I’ve only attempted to cook skirt steak one time before, and you didn’t hear about it. You didn’t hear about it because it was a disaster. It was tough, chewy, and downright gross. I didn’t know what I had done wrong, and frankly I didn’t care–I just didn’t want to have to eat that again. So when K politely asked for “steak, for tacos, that isn’t tough” for his birthday, I hesitantly said yes, then arranged to have chicken also. For a birthday dinner you need a fail-safe.
But back to the steak. I did my research here, and what I found was that when cooking skirt steak, marinating is a must. It’s a tough cut of meat and marinating helps break down some of the tissue and results in a tender steak, not something you have to throw out. I’m happy to say that I didn’t have to use my chickeny plan B. The steak was tender and delicious!
You all made salsa yesterday, didn’t you? You rushed home from work, lugged out your blender, and made salsa. I just know it. And before you go putting that blender away, you might as well make this Carne Asada, then get some taco/fajita fixins’ and make a meal out of it!
In a blender, combine olive oil, soy sauce, scallions, garlic, lime juice, red pepper flakes, cumin and brown sugar.
Blend all that good stuff until smooth and then add to a large bowl.
Place the steak in the marinade and move it all around until all the pieces are completely covered.
Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but I let it sit for more like 6 hours. I didn’t want to take any chances on tough steak!
When you’re ready to cook the steak, heat a large heavy cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil and heat until the oil is shimmering. I used grape seed oil because it has a really high heat point and I hadn’t used it before. When oil is screaming hot, take two pieces of the steak and wipe most of the marinade off then place it in the skillet. You should hear lots of sizzling. That means its searing and searing means flavor.
Once both sides are well seared, turn the heat down to medium and let the steak cook through to a medium to medium rare. Wrap the steak in foil and let it rest for at least ten minutes so the juices can redistribute, then slice thinly against the grain.
Yum! And here’s the taco station: sour cream, tortillas, guacamole, homemade salsa, cheese, rice, and homemade tortilla chips!
But the star of the show was the steak.
It was tender and flavorful. It was nothing like my previous skirt steak experience and for that, I’m thankful.
I think K enjoyed it, which was the most important thing, it being his birthday and all.
This would be perfect for a party, a birthday, or just a simple night in. I think you should make this as soon as possible, with the homemade salsa, and enjoy a Mexican feast!
Here’s the recipe:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 4 scallions, washed and cut in half
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 pounds skirt steak
- Combine the first 8 ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add marinade to a large bowl and add steak, turning to coat completely. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, but up to six.
- When you are ready to cook the steak, add cooking oil to a large, heavy, cast iron skillet and let heat until the oil is shimmering. Add steak, wiping off most of the marinade, and let sear well on both sides. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until cooked to your desired temperature. I had to do this in batches because I had a lot of steak.
- When the steak is done, wrap it in tin foil and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Slice thin against the grain of the steak and add any juices from the foil.
- Serve with desired toppings!