It’s raining now. That probably means another day of cooking inside and more work for my supper than if the sun was shining. I’d rather be grilling – it’s easy, even if charcoal’s your thing. Salt, pepper, protein, and heat. We probably eat a few too many grilled steaks around here during summer but is there anything better in exchange of effort for reward?
Grilled steaks are made for chimichurri and I’ll post a recipe for that soon. Today though I want to share something new to spoon over your steak.
In my previous post I mentioned El Cardenal, an excellent restaurant in Mexico City, and it’s fine green salsa. At that same lunch I had a more robust salsa too. It came with a fire-grilled piece of beef and was slathered overtop. Made of blackened tomatoes, dried chillies, onion, and slippery, pudding-like bone marrow it was everything you dream of when you’re hungry.
Here’s a recipe. Not theirs, but adapted from Mexico, The Cookbook (Phaidon).
If a dedicated carnivore were forced to eat a sandwich of grilled vegetables, he should dress that sandwich with this salsa. It’s beefy in all the best ways, balanced with a good whack of acid, some fiery heat, the sweetness of tomatoes. It’s full of mouth-filling flavour and fat and probably not something you should feed delicate people.
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 medium tomatillo
- 1 medium onion, peeled and halved
- 4 cloves garlic, peel intact
- 1 lb (450 g) piece marrowbone
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) ancho chili powder
- ½ tsp (2 mL) chipotle chili powder
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- Juice of 1 - 2 limes
- Preheat charcoal grill to hot. Rake coals to edges of drum. Place tomato, tomatillo, onion halves, and garlic over indirect heat. Arrange marrow bone in a small heat proof dish to avoid flare ups and place on grill alongside vegetables.
- Close lid, maintain temperature between 450 - 500 °F (230 - 260° C) and roast until vegetables are browned and softened, 10-12 minutes for the garlic, 20 for the onion, and 25 or so for the tomato and tomatillo. Remove the marrow bone when you remove the final vegetables.
- Combine all but the lime juice and marrow in a food processor and pulse to chop, leaving it somewhat chunky. Turn out into a small pot. Using a long spoon or knife, remove marrow from bone and coarsely chop; add to pot. Gently heat, season to taste with lime juice and serve warm.
- spoon over grilled steak
- grill some toast (Portuguese corn bread!) until good and charred and spread with the warm salsa
- spread a toasted split bun with some and top with smokey grilled vegetables
- spoon over soft, fire-roasted sweet potatoes
- tacos & tostadas!