Garlic Skirt Steak
1 3/4 pounds skirt steak, cut crosswise into 4 serving pieces
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
1 (1-pound) bag frozen pepper stir-fry, thawed in a bowl of hot water and drained well or fresh
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cardamom
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over moderately high heat 2 minutes. Meanwhile, pat steaks dry and sprinkle all over with pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt (total).
Add 1 tablespoon oil to hot skillet and swirl to coat, then sauté steaks, turning over once, 5 to 8 minutes total for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to a platter, reserving fat in skillet, and keep warm, covered.
While steaks are sautéing, cook garlic and almonds in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add pepper stir-fry, cinnamon, cloves, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and sauté vegetables, stirring, 4 minutes.
Once steaks are removed from larger skillet, add vegetables and tomato paste to fat in skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 1 minute. Stir in vinegar, water, raisins, and sugar and boil over moderately high heat until sauce is thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.
Season sauce with salt and pepper and spoon over steaks.