Recipe Sleuth: Ris’s Portuguese-Style Skirt Steak

Photograph by Chris Leaman.

The grilled skirt steak that chef Ris Lacoste makes at her restaurant Ris is served the Portuguese way: with an over-easy egg, a bed of rice, a scattering of peppers and onions, and fried garlic chips. One reader liked the dish so much that we got the (labor-intensive) recipe. Note that the recipe should be started the day before you plan to serve it.

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Serves 1

Pickle the pepper:

1 Portuguese hot pepper
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup cider vinegar
½ onion coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves
Red-pepper flakes to taste

Pickle the Portuguese pepper overnight in sugar, water, and cider vinegar seasoned with the onion, garlic, and red-pepper flakes.

Make the marinade:

1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon minced shallots
Olive oil as needed
Red-pepper flakes to taste
8- to 10-ounce skirt steak

Make a paste by combining the minced garlic, oregano, parsley, thyme, minced shallots, olive oil (enough to cover the mixture), and red-pepper flakes. Trim the skirt steak of its outer fat (save the lean trimmings for the sauce), and marinate in the paste overnight.

Make the rice:

1 onion, sliced
2 ounces butter
2⁄3 cup rice
Water as needed
Salt as needed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium, oven-safe pot set over medium heat, sauté the onion in the butter. Stir in the rice, coating all of it with the onion/butter mixture. Add water and salt, bring to a boil on top of the stove, then cover and cook in the oven for 18 minutes.

Make the sauce:

1 large onion, sliced vertically, plus 2⁄3 cup sliced onion
1 clove garlic, sliced
½ cup dark beer (Lacoste uses Smuttynose)
2 cups beef stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the lean trimmings of the steak in a saucepan set over medium heat. Add the vertically sliced onion and garlic and cook until slightly caramelized. Add the dark beer and reduce by 1⁄3. Add the beef stock and reduce again until it coats the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the sauce from the pan and add the 2⁄3 cup sliced onion. Season again with salt and pepper and sauté over medium heat until cooked through. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble the dish.

Assemble the dish:

1 egg fried over-easy and seasoned with salt and pepper (do this just before serving)
Garlic chips (1 clove garlic deep-fried until golden) for garnish
Olive oil for drizzling
Parsley sprigs for garnish

Season the marinated steak with salt and pepper and grill or pan-fry over medium-high heat to desired doneness. Warm the sauce and stir in the pickled pepper and onions. Pile the rice on a plate. Ladle some of the sauce with peppers and onions over the top. Sprinkle with garlic chips, then top with the steak and then the egg. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with parsley sprigs.

See all Recipe Sleuths here

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Staff Writer

Michael J. Gaynor has written about fake Navy SEALs, a town without cell phones, his Russian spy landlord, and many more weird and fascinating stories for the Washingtonian. He lives in DC, where his landlord is no longer a Russian spy.