North Alabama summertime. Super hot, super humid. No one wants to heat up the kitchen. Want to see how I feed my hungry crew during times like these? It’s pretty simple. I do a little bit of planning and heat the kitchen once, while creating about three to five dinner time meals. And this time I am focusing those meals on skirt steak. Don’t know what skirt steak is? Let’s talk about it.
Skirt steak is a cut of beef that most people are not horribly familiar with. Want to have a moment of truth? I haven’t always been comfortable with skirt steak, either. But, us being the beef consuming people that we are, I knew I had to get it figured out. And I sure am glad I did. Skirt steak is quickly becoming one of our personal favorites. I adore it because of its versatility and flavor. The deep, robust beefy flavor of this cut is amazing.
Skirt steak is a long, thin piece of meat. It comes from the belly region of the beef, not to be confused with the flank steak. Flank steak also comes from the “belly” area of the beef, but it is located towards the back of the beef. It is a bit more tender than skirt steak, but does not have that deep flavor profile that skirt steak does. Skirt steak is found below the rib area of the animal, to be exact. It is a relatively lean cut, and not known for being the most tender cut of beef. The intense flavor and the quick, easy cooking method make it a major winner, though.
I often times prep a good bit of the protein portion of our meals when I know we are going to have a busy week. Or when the weather is miserably hot and I only want to heat my kitchen up once. When prepping large quantities of skirt steak, I begin with about 4 to 5 lbs of steak. Keep in mind that any of these meal ideas can easily be tweaked to your own family’s needs.
To add a bit more flavor, I like to marinate our skirt steaks. I do this by adding a few things into a large food safe storage bag, along with the skirt steaks.
My marinade ingredients are: 1/2 c. olive oil, 1/4 c. lemon or pineapple juice, 1/4 c. minced garlic, 1 t. salt and 1 t. black pepper.
Seal the bag and coat the steaks with the marinade. I allow the steaks to marinate for 4 hours, but no longer than 8.
When you’re ready to cook the skirt steak, you have three options. Grill it, use a cast iron skillet on the stovetop, or use a grill pan on the stovetop. I opted for the latter option this time.
Heat your grill or pan to high. Shake the marinade off of the steak before placing it in the pan. Patting the steak dry wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. The sear on the outside of the steak is a tasty thing and its hard to achieve with a soggy steak.
Because skirt steak isn’t very thick to begin with, cooking it is quick and easy. Just make sure you get a nice sear on both sides and continue cooking until the center is cooked to your desired steak doneness.
While the skirt steak is cooking, feel free to cook up a pan of peppers and onions. Slice the veggies thinly and toss into a pan with a couple tablespoons of butter. Cook on medium heat just until they are tender but still somewhat crisp.
After the skirt steak is done, remove it from the pan and let it rest for a few minutes, under a piece of aluminum foil. This allows the meat to reabsorb its juices and will make slicing easier, too. It is important that skirt steak be sliced correctly in order to maximize tenderness. Go against the grain.
Now, here’s the best part. After you’ve cooked yourself up a couple of skirt steaks, you have dinner time options! Three of our favorites are:
Beef, spinach and strawberry salad. I even snuck kale into the salad and my favorite farmer ate it. Y’all don’t tell him.
Loaded beef nachos. We like ours with jalapenos, fresh tomatoes, tortilla chips, lettuce, melty cheese and sour cream.
Steak sandwiches are always a big hit around here, too. The kids love them.
The best part is, with all of that skirt steak cooked and ready to eat, I am off the hook in the kitchen for a few days!
Do you have a favorite way to prepare skirt steak? I’d love to hear about it. Drop us a comment. Happy eating and stay cool!
4-5 lbs skirt steak
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. lemon juice or pineapple juice
1/4 c. minced garlic
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
Add skirt steak to a zip top plastic bag. Add remaining ingredients to create a marinade. Marinate for 4 hours, no longer than 8 hours. Remove excess marinade from steaks. Cook on high to medium high, turning once. Sear both sides and cook until desired cooking temperature is achieved. Remove from heat, allow to rest, covered for a few minutes. Thinly slice the steaks against the grain. Serve in a salad, on top of nachos or on a soft sandwich bun. Enjoy!