Pan-Seared Skirt Steaks with Carrot Puree and Braised Cabbage

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Velvety carrot puree, tender pan-seared steaks, and braised cabbage come together in a beautifully composed dish topped with a fresh, punchy cilantro gremolata from 2019 Food & Wine Best New Chef Paxx Caraballo Moll of Jungle BaoBao in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A well-prepared mise en place is the key here: Cut and measure ahead of time to cook and plate with ease. "I love the flavor explosions and textures you get from this dish," says Moll. "Transforming a humble cut of meat, making it delicious, and seeing people's faces and all the great feedback make me proud of this dish. The sweetness of the carrots makes a great contrast with our gremolata, and every bite feels refreshing."

Skirt Steaks with Carrot Puree and Braised Cabbage
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
Servings:
4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro 

  • .50 cup grapeseed oil 

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion  

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons sambal oelek, divided 

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 

  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped (about 2 cups) 

  • 1 small russet potato, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1 1/4 cups) 

  • 8 cups thinly sliced red cabbage 

  • .50 cup packed light brown sugar 

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin 

  • .50 cup soy sauce 

  • 2 (8-ounce) skirt steaks (1/4 inch thick) 

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

  • 2 teaspoons honey 

  • Pickled Turmeric Onions (recipe in Notes) 

Directions

  1. Stir together cilantro, oil, scallion, 1 teaspoon sambal oelek, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl; set aside. Place carrots, potato, and remaining 1 tablespoon salt in a large saucepan; add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium; cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Place drained carrot mixture and 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid in blender. Secure lid; remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a kitchen towel over opening. Process until smooth, about 1 minute, adding additional cooking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to yield a silky-yet-firm texture. Set aside.

  2. While carrots and potato boil, heat a large skillet over high. Add cabbage; cook, stirring often, until cabbage softens and darkens in color, about 4 minutes. Stir in brown sugar, cumin, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon sambal oelek; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to bubble, about 20 seconds. Reduce heat to medium-high. Stir in soy sauce; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is almost absorbed and cabbage is shiny, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cover to keep warm.

  3. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high. Add steaks; cook until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 120°F, 5 to 6 minutes, flipping once halfway through cook time. Remove steaks from skillet; let rest 5 minutes. Cook carrot puree in a small saucepan over medium-high, stirring often, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add butter and honey; cook, stirring constantly, until emulsified, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

  4. Cut steaks against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices; drizzle evenly with lemon juice, and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest. Divide carrot puree evenly among 4 plates; top with sliced steak, cilantro gremolata, cabbage, and pickled turmeric onions. 

Pickled Turmeric Onions

Combine 1 1/2 cups sliced white onion, 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric in a bowl. Using hands, massage until onion softens and releases its juices, about 30 seconds. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 week.

Make Ahead

Cabbage and carrot puree can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in airtight containers in refrigerator.

Suggested Pairing

Ripe, low-tannin red: St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel

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