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One of the things I miss the most about living in South Florida (and believe me it’s not the humidity!) is the Cuban food.  As I keep moving farther north, it’s harder to find this particular fare.  The lack of Cuban restaurants combined with the fact that I don’t eat out very much inspired me to make one of my favorite dishes myself at home.

Churrasco Cubano (Cuban Skirt Steak) with Chimichurri Sauce

For the steak:

  • 1 pound skirt steak
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 of the chimichurri

For the chimichurri:

  • 1 cup fresh parsley, packed
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 dried Bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher/sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Start by making the chimichurri first, as it will be a marinade for the steak as well as a sauce.  Whir the garlic and parsley in a food processor until roughly chopped.  Don’t chop it up too much; you want to see big pieces of parsley. (p.s. I got a baby food processor with some Christmas money!  It makes my life that much easier.)

Add the Bay leaves, oregano, paprika, salt and cayenne pepper and pulse a few times until mixed.

While running the processor, stream in the olive oil and red wine vinegar.

That’s it!  Then put your steak in a plastic bag or container and pour half the sauce over it.  Let it sit in the fridge and get all good and marinated for at least an hour.

When you’re ready to cook the steak, heat about 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Usually skirt steak comes in one long piece, so I cut it up into about 6 smaller pieces.  Sear for about 2 minutes on each side (it’s very thin steak.)  I seared all the meat in two batches.  If you like your meat medium-rare, you’re all done.  For medium or more, put the steak in a pan or casserole dish and put in the oven at 350 degrees.  I left it in the oven for about 8-10 minutes for medium.  (I put the meat in the oven instead of searing it longer because the steak is so thin it would get too black on the outside.)

And I definitely thought I got some shots of the meat after searing and coming out of the oven, but apparently I didn’t.  Oops.

Cut the steak into 1-inch slices and top with more sauce.

*Disclaimer: this is not all the steak.  The recipe definitely made more than this!

To complete the meal and make it authentic, serve with black beans and rice.  I normally stay away from white rice, but for this dish I had to make the rare exception.

This is a filling, hearty dish that’s perfect for the winter months.  The meat is so incredibly tender, and the fresh-tasting chimichurri bumps up the flavor.

For a small window of time I felt like I was back in South Florida, or North Cuba as it’s sometimes referred, enjoying some much-needed nostalgic Cuban food!