Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Finally - Skirt Steak & Worth the Wait

The saga of the perfect dinner actually started a few weeks ago. I dropped by my favorite beef purveyor at the Saturday Farmers Market. Chris of Getaway Farm (I've written about them, often, in fact ) had some gorgeous flank steak and we started talking about how difficult it was to find any these days. Conversation led to hangar steak and skirt steak - other favorites of old that I occasionally...make that rarely see on restaurant menus and never in the grocery store. Chris said he'd have some skirt steak in for me the following week.

Well...that was gearing up for Passover and no room in the fridge, so finally last Saturday, there it was. Took it home, eventually marinated it. Skirt steak is one of those tough cuts - very muscular, but soooooo tasty - that really require marinating. With my bazillion cookbooks and magazines, I couldn't find any recipes for skirt steak - and that includes the 5 encyclopedia type books. And while it's true that cooking it is similar to cooking flank steak - marinating and grilling are the best options... skirt steak is thinner and I didn't want to mess it up.

Fortunately, there is "Google". What did we do before it? In 0.38 seconds I was awarded the option of 273,000 recipes - I kid you not! I ended up with this Balsamic Vinegar Marinated Skirt Steak from which is a very cool site.

Dinner was delicious. The steak practically melted in my mouth and all I did was serve it with a bowlful of local, tasty, and fresh mixed green salad and citrus vinaigrette. We licked the plate clean!

Now that I've found my awesome source here in Halifax, and figured out how to prepare the meat even BEFORE marinating it, I thought I'd share these basic steps...

1. Remove the thin membrane on the under-side of the skirt steak. Just slide the tip of a sharp knife between it and the meat at one end and then gently pull it back, using one hand on the membrane and the other on the meat. Do this slowly, and gently so as not to tear the meat. It is quite thin...thinner than flank steak.

2. Place your favorite marinade (check out some of my flank steak recipes for marinades) in a large ziplock baggie. Add your meat and gently massage the marinade into the meat for a minute or two. Place the baggie in the fridge for 24 - 48 hours, turning the bag over once. I usually sit the baggie on a rimmed baking sheet...just in case the bag leaks.

3. Let the skirt steak sit on the counter for 1 hour before grilling to bring it to room temperature.

4. Preheat your grill to as hot as you can - BBQ is my preferred method, but having none, I use a grill pan or my Cuisinart Griddler .

5. Lightly oil your grill grates/pan, place the skirt steak pretty side down and grill for 2 minutes. Turn the steaks and lower the heat to medium high and cook for another 2-3 minutes. I test mine for doneness with a Digital Instant-read Thermometer - 145F/62C

6. Remove from the grill and allow it to rest for 5 minutes, covered with tin foil to allow the meat to relax before serving. Remember, this tough cut needs a little extra loving, but is well worth the time.


Bellini Valli said...

I am having dreams of perfectly cooked steak and baked potatoes as we speak.

Kirsten Lindquist said...

I love the detailed cooking instructions! I was just writing about a marinade that I think would be great with this cut. Lovely post!