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Romanian Garlic Skirt Steak

(Adapted from BBQ USA by Steve Raichlen)

If you like sanguine flavor of beef and the nose tweaking pungency of garlic, you'll adore this garlicky skirt steak-inspired by Sammy's Romanian in New York. Sammy's is Manhattan's most famous (some would say most infamous) Jewish-style restaurant: dinner at this Lower East Side landmark is like attending a boisterous bar mitzvah that happens to be open to the public. Sammy's gives both skirt steaks and veal chops the royal garlic treatment. My own contribution to the recipe is a blast of oregano and hot paprika.

Skirt steak is a flat, stringy steak from the underbelly of the steer. This may not sound very appetizing, but it's loaded with flavor and if you slice it thinly across the grain, it will be as tender as you could wish for. This steak has a kick and I don't just mean from the garlic. If hot paprika burns your tongue too much, you can substitute mild or sweet. Just be sure to use an imported Hungarian paprika.

1-1/2 pounds skirt steak
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Hungarian hot paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano

Arrange the steaks in a baking dish. Generously season on both sides with salt, pepper, and paprika. Drizzle the steaks on both sides with oil, patting it in with your fingertips. Sprinkle the steaks with the garlic and oregano, again, patting it in with your fingers. Marinate the steaks in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours. Be sure you tightly cover the baking dish with plastic wrap, lest the garlic fumes perfume your whole refrigerator. Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Grill the steaks until cooked to taste, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer the steaks to plates or a platter and let rest for 2 minutes then serve at once. Serves 4.

© 2005 Steven Raichlen

This recipe appeared in “What’s Cooking with Sheilah Kaufman,” an online column on jwmag.org from 2002-2010. Kaufman, the author of 26 cookbooks, teaches “fearless and fussless” techniques for elegant cooking in classes throughout the country. Contact her at www.cookingwithsheilah.com.

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