Virginia Willis' Garlic-Rubbed Skirt Steak and Vidalia Onions with Peanut Romesco

GARLIC-RUBBED SKIRT STEAK AND VIDALIA ONIONS WITH PEANUT ROMESCO is excerpted from SECRETS OF THE SOUTHERN TABLE © 2018 by Virginia Willis. Photography © 2018 by Angie Mosier. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

This cookbook is available for purchase at:

Chef Virginia Willis cherishes the seasonal ingredients of the South. In her cookbook, Secrets of the Southern Table she explores dishes that celebrate those ingredients and their seasonality, like this recipe for Garlic-Rubbed Skirt Steak and Vidalia Onions with Peanut Romesco. The sweet, spring Vidalia onions come together beautifully with roasted peanuts in a Romesco sauce that perfectly complements the beefy flavor of grilled skirt steak.



  1. To prepare the steak, using paper towels, pat the steak dry and place in a large bowl; slather the garlic paste and olive oil all over meat, turning to coat. Add the onions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  2. To make the romesco sauce, grind the peanuts in a food processor. Add the roasted peppers, tomato puree, garlic, bread, and paprika. Process into a paste. Add the vinegar and pulse to blend. With the motor running, gradually pour the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream until the mixture thickens like mayonnaise. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper and then transfer to a serving bowl.
  3. When ready to grill the steak, scrape any excess garlic off the beef and discard. If using a charcoal grill, prepare the fire using about 6 pounds of charcoal and burn until the coals are completely covered with a thin coating of light gray ash, 20 to 30 minutes. Spread the coals evenly over the grill bottom, position the grill rack above the coals, and heat until medium-hot (when you can hold your hand 5 inches above the grill surface for no longer than 3 or 4 seconds). If using a gas grill, turn all the burners to High, close the lid, and heat until about 500°F, 10 to 15 minutes. If using a grill pan, heat the pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Grill the meat and onions over direct heat until char lines appear, the meat is done to taste, and the onions are tender and charred, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing the meat across the grain. Serve the steak and onions with the romesco sauce on the side.

You must be logged in to view this item.

This area is reserved for members of the news media. If you qualify, please update your user profile and check the box marked "Check here to register as an accredited member of the news media". Please include any notes in the "Supporting information for media credentials" box. We will notify you of your status via e-mail in one business day.