Steak, South American Style

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy, Friday, July 31, 2009, in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington.
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Before our palates were trained to distinguish between different cuts of meat, most folks thought a piece of steak was just a piece of steak.

Now, to mark the Labor Day weekend and the end of a hot, steamy summer, The Early Show resident chef Bobby Flay has prepared recipes for a low-fuss, no-muss steak meal, using an unusual cut of beef.

He shows how to make Grilled Skirt Steak With Chimichurri served over Grilled Bread with Basil Oil. For dessert, he's concocted Watermelon Slices with Lemon-Honey Syrup.

Barron's "The New Food Lover's Companion" describes skirt steak, the beef from which fajitas are made, as: "cut from the beef flank, the skirt steak is the diaphragm muscle (which lies between the abdomen and chest cavity). It's a long, flat piece of meat that's flavored but rather tough. Properly cooked, skirt steak can be quite tender and delicious. It can either be quickly grilled, or stuffed, rolled and braised."

The chimichuri sauce, used to marinate the steak before it's grilled, is a popular condiment in Argentina, used much as ketchup is in the United States. Chimichurri is an herb sauce made with olive oil, vinegar, finely chopped parsley, oregano, onion and garlic, all seasoned with salt, cayenne and black pepper. Most often this sauce is used on grilled meat, but it's also a common accompaniment to a variety of other dishes, says the Barron's "Food Lover's Guide."

The following are Flay's recipes:

Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri
Serves: 4

Chimichurri Ingredients:
2 cups Spanish olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
1 cup minced fresh parsley
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 minced shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons each minced basil, thyme and oregano
Salt and pepper

Method:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Divide the chimichurri between two bowls. Use one half as a marinade and one half as the finishing sauce.

Grilled Steak Ingredients:
1 skirt steak
1/2 recipe Chimichurri
Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Place steaks in a large baking dish and pour half of the chimichurri marinade over the steaks. Turn to coat the steaks. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for two hours.
  2. Preheat grill to high. Remove steak from the refrigerator 20 minutes before grilling. Remove steak from marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 4-5 minutes on one side until golden brown, turn over and continue grilling for 4-5 minutes for medium-rare doneness. Remove from grill, let rest 10 minutes and slice into thin slices on the bias and serve with remaining chimichurri on the side.

Grilled Bread with Basil Olive Oil
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1 loaf Italian bread, sliced into half-inch thick slices
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method:
Heat grill. Place oil and basil in a blender and blend until smooth, season with salt and pepper to taste. Place bread on the grill and grill for approximately 1 minute per side. Remove from the grill and brush one side liberally with the basil oil.

Watermelon Slices with Lime-Honey Syrup
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup honey
1 ripe watermelon, cut into 4-inch triangular slices

Method:
Place lime juice and honey on the grates of a hot grill or side burners. Bring to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and chill. Place watermelon slices on a large platter and drizzle with the lime syrup.