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Recipe: Grilled flank steak with carbon tomatoes, guajillo chile salsa, and queso fresco

Courtesy of The Table at Season to Taste
Courtesy of The Table at Season to Taste(Grilled flank steak with carbon tomatoes, guajillo chile salsa, and queso fresco)

Serves 4

The charred onion and garlic with vinegar in this easy entree create a bracing acidity that works incredibly well with grilled red meat and juicy, fruity carbon tomatoes. “It’s super umami,” says Carl Dooley of The Table at Season to Taste — especially with the chile salsa, which, he says, “will last in the fridge for a week and is great on just about everything.”

SALSA

¼small onion, thickly sliced
1clove garlic, halved
1cup water
3dried guajillo chiles, seeded and chopped
1½ teaspoons brown sugar
1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of dried oregano
1whole clove
½teaspoon salt

1. In a heavy, dry skillet, char the onion and garlic until dark on all sides.

2. Add the water (it may sputter), chiles, sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, oregano, clove, and salt. Bring to boil, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer for 15 minutes.

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3. In a blender, puree the mixture, adding a little water, if needed, to make a smooth sauce. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

STEAK

Canola oil (for the grill)
8dark heirloom tomatoes, such carbon, red zebra, or brandywine
2pounds flank steak
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼cup crumbled queso fresco or feta
½cup whole basil leaves
4large spoonfuls guajillo chile salsa (for serving)

1. Light a charcoal grill or turn a gas grill to high. Brush the grill rack to clean it. With a wadded paper towel, quickly brush the grill grates with oil.

2. Sprinkle the steak on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill it for 3 to 4 minutes on the first side, or until charred. Turn and continue cooking for 3 minutes more, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 125 degrees (for medium rare; for medium, cook a few minutes longer). Remove from the grill and let the steak rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes into thick rounds and arrange on 4 plates. Sprinkle with salt.

4. Slice the meat against the grain and arrange on the tomatoes. Top with queso fresco or feta and basil leaves and serve with chile salsa. Carl Dooley of The Table at Season to Taste