Grapefruit & Habanero Skirt Steak with Grilled Tomato Salsa
Sweet papaya and tart Ruby Red grapefruit juice tame the heat of the Scotch bonnet pepper in the marinade for the steak, while the vegetables for the accompanying jalapeño-laced salsa get charred on the fire along with the meat. This recipe first appeared in our June/July 2013 issue along with Domingo Martinez’s article Grilling at the Border.
- 1 cup roughly chopped papaya
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, stemmed
- Juice of 1 large Ruby Red grapefruit
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 1⁄2 lb. beef skirt steak, trimmed
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 jalapeño peppers, stemmed
- 4 plum tomatoes, cored
- 1 small white onion, cut in half crosswise
- 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves and stems
- Juice of 1 lime
- Corn tortillas, warmed, for serving (optional)
- Purée papaya and half the oil, plus Scotch bonnet, grapefruit juice, salt, and pepper in a blender into a smooth marinade. Pour ⅔ marinade into a gallon-size resealable plastic bag. Add steak and seal bag; set aside to marinate for 30-45 minutes but no longer. Reserve remaining marinade.
- Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn burner off on one side. Grill garlic, jalapeños, tomatoes, and onions on hottest part of grill, turning as needed, until charred in spots and tender, 1-2 minutes for garlic, 4-6 minutes for jalapeños, tomatoes, and onions. Allow vegetables to cool slightly. Peel jalapeños and transfer to a blender along with garlic, tomatoes, and onions. Add remaining oil, plus cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Pulse into a chunky salsa and transfer to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Remove steak from marinade and grill on hottest part of grill, turning as needed, and, using a brush, baste occasionally with reserved marinade until charred in spots and cooked to desired doneness, 10-12 minutes for medium rare. Let steak rest 10 minutes. Slice steak thinly on the bias; serve with salsa and warmed tortillas, for wrapping, if you like.