Grilled Skirt Steak with Chilies and Mushrooms by Frank Pellegrino Jr.
While Rao’s is an Italian restaurant, our chefs in Las Vegas cannot help but be influenced by Southwestern cooking.
“Sautéed mushrooms are perfectly matched to grilled steak, but chilies add their heat to make this a zesty hybrid of the two cuisines. Be sure to use mild chilies. The shiny green Hatch variety, from New Mexico, is my favorite, but you will find others at your market that are great stand-ins.” said Frank Pellegrino Jr.
2 pounds skirt steak, cut into 3 or 4 equal pieces for easier handling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 portobello mushroom caps, 4 left whole and 2 cut into ½-inch-wide strips,
¼ cup plus ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
½ white onion, thinly sliced
4 long, mild green chilies, preferably Hatch, or use poblano or Anaheim, seeded, cut into ½-inch-wide strips
½ teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes (or less, to taste)
1. Prepare an outdoor grill for direct cooking over high heat (550ºF).
2. Season the steaks with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Mix ¼ cup of oil and 1 teaspoon of garlic in a large baking dish to hold the portobello caps. Add the portobello caps turn to coat with the oil. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Let the mushrooms and steaks stand at room temperature while making the sauté.
3. To make the sauté: Heat the remaining ⅓ cup oil and 1 teaspoon garlic in a flameproof large skillet on the grill until the garlic softens, about 1 minute. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the chilies and sliced portobellos. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chilies are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the hot red pepper. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. (The sauté can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead.)
4. Brush the cooking grate clean and lightly oil the grate. Grill the portobello caps, gills side up, with the lid closed as much as possible, until seared with grill marks, about 3 minutes. Flip the caps. Add the steaks to the grill and cook, with the lid closed, until seared with grill marks, about 3 minutes. Move the mushrooms to a cooler area of the grill (such as the perimeter of a charcoal grill or the upper rack of a gas grill) gills side down, to keep warm. Flip the steaks, with the lid closed, and grill until the steaks feel only slightly resilient when pressed with a fingertip, about 3 minutes more for medium-rare steak. Transfer the steaks to a carving board and let stand for 3 to 5 minutes.