The Valentine Dilemma and a Recipe for Skirt Steak With Lime Butter


Every year as Valentine’s Day approaches, Jon and I have the same conversation: We agree not to Do Valentine’s, right, because commercialism. Also cheesiness, and and and. But then one of us caves and ruins everything.

The first year we agreed not to do Valentine’s, Jon blinked first. We were young, we were in different countries, and he was under the impression that “let’s not do Valentine’s” might be an example of a feminine wile, designed to test him. So he sent me a bunch of flowers and a card. I sent him nothing. As we agreed.

The next year, not to be fooled twice, I bought Jon a red box of chocolates in the shape of a heart. Boom. He bought me nothing. As we agreed.

So now, our standing agreement is Valentine’s = Steak. This makes life easier. And honestly, while I’m on the fence about the holiday, steak we can both be unequivocal about — it is great, let’s have some now, Valentine!

Skirt Steak With Lime Butter

This is a really easy way to get a date-appropriate dinner on the table quickly — add a salad, and a bottle of red, and you’re good to go.

1 piece of skirt steak (8 ounce–ish)
A juicy lime
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp butter (room temp)
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

Mix half the lime zest and a good squeeze of juice into the butter. Season well. Scoop the butter onto a sheet of wax paper and roll into a sausage. Put in the freezer to harden up.

Marinate the steak in the remaining zest and the juice from the full half-lime while the griddle pan (cast iron, ideally, and on your hottest flame) heats up (ten minutes–ish). This is smoke-alarm hot, so maybe open a window.

Dab the steak dry with paper towel and throw out the marinade.

Cut the garlic in half and rub the cut side all over the steak. Season really well — especially with salt.

Griddle for 3 minutes per side, until charred but still pretty rare.

Put on a plate to rest, re-season, squeeze over any lime juice you have left (about 1.4 lime, if you’re keeping count), and add a splosh of olive oil. Let the steak sit, well wrapped in foil, for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the butter into disks. Unwrap the steak and serve with the butter on top.

In this column, Katherine Knowles divulges recipes you can make in your tiny New York City kitchen.