Skirt Steak, Post-Grill Marinade & Sweet Potatoes Fries With 2009 Owen Roe Ex Umbris

Skirt Steak, Post-Grill Marinade & Sweet Potatoes Fries With 2009 Owen Roe Ex Umbris

If you grew up in the 70's and 80's, Worcestershire sauce was fancy meat seasoning, especially for grilling. Every type of meat was slathered in it. It's a taste of childhood. Taking a bite of grill-charred meat swimming in Worcestershire immediately evokes hot 80's summers, patios, tacky tiki torches, the sound of lawn mowers, the smell of the Mississippi and Roman candle wars (I can't even imagine the uproar if kids did that now, nevermind the BB gun wars we had) . Got all that with this meal.

Fresh off a dinner that night before of sea bass, celery root purée and Moroccan-spiced carrots that held a clearance sale on our digestive systems, we wanted fat, fat and more fat. Kuma's? Too much work to get in the car and drive there. Garcia's or Los Nopales? Maybe, but Mexican was on the home docket for the next day. Our go-to Wednesday fat dinner of marinated skirt-hanger-flank-flatiron with bagged Alexia fries and a smoky-grizzly New World syrah seemed the right call but did we have time for the marinade to get into the meat as we futzed with our dinner decision?

Eureka! Put the marinade on AFTER the meat is grilled!

Food: Skirt steak, post-grill marinade, watercress and Alexia chipotle sweet potato fries

Post-grill marinade recipe here, adapted from Cook's Country. You're grilling your meat, then poking it with a fork, then dumping all the marinade goodies on, letting it sit for five minutes and then going to town. It's delicious because there's great separation of flavors, utter freshness and fantastic complexity while being able to taste meat. 45 minutes from start to fork.

Take skirt out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature. Preheat oven for bagged fries. Be an idiot and start searching for shallots instead of scallions. Have your wife gently point out your error. Make marinade. Soy sauce, Worcestershire, scallions, garlic (used six instead of four), Dijon mustard, balsamic, sugar (cut in half because sweet marinades blow), add one-inch of ginger for more lift and because it's good, substitute peanut oil for vegetable oil just for funnsies. Avoid the fish sauce impulse because you want this meal to be Asian instead of ASIAN! Dump all that in a bowl. Let sit to marry. Toss fries into the oven. Be shocked that Boers & Bernstein are STILL talking about Hawk. Turn the station. Find BEZ's topic boring and turn it back. Put your grill pan over scorchingly high heat. Chop up some parsley. Season skirt on both sides with salt and pepper (leave out the sugar but sweet meat blows). Once that pan is smoking hot and smoke fills the apartment, oil it, toss the meat on and don't touch it for three minutes. Turn your fries in the oven. Burn your finger because you're stupid. Take the leftover orange zest-sesame oil-fish sauce mayo from last week's hanger meal out of the fridge if you have it. Flip the meat and don't touch it for three more minutes. Check it to touch. Thicker skirt steak here. Do it for 30 seconds more on each side. Then do that again. Forget that it's going to continue to cook in the post-grill marinade (medium to medium-well result). Be thankful that skirt is forgiving. Take the cooked meat and poke it with a fork like you're poking Bears' callers that want them to draft Te'o. Put it in a baking pan, dump the marinade over it, making sure all the chunky goodness sits on top, tent it with aluminum foil, let it sit for five minutes. Make a watercress salad with sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Wonder how sherry vinegar and Asian flavors will mingle then blow off that thought. Make a line of watercress salad in the middle of the serving plate to keep the marinade from wandering into the fries because nobody likes soggy fries. Take your fries out of the oven. Eat the burned ones. Transfer meat to carving board. Cut against the grain. Lament the medium to medium-wellness. Plate skirt and fries and serve.

Post-grill marinade will be used from here on out for the majority of our marinated meat meals. Because it's freakin' delicious and because it's a one kitchen session in a flurry instead of a two-step process stretched out over a few hours. You can taste the meat and taste every ingredient in the marinade. Every. One. A big Worcestershire bite took me right back to the childhood grill-outs. A bigger ginger-scallion bite so fresh and lifty. It's meat and potatoes but by Asian-ing it up, even with each of us having eight ounces of skirt steak, we weren't feeling gut-busted. And we were both starving when we woke up.

Great stuff. Shockingly good.

Wine: 2009 Owen Roe Ex Umbris Columbia Valley ($23 - Binny's)

Our last bottle of 2009. Last had it with a similar meal of skirt steak and green sriracha sauce with Portuguese punched potatoes a month ago. It's shed its sweeter expression that we saw over the years. No more Cinnamon Toast Crunch business. Savory joy right now. Smoky, bacony and plummy, with unsweetened root beer, beef jerky and licorice. But this is defined by its delicious smokiness that's never over the top. Love the balance with a happy expression of its full goodness on the mid-palate, then tapering off in such friendly ways all the way to the end, offering a lot of space along the way to let the food play along. It's gluttonous, honest, happy wine in the bottle that's made  for the grilling of meats Asian-ed up and spicy chipotle bagged fries.

Pairing: Yep. It's Wednesday grilled fat joy on the plate and in the bottle

Tried and true meal, taking on many forms (one, two, three, four - crap. now that stupid Feist song is in my head), an explosive gift of spicy, mostly Asian flavors in meat and potatoes form that fancies that. Good New World syrah offers a bigger expression to stand up to such largesse. Washington syrah, like here, brings that slightly bigger...bigness but offers space, grace and balance that echoes Old World finesse. Owen Roe makes more complex syrahs than the Ex Umbris. In fact, Ex Umbris was an accident. In 2002, a wild fire in the surrounding hills smoked up the grapes. Owen Roe bottled it as a one-off and it was delicious so they kept making it with a nod to the smokiness. But while it's not the complex or haunting syrah, we freakin' love it because it's so itself and so happy TO BE itself.

With this type of meal, it's pretty perfect food-wine stuff.

Speaking of perfect, here's Louis C.K. on the use of "Amazing!" (1:50 mark):

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    Christo P. Ney

    Love wine. Love it more with food. Having food without wine is like eating in black and white compared to vivid colors. Done right, it takes a meal out of the realm of mere consumption to a place of memory. Wine is made to be drunk with food so let's do it - one pairing at a time. "A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine" - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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