Frank Stitt, Chef/owner * Highlands Bar & Grill
Chez Fonfon * The Bottega Restaurant and Cafe
Birmingham, Alabama

A member of the Chefs Collaborative and a four-time James Beard Award nominee, Frank Stitt has developed a cuisine influenced by Mediterranean flavors, French techniques and Southern seasonal flavors. He favors meats from Niman Ranch: it is committed to sustainable agriculture and raising beef that is incredibly flavorful and humanely raised and processed. Skirt steak is one of his favorite cuts of beef: big flavor, juicy with lots of marbling and a satisfying, slightly chewy texture. The marinade idea is borrowed from South America and the relish is an ideal Southern summer garnish. For reservations at the Highlands Bar & Grill, call (205) 939-1400.

Niman Ranch Skirt Steak with Watermelon, Red Onion and Mint Relish

  • 2 pounds trimmed Niman Ranch skirt steak
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarsely ground black pepper

    For the marinade: Combine all ingredients and massage into beef. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Pull out of cooler and bring to room temperature one hour before cooking.

    Watermelon, Red Onion and Mint Relish

  • 1 cup seeded watermelon cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1/3 cup thickly sliced and charred red onion, chopped finely into 1/4" pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint or chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • A small section of jalapeno, minced
  • Salt and pepper

    For the relish: Prepare all ingredients and keep separate (mis en place). Just before serving, combine all ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste.
    To cook the steak: Season the marinated steak with salt and pepper and either char the steaks in a heavy, cast iron skillet or grill over a charcoal fire. Sear over very high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and lower the heat to medium and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more for medium rare. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to rest for 3 minutes. Slice the steaks across the grain and top with watermelon relish. Serve with roasted new potatoes mashed sweet potatoes or grilled sourdough bread and an arugula salad. Serves 4.

    Note: To order Niman Ranch meats, please visit them at

  • Niman Ranch

    Recipe Seeds: Melons