Monday, November 4, 2013


The improbable yet exquisite tasty Skirt Steak!!!!!  

Why do I refer to Skirt Steak as improbable? Well the skirt steak comes from the diaphragm of the cow and it is one tough piece of meat. Skirt steak prepared without these trade secrets will have you cursing and eating shoe leather.  Handle this marvelous piece of meat properly and you will never eat a filet again.  This is where beef lovers come to get their taste buds electrified.   Read on if you want to experience great BEEF!!!!

Skirt steak is a treasured piece of meat to the Asian and Mexican restaurants due to its taste and price. The price has gone up over the years due to it's popularity though.  This cut of meat has complex flavors that boasts deep rich beefy, fatty and juicy textures that is second to none except for the Rib-eye in my opinion. 

It is indeed a tough cut of meat and if not prepared or sliced properly you will have a miserable experience.  I can't say  about this cut of meat.  

There are two types of Skirt steak.  The outside and inside skirt steak. The outside skirt steak is extremely rare and about 90% gets exported to Japan. If you care to know the outside skirt is the diaphragm muscle of the cow cut from the plate.  The inside skirt steak is probably what you will come across in a store.  

BTW-Hanger steak  or Butchers steak is just another name  for Skirt steak.
  Again if you care the inside Skirt steak hangs from the diaphragm of the steer. The steak is attached to the spine and near the kidneys.  Oy,  glad we are done with that. 

I got my Skirt steak at the Business Costco. The Skirt steak came full of fat and with the membrane attached.  Not a big deal. Use a very sharp knife and remove the membrane and some of the excess fat without tearing up to much of the meat.  

This is a picture of the meat before trimming.  

This is a picture of the meat trimmed. As you can see there was a lot of fat and skin that had to be removed. Don't take off to much fat!!! All that fat will render down and contribute to the flavor. 


Unfold the Skirt steak. Skirt steaks come in about 2 foot sections you and you want a large enough cutting board to accommodate. Have a very very sharp knife available for the trimming. You might consider cutting the steak in half which might be easier for you to handle. 

Using your very sharp knife slide it under the membrane and start pulling it away from the meat.  Be careful not to take to much fat.  Use your knife to avoid tearing. 

 Don't worry it take's a while to get use to the trimming.
Keep sliding your knife under the exposed fat being very careful not to cut to much fat away.  Do not over trim!!!! Fat equals flavor!!!


How do you season a Skirt Steak? 

 It doesn't really make that much of a difference.  What is extremely important is the way in which you cook your skirt steak.  Cook it the wrong way and you are eating shoe leather. 

If I had to point to one rule in cooking skirt steak it would be about heat. It would be intense, unyielding, incessant, tenacious extreme high heat!!! The heat of hell!!! Ok, I think I made my point about the heat in which you cook your steak.
Think for a moment how you cook a normal steak.  If you were to cook the steak on high high heat you would end up getting a black crispy puck before the center reached a Medium rare. Skirt steak has the opposite problem. It's so thin that unless you cook it over max heat, it'll be over cooked before you get a chance to develop a good sear on the exterior which is called the Maillard Reaction if you were curious. 

How do you Slice Skirt Steak!!

Like most inexpensive cuts of meats I.E Skirt steak, Flank Steak and Flat iron Steak its important to know how to slice it. After you have cooked your steak let it rest for about 10-15 minutes and slice against the grain.   

How to season Skirt Steak?

Rubs and marinades work well with Skirt steak.  Your rub can be anything but at a minimum you need salt and pepper.  If you choose a marinade or rub or both make sure your marinade contains some type of acid to help break down the meat.  I love dried spices!!   Cumin, Coriander  curry's, chili's and cinnamon work well with each-other   If you are going the Asian style choose garlic, lemon, ginger, lemon grass etc etc.  Of course green onion and cilantro works well no matter what.  Marinate skirt steak 
for minimum of two hours. 

Asian Marinade or Paste
1/4 c Sesame seed oil
1/4 c Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1/4 c Rice wine vinegar
1/8 c Chili Oil(amount optional) 
1/8 c Fish Sauce
1/8 c minced Ginger(amount optional) 
5-10 cloves Garlic minced (amount optional) 
1/4 c Chinese 5 spice
1/4 sesame seeds. 
3 scallions chopped up
small handful of chopped cilantro
Some other nice options- onion powder, brown sugar, cloves, Anise, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, curry, lemon grass.  

Sauce to Accompany above dish
1 can Coconut Milk 13.5 ounce normal size
1/8 c sesame seed oil
1/8 c Fish Sauce
1/8 c Chili Oil
1/4 c Chinese 5 spice
1 Tbl minced ginger
3-5 Garlic cloves
1/4 brown sugar
1/2 c chopped Cilantro
3 scallions

Toss everything into blender and than heat on stove until warm and thick. 

Mexican Style
3 Tbl cumin
3 Tbl favorite Chili powder ( Ancho, pasilla, Chipotle,  combinations of all)
2 Tbl Salt
Pepper and Cayenne to taste
5-12 cloves of minced Garlic
1/2-3/4 cup canola oil
Zest and juice of several Limes. 

note- there are many over the counter premixed spice blends that are the bomb.  


SAKE IS GREAT!!! Use it as a marinade or drink it.







My SouthWest Sweet and Savory Sauce is was so good I made a separate blog just for it. 
My Asian Coconut Curry Sauce is best best Curry Sauce out there......Try it on your Skirt Steak.