met The Hub, who is Nicaraguan. Nicaraguans are big on grilled meats, especially beef and particularly churrasco, which is skirt steak. This is my take on blending the spices used in Nicaraguan grilled cuisine. The achiote powder, which also goes by the name of annatto, is one of my favorite spices in this cuisine and it has an earthy, sweet peppery flavor. My spice blend does not cover up the beefy flavor of the skirt steak but rather enhances it. Achiote can be found in the hispanic or asian section of the supermarket. And, if you can't find it locally, remember there is always Amazon or eBay.

Note: You'll notice that I don't specify amounts for the spices and that's because I literally just dust it over each piece of meat.  Use generous pinches of each spice and sprinkle over top.

Serves 2 - 3

Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Achiote Powder
1 1/2 pounds of skirt steak cut into steak sizes portions

With a fork piece the surface of each steak on each side. Generously dust each side of the skirt steaks with the salt, pepper, onion, garlic and achiote. Rub into the meat. Place into a zip bag or a lidded container and let rest in the fridge over night or 2-4 hours before grilling.

Fire up your grill on high (if using gas) or over direct heat with hot charcoal. Make sure you lightly oil your grill racks to get nice grill marks. Place steaks on racks and grill 3 - 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from grill onto a platter, tent with foil and allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with your favorite sides, like shoestring french fries, and ice cold beer.  Enjoy.

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