NOVEMBER 19, 2012

MEET THE SOUS CHEF

CHRIS ROBERTSON, SOUS CHEF, NORTH END GRILL

Chris Robertson, the sous-chef at New York City’s North End Grill, works in a restaurant, but his life sounds a lot like many of ours: a small child, a demanding job and a desire to eat good food at home. So when he talks about what he cooks at home, we listen.

His recipe for red wine-marinated skirt steak with broccoli rabe is completely flexible. You can use a variety of different cuts of beef; choose kale or swiss chard in place of the broccoli rabe; and cook the steak on a gas or charcoal grill rather than on the stovetop. Consider this recipe a blueprint for better dining.

TRACK THIS CHEF

Chris Robertson's:
See Recipe See the recipe for Chris Robertson's Skirt Steak with Garlic Confit and Broccoli Rabe

DAY IN THE LIFE

TIPS & TECHNIQUES

Where's the Beef

Robertson uses this red wine marinade on tougher cuts of beef, such as skirt, hanger, flank, tri-tip or the “Denver steak,” which he buys at his local farmers’ market. When you’re standing at the butcher counter trying to decide, Robertson says, “buy what looks best. You’ll have a better meal in the end.”

Yes, Substitute

Robertson subscribes to a CSA (community supported agriculture) and receives weekly boxes of vegetables from a favorite farm. Because he never knows exactly what the allotment will contain, he’s learned to adapt. In place of the broccoli rabe in this recipe, he recommends kale or Swiss chard.

MAKE THE
Skirt Steak with Garlic Confit and Broccoli Rabe

YIELD

Serves 2 (with leftover broccoli rabe)

INGREDIENTS

Medium-bodied red wine, ¾ cup

Garlic, 2 small cloves (smashed) plus 8 whole medium cloves

Shallot, ½ medium (thinly sliced)

Freshly ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon plus extra for seasoning

Skirt steak, two 6-ounce pieces (trimmed of extra fat)

Extra-virgin olive oil, 1½ cups plus 2 tablespoons, divided

Red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon

Broccoli rabe, 1 large bunch (tough stems removed and stalks cut into 3-inch-long pieces)

Water, 2 tablespoons

Kosher salt

Canola oil, 1 tablespoon

 

EQUIPMENT

Chef's knife

Cutting board

Measuring cups and spoons

Gallon-size resealable plastic bag or airtight container

Small saucepan

Paring knife

Slotted spoon

Large pot or Dutch oven with a lid

Wooden spoon

Paper towels

Medium heavy-bottomed skillet

Tongs

DIRECTIONS

1. In a gallon-size resealable plastic bag or airtight container, add the:

  • Red wine
  • Smashed garlic
  • Sliced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • Skirt steaks

Seal the bag or container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.

2. Meanwhile, make the garlic confit: In a small saucepan set over low heat, add the:

  • Whole garlic cloves
  • 1½ cups extra-virgin olive oil

Cook until the garlic is soft but not browned and a paring knife easily slips into the center of a clove, 20 to 30 minutes. Use the slotted spoon to remove the garlic from the oil (save the oil for another time).

 3. In a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat, add:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes

Cook until fragrant (take care not to let the red pepper flakes burn), 20 to 30 seconds. Add the:

  • Broccoli rabe
  • Water

Season to taste with:

  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper

Cover the pot and cook for 1 minute, then add the oil-poached garlic. Use the wooden spoon to quickly stir, cover and continue to cook until the broccoli rabe is tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the lid and cook until the liquid is evaporated, about 4 minutes. Set aside.

4. Remove the steaks from the marinade and use paper towels to pat dry. Liberally season both sides with:

  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

5. Set a medium heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat until nearly smoking, 1½ to 2 minutes. Add the:

  • Canola oil

Add the seasoned steaks and sear until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. Use tongs to transfer to a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes before slicing into thin strips crosswise and against the grain. Serve with the broccoli rabe.

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