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Summer Steak and Grilled Vegetable Salad from Pat LaFrieda

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Pat LaFrieda, New York’s Butcher

Quick!  Name a famous butcher!  Well, if you’re from New York, the first name you would likely come up with would be that of Pat LaFrieda, a third generation butcher whose LaFrieda Meats supplies, among other places, the enormously popular Shake Shack with their particular blend of hamburger meat.  (It’s a top-secret formula so you won’t find it here or anywhere else).   Recently, Pat LaFrieda wrote a complete article about Skirt Steak on the grill for Fine Cooking Magazine.  Skirt steak, Mr. LaFrieda said, has been his favorite cut of beef for as long as he can remember.  Since he started working with his father when he was ten and took over the business entirely twenty-one years ago, he’s had plenty of chances to change his mind. But no, he believes that skirt steak packs the most flavor and tells us he grills it about every week in the summer.  And with it, he serves as much great seasonal produce as he can find.  Hence, this recipe for a steak salad extraordinaire, and one that I wanted to pass on to you before another day in summer passes.


As to Pat’s preference for Skirt Steak, I would agree entirely and I would gladly eat it as my steak of choice, summer or winter.  It does, however, have its detractors.  To some its intense beef flavor is just too gam-y and so, in deference to those who do, a great flank steak is a perfect stand in for Pat’s preferred Skirt Steak.  And they are both about the same reasonable price.


The first time I made the dish, I followed Pat’s recipe to a Tee.

The picture on the left shows the platter pretty much as it appeared in Fine Cooking’s August/September 2015 issue.  Note that the corn has been grilled and then strewn across the top of the grilled meat.  What I noticed what that my guests had very neatly removed the corn and the scallions from their meat and put them to one side.  
So the second time around, I decided to separate the corn from the platter altogether.   Instead I made another of my quick corn-off-the-cob side dishes by stripping kernels from 6 cobs, softening a large diced white onion in olive oil before adding the corn just until it was heated through. 

The other addition we made to round two was the simplest of garlic breads. Andrew added a good three tablespoons of chopped garlic to two sticks of unsalted butter which he then spread on a baguette that had been halved lengthwise and cut into 6 inch sections.  The second set of dinner guests loved the garlic bread just as much as the main event. The great thing about this dish is the bounty of vegetables that not only bring brilliant color to the serving platter, they make it look like the healthiest dish on earth.  And while we all should be cutting down on meat, for the sake of the planet if nothing else, the pleasures of a grilled steak on a summer evening cannot really be replaced.  Here is the recipe:

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