Saturday, July 2, 2011

Skirt Steak

Filet Migon is to Skirt Steak as the MLB Allstar game is to a triple-A farm league.   The filet gets all the hype. The most tender, lean cut of meat. Melting like butter in your mouth.  But also highly and sometimes overpriced (like MLB Allstars)  The filet can awesome but sometimes it can be over-hyped (like MLB Allstars).  With its lack of marbling you'll need a "fat" (like the Home Run Derby) to keep it juicy and flavorful - (the reason you always see bacon-wrapped filets).

But what about the skirt steak? The neglected option  (AAA Farm players) that's thrown in the corner and plays second fiddle to the other players. Skirt steak is real easy to cook, the intense marbling makes it difficult for you to overcook, and the fat bails you out on creating a great flavor.  I love cooking skirt steak.  It's great for sandwiches, salads, and that  classic taco night.  It's a good sleeper option and every now and then it'll surprise the both of you.

Surefire way to skirt steak magic
  • 1 lb of skirt steak (Whole Foods sells a nice cut of it)
  • A few springs of Fresh Rosemary (you're growing them right?)
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Grill Pan
  1. Take the skirt steak out of the wrapper and you trim off the large excess pieces of fat
  2. Take the rosemary sprigs off of the stem and coarsely chop it
  3. Put salt, pepper, and the rosemary on both sides of the steak.  I usually use my hand to push it into the meat.  Use your best judgement on quantities of salt and pepper (More than you would during a meal but less than to exceed her sodium intake for two weeks).
  4. Pour some balasmic vinegar on both sides of the steak and let the steak marinate for 5-10 minutes
  5. Preheat your grill pan to Med-High heat
  6. Put the steak on the grill pan and cover
  7. The steak will take about 7ish minutes to cook.  Flip once (3 or 4 minutes in)
  8. Uncover for the last 2-3 minutes or so.  Cooking with a cover will cook the meat faster but also will prevent the moisture from evaporating.  If you want to get some nice "grill" lines and get the crust crispy, take off the lid and let the moisture evaporate.
  9. Depending on your desired temperature you may need to leave it on the grill pan for a minute or two longer

The key to good skirt steak is to remember to cut against the grain and at a 45-degree angle.  You'll notice that the steak has long lines running across it. The idea is to cut against those long lines.  Try cooking skirt steak steak one night and change up the garnishes and flavors based on the meal.  Faijta night? Add some mexican and canjun spices....  Afternoon salad after a tennis match? Salt and pepper on a bed of baby spinach, fresh fruit and a quick homemade dijon vinaigrette dressing.

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