Skirt Steak and Sunchoke-Kale Hash

Skirt steaks and flank steaks are fast becoming my favorite cuts of beef for several reasons: they are relatively cheap, they are not fatty, and they cook fantastically in my skillet in a 425 degree oven.

Thanks to Food & Wine’s January 2010 magazine and my lovely Mum, this delicious dinner appeared on my table tonight.  After a fantastic weekend visiting family in Pittsburgh, I was sent home with a cooler full of treats.  The sunchoke-kale hash with farro was one of the treats…

Your first question may be “what in the world is a sunchoke?!” and rightly so, it was my very same question on Monday morning when mama Cheater Bite was cooking it up in her kitchen.  Well, for your information, a sunchoke is a root vegetable that is a cross between a rutabaga and a potato and a delicate flavor that is slightly sweet, yet nut-like (think water chestnuts or jicama).  I’d say the best place to find them is your local Whole Foods.  So this was my first experience with sunchokes, and I’d say I’m pretty impressed.  I’m also not a huge fan of kale, but combined with the farro and all of the other flavors, it had a great texture and flavor.

Here are the breakdowns and adaptations:

Sunchoke-Kale Hash with Farro (this recipe serves 8-10 and takes 1 1/2 hours total)

  • 3/4 cup farro
  • 2 1/2 pounds sunchokes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 pound Tuscan kale, stems discarded
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound oyster mushrooms (halved if large)
  • salt & freshly ground pepper

In a medium saucepan, cover the farro with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over low heat until the farro is tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the farro and set aside.

While the farro is cooking, put the sunchokes in a large saucepan and cover with water and add a large pinch of salt. Boil over high heat until the sunchokes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly, then slice the sunchokes 1/4 inch thick and set aside.

Fill the large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the Tuscan kale and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain the kale and let cool slightly. Squeeze the kale dry and coarsely chop it.

In a small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the sliced red onion and a pinch of salt and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 12 minutes.  At this point you can put the 4 prepared ingredients in containers and keep them in the fridge until tomorrow.

In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the sunchokes in an even layer and cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the sunchokes, reduce the heat to moderately high and continue cooking until starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Push the sunchokes to the side of the skillet.  Add 1 more tablespoon of oil and the oyster mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining oil along with the farro, kale and onion and cook, stirring, until heated through.

Skirt Steak with Paprika Butter

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked hot paprika – if you just have regular paprika, mix 1 teaspoon of that with 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or a different ratio depending on how spicy you like things)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • skirt or flank steak (1 pound for every 2 people)
  • olive oil, for rubbing
  • salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 425 and heat dry skillet over medium/high heat.  Rub the steaks with oil and season with salt and pepper.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook over low heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the paprika and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt; keep warm until ready to serve.

Sear both sides of steak in the skillet, about 1 minute per side, then put in middle rack of the oven for 4 minutes.  Take out and let sit on cutting board for 5 minutes, then slice thinly across the grain. (If you have a grill, cook the steaks on high heat until nicely charred and medium-rare, about 3 minutes per side)

To serve, spoon the Sunchoke-Kale Hash with Farro on each plate and top with the steak. Spoon the paprika butter over the steak and serve right away.

Needless to say, this would not have been a weeknight meal in my kitchen if it weren’t for mama Cheater Bite doing most of the work for me, but if you have the time to spend, or take the time to do some of the prep the day before, I’d say this meal is worth it!  It’s going in my list of “keepers” for sure!

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One Comment

  1. Karen Burns
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Hi Ali,

    This entire “Sunchoke-Kale Hash” and “Skirt Steak” recipe came into my e-mail account from Cheater Bites and I simply printed it out on our color copier and once I three-hole punch it, it is going into my new-“Home made” 3-Ring Recipe Binder. So now along with the Cheater Bite recipes, I can add “Martha Stewart”, the Food Network, and any other new recipes that I get. What’s nice with the internet, there are so many recipes that one can research to try, but it is especially nice when “Cheater Bites” Has first-hand experience in making the dish and posting it for all of us…keep up the good work! And it’s especially nice when “MaMa Cheater Bite” helps in the process! K.K.

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