Garlic, Lime & Chilli Marinated Steak

Lime & Chilli Steak

Another recipe I’ve had hanging around for a couple of years and only just got around to trying. This is one of Wine Spectator’s Dining Tips: weekly recipes that are featured along with a wine.

Somewhat unimaginatively this dish is paired with Malbec (well, I guess the Argentinians do eat a lot of steak …) but I suggest you be careful what you choose – especially if you’re a fan of heavy handed chilli.

The marinade is a little bit of work but well worth it.

For the two of us, I took about ΒΌ cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Put it over a very low heat. Take some garlic (to taste – I used a couple of generously side cloves and a smattering of smaller ones – use more than you think!) and just crush it with the back of a knife. No need to chop or mince. Put the garlic in the oil and allow it to heat through very gently. Don’t allow the oil to heat up too much – you certainly don’t want any sizzle or any burnt garlic.

Cook over a very low heat for at least 5 minutes. Add chilli flakes (again, to taste) and cook for a further minute before removing from the heat. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes and then add the juice of two limes. Return to the heat, bring to a simmer and then remove from the heat.

You are now finished with the whole on/off the heat business!

When the lime and oil mix has cooled, stir in a scant tsp of ground cumin and 2 tsp of ground coriander.

Your marinade is now done! There’s no reason why this won’t keep (in the fridge) for a day or two.

Marinate your meat for at least half an hour before cooking. When you come to cook the meat (griddle pan, frying pan, BBQ – whatever suits you), make sure you leave the crushed garlic cloves in the bowl – if you try cooking them they’ll only burn and things will taste bitter. However, you can (and, indeed, should) use the leftover oil to baste the meat in the pan.

Serve with accompaniments of your choice. This tasted absolutely fantastic – a lovely balance of chilli heat and sourness from the limes. Definitely a marinade we’ll be revisiting often when BBQ weather comes around again.

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