Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Miso-Glazed Skirt Steak – There is Nothing More American Than Foreign Ingredients

This succulent grilled skirt steak recipe would be perfect for your 4th of July cookout, and what better way to celebrate America’s birthday than with an ingredient from Japan. 

Our nation has lots to be proud of; and one thing I take special pride in is our willingness to integrate any and all culinary influences into our cuisine. We don’t much care where it comes from, as long as it’s delicious, we will assimilate.

There was a time, not that long ago, when only a lucky few “gourmands” living near big cities had access to imported ingredients like miso, balsamic vinegar, truffle oil, etc. Nowadays, these items are found in virtually every large grocery store, from sea to shining sea. When I hear the words, “immigrants built this country,” I don’t think of railroads, bridges, and roads; I think pizza, sushi, and foie gras torchon.

I’ll admit to knowing very little about miso, or why it’s so effective in this simple glaze, but that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with a little mystery in your cooking (think burlesque vs. full-frontal). How and why it makes the beef so juicy and flavorful is not nearly as important as the fact it does.

I’ve done countless variations of this glaze, and oddly enough I prefer a red wine vinegar in this, over more obvious choices like rice vinegar. Maybe it’s just because I associate red wine with red meat, but I really think there’s something else going on. What? No idea (see paragraph 4).

You’ll notice the ingredient list is relatively short, and it should probably stay that way, but of course I expect you to tweak this to your personal tastes. Not doing so would be downright un-American. I hope you give this great grilled miso glazed skirt steak a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 large or 4 smaller portions:
1 whole skirt steak (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 tbsp yellow miso
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 packed tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 cloves finely crushed garlic
freshly ground black pepper to taste
*Glaze should be spread over both sides of meat, and left out for 30 minutes.
**I think skirt steak has the best texture if cooked between medium-rare and medium. I'd remove at an internal temp of 130-135 F.

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