Say hello to one of my favorite cuts of beef of all time: The Skirt Steak. Yes, even more than filet mignon (which, in fact, is my least favorite cut of steak because, though buttah-tender, I think it has the least flavor). So now that you know I’m all about the flavor, it’s no surprise that skirt steak has one of the fullest beefy flavors. It’s the cut favored in fajitas and tacos.
Skirt steak can be a tricky little devil if you don’t know the secret tricks to preparing and slicing the cut. Handle it wrong, and you’re left with the shoe leather that takes five years to chew through. But just two simple secrets turn it into tender ribbons of beef.
I bet most people know that slicing across the grain does the trick, but I’ve got another one up my sleeve.
Here is a fine piece of skirt steak. See the striations running up and down the steak? That’s the grain. Take note, we’ll get back to that later.
Okay, now turn that piece of steak over. Oh, what’s that membrane!? That’s called a great way to ruin tender steak! You don’t want that.
Luckily, it’s easy to remove. Just use your fingers to peel it away and discard. That’s your first trick.
We normally like to cook skirt steak on our outdoor grill, but if it’s cold or raining outside (like this day), you’re welcome to come indoors. One thing’s for sure, you want super high heat. You want the steak to sear on both sides like nobody’s business. The searing creates flavor, and because the steak is so thin, you’ve got to get that pan superhot. You’ve only got minutes each side.
Notice that when I flipped the steak, I put it on a new section of the frying pan, where it’s hotter. Most people, when searing, flip over the piece of meat and put it right back on the same spot. If there’s plenty of room in the pan, why not use a new, hot spot?!
Grill for a few minutes on each side until it reaches your desired temperature, and then let it rest. This is a fine time to pour yourself a drink.
Okay, remember the grain? It’s running vertically. We want to cut across the grain so that we don’t get stringy stripes of meat.
In addition to slicing across the grain, I also like to cut at an angle. See how my knife is at a pretty sharp angle? That’s what I want.
Let’s start slicing!
I like my skirt steak sliced very thinly.
Like this thin!
Yummmm skirt steak for my tacos!
Ready to try your hand at skirt steak? Lookie what I found on Tasty Kitchen!
Clockwise from top left: Spicy Orange Glazed Skirt Steak Lettuce Wraps from Bob, Steak Sandwiches from calliemakesdo, Triple Citrus Skirt Steak from Kelly @ EvilShenanigans, and Ginger Steak Salad from Ree.
Jaden Hair is a food writer, television personality, and food photographer based in Tampa Bay, Florida. Find more of her recipes in her blog, Steamy Kitchen, where you can also read more about Jaden’s new book, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, and the rave reviews it’s received!