Sous Chef Series | Chris Robertson

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Chris Robertson, the sous-chef at New York City's North End Grill, works in a restaurant, but his life sounds a lot like many of ours: a small child, a demanding job and a desire to eat good food at home. So when he talks about what he cooks at home, we listen.

His recipe for red wine-marinated skirt steak with broccoli rabe and salsa verde is completely flexible. You can use a variety of different cuts of beef; choose kale or Swiss chard in place of the broccoli rabe; vary the herbs in the salsa verde and cook the steak on a gas or charcoal grill rather than on the stovetop. Consider this recipe a blueprint for better dining.

Skirt Steak with Garlic Confit and Broccoli Rabe

Recipe adapted from Chris Robertson, North End Grill, New York City

Yield: Serves 2 (with leftover broccoli rabe)

Cook Time: 45 Minutes


Medium-bodied red wine, ¾ cup

Garlic, 2 small cloves (smashed) plus 8 whole medium cloves

Shallot, ½ medium (thinly sliced)

Freshly ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon plus extra for seasoning

Skirt steak, two 6-ounce pieces (trimmed of extra fat)

Extra-virgin olive oil, 1½ cups plus 2 tablespoons, divided

Red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon

Broccoli rabe, 1 large bunch (tough stems removed and stalks cut into 3-inch-long pieces)

Water, 2 tablespoons

Kosher salt

Canola oil, 1 tablespoon



1. In a gallon-size resealable plastic bag or airtight container, add the:

  • Red wine
  • Smashed garlic
  • Sliced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • Skirt steaks

Seal the bag or container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.

2. Meanwhile, make the garlic confit: In a small saucepan set over low heat, add the:

  • Whole garlic cloves
  • 1½ cups extra-virgin olive oil

Cook until the garlic is soft but not browned and a paring knife easily slips into the center of a clove, 20 to 30 minutes. Use the slotted spoon to remove the garlic from the oil (save the oil for another time).

 3. In a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat, add:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes

Cook until fragrant (take care not to let the red pepper flakes burn), 20 to 30 seconds. Add the:

  • Broccoli rabe
  • Water

Season to taste with:

  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper

Cover the pot and cook for 1 minute, then add the oil-poached garlic. Use the wooden spoon to quickly stir, cover and continue to cook until the broccoli rabe is tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the lid and cook until the liquid is evaporated, about 4 minutes. Set aside.

4. Remove the steaks from the marinade and use paper towels to pat dry. Liberally season both sides with:

  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

5. Set a medium heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat until nearly smoking, 1½ to 2 minutes. Add the:

  • Canola oil

Add the seasoned steaks and sear until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. Use tongs to transfer to a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes before slicing into thin strips crosswise and against the grain. Serve with the broccoli rabe.

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