As I've mentioned on more than one occasion here, I am a junkie for skirt steak. So quick to cook, loaded with great beef flavor and chew, and easy on the wallet….what's not to love. It used to be that skirt steak was a special request item from the butcher, but no longer. A long, well-grained strip of a thing that is cut from the flank, the skirt steak is actually the diaphragm muscle that sits between the abdomen and chest cavity of the cattle. It became famous a number of years ago as the preferred cut of meat to use in fajitas and ever since has become a more prominent fixture in local markets.
There are really only two ways to cook a skirt steak, either very quickly over high heat, or low and slow in a braise. You see, the steak is so thin and contains so little fat that anything in between these two extremes will render your meat tough and dry, a.k.a. dog bowl fodder.
This dish relies on the first technique I mentioned, requiring only a quick 2-4 minutes per side over high heat to render a perfect medium-rare steak. The marinade, a mix of a sweet-sour tamarind concentrate, brown sugar and spicy chilies makes for a super tasty steak. Let is rest about 5 minutes on the board before cutting across the grain for a tender, succulent treat.
Cheers – Steve
- 3 Thai or Serrano chilies, with seeds, thinly sliced into rounds
- 1/4 cup tamarind concentrate
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 pound skirt steak cut into 4 pieces
- Whisk chilies, tamarind, brown sugar, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a shallow baking dish until the sugar is dissolved. Add th steak and turn to coat. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Working in 2 batches and adding remaining 2 tablespoons oil between batches, cook steak until deeply browned, 2-4 minutes per side for medium-rare.
- Transfer steak to a cutting board; let rest about 5 minutes before slicing across the grain and serving.