Sunday, July 28, 2013

Marinated Skirt Steak

Skirt steak.  All the rage on Food TV these days and hard to find, and when you do its from either a sketchy ethnic market or one that is uber expensive (got that whole paycheck).  Yippee...I found a good source that is CHEAP...Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Markets (I'm mayor on Foursquare at the Arcadia CA store) finally carries it. CHEAP I can't stress that enough, paid $1.29 lb for the stuff today.  I can buy a few pounds for next to nothing and let the fam feast away on its goodness without breaking the bank.  Not that I have anything against a great aged ribeye, but there is a huge difference between $1.29 and 14.99/lb!

A couple of things to think about. Skirt steak is a tough cut of meat.  It responds well to acidic marinades that break down the tissue.  Cutting ACROSS the grain also makes it much easier to chew and swallow.  The former is pretty easy to do, the latter is even easier is the grain is readily apparent.

The marinade I use here is loosely based on a marinade that is used on a Santa Maria Tri-tip (a cut that's pretty exclusive to CA and some areas of the South Western US).  I used Thai Chili peppers, but a red Jalapeno that is more commonly found can be used to bring in the bit of heat.  The rest of the ingredients are so simple and common it falls into the category of stupid easy.  Do marinate the skirt steak for at least 2 hours so the tissues break down and soften for the best chew and taste possible.

Make your life easy, get yourself a mini-food processor to make whizzing up the marinade a breeze.  Without the task of finely mincing and grating all of this is a chore.  I got a nifty one from Braun that comes with my handblender at Target a while back that does the trick nicely.  And it was cheap and very durable.

Marinated Skirt Steak

4-5 lbs skirt steak
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
1/2 c olive oil
2 red Thai chili or 1 red jalapeno
2 t rosemary
1 small onion, peeled
4 cloves garlic
2 t salt
1 t ground black pepper

Combine vinegar, oil, peppers, rosemary, chilis, salt, pepper, garlic and onion in blender or mini-food processor.  Whiz until blended and solids are finely minced.  Put skirt steak and marinade in a non reactive container and cover.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

1/2 hour prior to cooking bring skirt steak out and let sit at room temperature to warm up for better cooking.  Pre-heat grill to HIGH.  Cook skirt steak to med-rare at most, past medium and it is too chewy, tough and dry to eat.  About 3-4 minutes per side.

Let stand 10 minutes in foil packet.  Cut across grain.

No comments: