I love steak and I love Hatch Chile peppers, so this Skirt Steak with Hatch Chile Sauce is a seasonal treat that is perfect for the dog days of summer. Roasted hatch chile peppers blended into a fresh green sauce bring a zesty and smoky highlights to a grilled skirt steak loaded with southwestern flavor. These flavors seem to go perfect with a hot August evening on the patio, or at any time you want to be reminded of warmer days and happy memories.
Read this introduction for detailed notes and instructions about the recipe, or skip down to the ingredients to get in the nitty gritty of how to make a Skirt Steak with Hatch Chile Sauce.
What beef should I use for to go with the Hatch Chile Sauce?
This sauce loves beef – the acidity and spice complement the marbling and flavor of beef so well! The fact that the sauce has so much flavor means that I like to stick to cuts of beef that have bolder flavors or more fat – cuts like a ribeye steak, a tri-tip steak, or in this case a skirt steak.
I chose skirt steak to accompany the sauce but you can put this hatch chile sauce on just about any steak. Skirt steak comes from the bottom portion of a steer and is a well worked muscle that has tremendously rich flavor but is less tender than other steaks. A sauce on top really helps the steak seem more tender and play off the flavor of the steak. The recipe is written to cook a skirt steak specifically, but if you want to use a different steak, follow these grilled steak cooking instructions, and add the sauce on top.
While this sauce will work with any steak, putting it on top of steaks that have a more delicate flavor like a roasted whole tenderloin or pan seared tenderloin filets wouldn’t be my first choice. I think the acidity and flavor of the hatch chile sauce can overwhelm the delicate tenderloin. Cuts with more flavor or more fat are really the best bets for this sauce!
It’s also great as a condiment to pepper jack cheese bacon cheeseburgers or mixed with a shredded beef pot roast and peppers!
How should I season my steak?
Hatch Chiles come from New Mexico, so I think seasoning your steak with a Southwestern-style rub makes a lot of sense. I like one with a bit of heat for the skirt steak, so I chose to use the Urban Accents Mesa Rosa Chipotle spice rub. This rub has all the things you love about southwestern food with a bit of spice. You can also use your favorite southwestern blend, or make your own using my recipe for a “standard” southwestern rub:
- 2 tbsp. Kosher Salt
- 2 tbsp. Chili Powder
- 1 tbsp. Ground Cumin
- 1 tbsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tbsp. Onion Powder
- 1 packed tbsp. Light Brown Sugar
- 1 tbsp. Black Pepper
- 2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (optional for spicier version)
If you don’t like southwestern flavors – that’s okay, skip using the southwestern rub, and just season your steak with salt and pepper.
How should I cook my steak?
My favorite way of cooking skirt steak is to season it generously on all sides and then let it sit at room temperature while I go and get the grill nice and hot. When I say nice and hot, I mean HOT – at least 500ºF.
When the grill is hot, put the skirt steak directly over your heat sauce (the charcoal or gas burner), and then cook for 2-3 minutes per side to get a nice char on each side. When the steak is seared, remove it from the grill and wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. Let it sit for 10 minutes to cook through and then slice it into thin strips. There will be delicious juice in the foil packet, and I like to pour that over the sliced steak for more beef flavor!
I know this may seem like an odd way to cook a steak, but it works so well for the thin, fibrous skirt steak. If you’ve never cooked a skirt steak like this before, you need to give it a try.
Why are Hatch Chile Peppers special?
Hatch Chile Peppers are special because they’re a very specific type of green pepper that comes only from the Hatch Valley in New Mexico. Something about the cultivar of the pepper or the soil in which they’re grown gives them a richer flavor than other green chile peppers, and they become even more flavorful when they’re roasted. They’re similar to Anaheim peppers, but much more flavorful!
Hatch Chiles are harvested once a year in August so you need to get them while they last! These peppers come in a variety of spice levels from mild to very hot, so you can get a pepper that meets your spice tolerance level. These peppers are great to make a hatch chile sauce or to use as an ingredient in place of Anaheim peppers or green bell peppers.
Can I use a different pepper in this sauce?
Definitely. If you don’t have Hatch peppers but love this sauce, you can sub Anaheim peppers.
A few possible variations for the Hatch Chile Sauce…
There are a few things you can do to easily make this sauce your own, or to fit your specific tastes. Here’s a partial list:
- Use mild, medium, or extra hot peppers instead of hot peppers.
- Sub fresh oregano for the cilantro if you don’t like cilantro.
- Use a flavored olive oil – like a lemon or lime one – to bring a bit more flavor to the sauce.
- Omit the onion if you don’t like the bite of onion.
- Add a bit of chili powder or cayenne pepper to up the spice even more…
- …or add a bit of honey or sugar to counteract too much spice.
This hatch chile sauce is definitely one that you should taste and adjust to your taste before you serve it!
What else is this Hatch Chile Sauce good for?
This is an incredible sauce that can be used for many purposes. You’ll probably have leftovers, so try some of these ideas:
- It’s a fantastic dip for chips.
- It’s delicious as a sauce on top of other proteins like baked chicken breast, grilled pork chops, or seared tuna steaks.
- Top your eggs with this sauce for a more flavorful breakfast.
- Mix it with shredded meat to make “verde” tacos.
- Really anything you’d use salsa verde for!
- 4 Hatch Chile Peppers (I used hot peppers – use your desired level of spice)
- 1/2 Red Onion (roughly chopped)
- 1 cup Cilantro
- 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 clove Garlic (minced)
- 1 Lime
- 2 Tbsp White Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
- 1 Tbsp Cumin
- 1 Leahy’s Angus Beef Skirt Steak (1.5 – 2#)
- Urban Accents Mesa Rosa Chipotle Seasoning (see note above about seasoning)
Heat an oven to 400ºF. Place the hatch chile peppers on a foil lined baking sheet and put them on the highest rack in the oven. Roast for about 10 minutes total, turning the peppers every 2 minutes until the skin is blackened and pulling away from the peppers.
Once the peppers are roasted, remove from oven and let cool. When they are cool, remove the skins, stems, and seeds from the peppers.
Add the peppers and the next 9 ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend together until you have a smooth sauce. Add more olive oil if you would like a thinner sauce and taste the hatch chile sauce to adjust seasoning to your preference. When you’re happy with the flavor and consistency, set the sauce aside in the refrigerator to rest while you cook the steak.
Generously season all sides of your skirt steak with the Mesa Rosa Chipotle Rub. Let the steak rest at room temperature and heat your grill to very high heat – 500ºF – and set up for direct heat cooking. When the grill is hot, place the steak directly over the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, flipping once each side has a solid sear and the steak has blackened a bit.
When the steak is seared, remove the steak from the grill and tightly wrap it in aluminum foil. Bring the foil packet inside and let sit on the counter for 10 minutes to finish cooking through.
After the steak has rested, remove it from the foil, being careful not to spill the juices that are inside the foil packet. Slice the steak into thin slices and serve with hatch chile sauce spooned over top.
I like to serve this dish with lime wedges to squeeze on the steak, cilantro for garnish, and with chips on the side to dip in the hatch chile sauce. Enjoy!