Eberhard's Marinated Skirt Steak


Chef Eberhard Mueller's marinade is a mouthwatering blend of sherry vinegar, garlic habanero peppers, fresh marjoram, and molasses.


  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 1 or 2 fresh hot peppers, habanero or jalapeno, seeded, deveined, and coarsely chopped

  • 1 cup aged sherry vinegar

  • ½ cup dark molasses

  • cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt

  • 3 sprigs marjoram, more for garnish

  • ½ cup cold water

  • 4 skirt steaks (about 3 pounds total), well-trimmed

  • 2 to 3 cups grapevine cuttings, or wood chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes


  1. Place garlic and peppers in a huge bowl. Add sherry vinegar and molasses. Stir until thoroughly blended. Whisk in olive oil and salt. Add 3 sprigs marjoram and 1/2 cup cold water. Place steaks in the marinade, pushing them down so they are completely submerged. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

  2. Prepare charcoal or gas grill, arranging coals so that half the grill is very hot and the other half is medium hot. The coals should be gray-white, without flames, when you begin grilling.

  3. For a gas grill, follow the manufacturer's instructions for adding wood chips. For a charcoal grill, sprinkle the grapevine cuttings over the hot coals, and let them ignite. Wait until the flames subside, then place the steaks on the hottest side of the grill. Cover and grill for 3 minutes on the first side. Turn the steaks over, and grill for 3 minutes on the second side. Move the steaks to the cooler part of the charcoal grill, or turn the gas grill down to medium high. Grill 2 minutes longer for rare, or until the steaks are done to your liking.

  4. Transfer steaks to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice the steaks crosswise into strips about 3/4 inch wide. Serve on a large platter, garnished with sprigs of marjoram.

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