Today we will be discussing a very special kind of steak: the skirt steak. Cut from the plate of the beef, it might not look or feel tender, but its taste is unimaginably good. If you were ever wondering whether to get one, based on its looks, think no more. This is something you must try. Stay tuned as we discuss how to season skirt steak, how to prepare a skirt steak marinade, how to cut skirt steak and of course, how to cook skirt steak.
Healthy food and salads are great, however nothing beats the comfort a good steak can bring. And it’s not only the process of eating a delicious steak. The seasoning, the moment you set the steak on the grill to sizzle, the preparation afterwards… It is all a wonderful experience for all senses.
Quick note: skirt steak should not be confused with the flank steak, even though they look the same and have pretty much the same texture.
How to Prepare Skirt Steak for Cooking
The skirt steak contains parts of the diaphragm muscle. It has a sturdy and tough membrane that needs to be removed before cooking. It does not contain any bones, though. Also, the majority of the store-bought steaks already have their membranes removed, so they’re ready for preparation.
If your steak was refrigerated for more than a few hours, take the meat out to get accustomed to room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes. Then pat both sides with a paper towel, in order to remove the moisture around it. When the steak still contains the moisture, it takes more time to brown when on grill.
Skirt Steak Marinade
Due to the fact that the skirt steak is rather thin, a marinade can definitely make a great impact. We are presenting you with two ideas for a marinade.
Blend ¾ cup balsamic vinegar, ½ cup neutral oil (grapeseed, corn oil), ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce, 2 shallots, 2 garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper, fresh cilantro leaves and ground black pepper each, and a little bit of kosher salt. Marinate the steak with this blend and let it rest in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 hours, but make sure to not exceed 10 hours.
For the second marinate, blend olive oil, orange and lime juice, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider and minced garlic. The citrus juices make the steak more tender, since they add acid to the meat. Apply the blended marinade to the steak and let it rest in the fridge between 6 and 7 hours.
Whatever marinade you choose from these 2, you are definitely granted a perfect meal!
How to Cut Skirt Steak
Since the skirt steak contains muscle, it contains longer fibers, which is not as easy to cut as other parts of the beef. This is where the marinade might help, since it makes the meat much more tender and allows an easier cutting later.
When cutting a skirt steak, you need to make sure you are cutting the slices as thin as possible. Use a chef’s knife, or some of the better flat blades you have in the kitchen. Do not use excessive force, as it will not allow you a clean cut. The blade should go smoothly through the steak. By making a clean cut you are also keeping all the moisture, which reabsorbs all around the steak when it rests later.
How to Cook Skirt Steak
After preparing our steaks, let’s discuss a few ways on how to cook it.
You can always place your steak on a grill and let it sizzle, occasionally turning it on both sides. Each side should be grilled from 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak piece. Later you can continue grilling, depending on how cooked you want the steak to be. Ta-da! Your steak is now done!
However, if you don’t have any grill, or if the weather conditions do not allow a barbecue in the backyard, here are several other ways to cook this delicious steak.
How to Cook Skirt Steak Without a Grill
You can always use your stove top, or your home oven for preparing a skirt steak. With the proper preparation and marinade, it will still be as good as a barbecue steak!
How to Cook Skirt Steak in an Oven
Put an aluminum foil on the baking tray you intend to use. Make sure the steak can fit in the baking tray – if it does not, cut it in pieces as we explained above. If you have marinated the steak previously, just place the steak in the tray. If you have not, season it with olive oil or vegetable oil and add some salt and pepper on both sides.
Heat the oven to a higher temperature – above 200 degrees celsius and place the oven rack in the oven. Let each side broil for 4 minutes, and then continue depending on how well done you want the steak to be. If your steak is thicker than an inch, you might need more time to broil it.
If you are unsure if your steak is done as you like, you can always use a meat thermometer. It is important not to cut the steak to check if it’s well done, as all the juices will flow out.
As soon as the steak is done per your taste, leave it to rest out of the oven for around 10 minutes, so it can retain its juices.
Skirt Steak Recipes for Stove Top
Same as when cooking it in the oven, if your steak is not marinated, make sure to season it by adding olive or vegetable oil, salt and pepper on both sides.
When cooking a skirt steak on stove top, it’s best to use a cast iron pan or skillet. Add olive oil to the pan and let it heat. Put the skirt steak in the pan when the oil is hot enough for the steak to start sizzling right away. Cook each side for around 3 minutes, and then continue cooking depending on your taste. Continue cooking if the steak is thicker than an inch. You can also use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.
After removing the steak from the pan, let it rest for 10 or more minutes.
Skirt steak is an amazing choice for your weekend lunch or dinner. Whether marinated or just seasoned, prepared on a grill, a stove, or in an oven, it will be remarkable nonetheless.
Due to its remarkable taste, skirt steak is often served as the meat-only, or with a side of potatoes, vegetables, or rice. However, it is also used in combination with other ingredients in various dishes around the world. Skirt steak is used for making fajitas and churrasco. The stir-fry from the Chinese cuisine also uses skirt steaks, and it can also be found in the Cornish pasties.
Whatever skirt steak recipes you decide to follow, you will definitely not make a mistake. It is a wonderful meat that looks rough and unappealing, but it most definitely has an incredible taste that you will never forget and will keep getting back to.
So, prepare your utensils and pans, and start cooking!