The Hub loves skirt steak. This is fabulous news for me, because, well frankly, it is pretty cheap. It is hard to argue with the beauty of getting all that beefy flavor for a low-down fantastic price, no?
Skirt steak needs a little love to truly shine – it benefits greatly from a nice long set in an acidic marinade to help it break down a bit, and it is best cooked quickly over high heat. Oh yeah, and if it is overcooked, it is a tough as shoe leather. Luckily it is very easy to prepare well, and simply prepared is how we enjoy it most.
In a zip top baggie combine the juice of 2 limes and 1 tablespoon canola oil with 1 teaspoon of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of cummin and mix well. (Sometimes I zest the lime into the baggie as well, I was just feeling lazy yesterday)
Add skirt steak (the piece I used was between 10 and 12 ounces) to the bag, close allowing extra air to escape, and massage the marinade into the meat so that the steak is coated evenly. Refrigerate at least 8 hours (I wouldn’t do this for more than 24 hours, even skirt steak will start to break down a bit too much if left in a marinade this acidic for too terribly long.)
Remove steak from refrigerator 1/2 hour before you want to cook it (it will cook more evenly if it isn’t chilled) and set oven to 35o degrees.
Heat large skillet or flat grill on the stove until it is screamin’ hot (hover your open palm just above the cooking surface – are you feeling lots of heat? Time for cooking!)
Place the steak in the skillet and rejoice at the sizzle – that noise is searing in all the juicy, flavorful goodness.
Let it get some nice dark color on that side and then give it a flip and sear the other side.
Now – here’s the thing: you can totally cook the steak from start to finish just like this. OR you can grill it on your Vogner Charking or whatever out on the back deck, if you prefer and it would be delish – no doubt. As long as you have nice high heat and take it off before it overcooks (which depends on the thickness – I’d go 4 minutes a side over direct, high heat, and then make a little cut in the center to see how it looked if you aren’t comfortable testing doneness by touch,) either is a great way to cook skirt steak.
But again, I was feeling lazy. So my steak got seared on each side about 2 minutes and then I popped it on roasting rack and put it in the oven to finish, which took about 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
That way I could concentrate on making some Martinis for The Hub and me while dinner finished cooking.
After cooking, I tented the steak with foil on my cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes (while I defrosted some frozen mashed potatoes and stirred in a bit of cheddar for a side dish) before cutting. This lets the juices re-absorb into the meat a bit.
How you cut skirt steak is important. It is best not to just plate it whole, because if cut with, and not against the grain of the meat, it will still seem tough, even after all that marinating and high heat cooking. So slice thin against the grain. (Slicing the long strip of it into shorter chunks first, which is slicing with the grain, and then slicing those portions thinly against the grain – as pictured at the top of the post.)
Dinner is served.