Written by David on 14/03/2023

About Skirt Steak – The 101 Guide.

About Skirt Steak
About Skirt Steak - The 101 Guide. 5

When it comes to beef cuts, skirt steak is a favourite among foodies and chefs alike. This flavorful and tender cut of beef comes from the diaphragm muscle of the cow, which means it has a rich, beefy flavour and a texture that’s perfect for grilling, searing, or braising.

In this guide about skirt steak, we’ll explore everything you need to know about skirt steak. We’ll discuss its origins, flavour profile, cooking methods, seasoning tips, and recipe ideas to inspire your culinary creativity. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice cook, this guide will help you master the art of cooking skirt steak to perfection.

  • What is Skirt Steak?
  • Origins and History of Skirt Steak
  • Flavour Profile of Skirt Steak
  • Choosing and Preparing Skirt Steak
  • Cooking Methods for Skirt Steak
  • Seasoning Tips for Skirt Steak
  • Recipe Ideas for Skirt Steak

What is Skirt Steak?

Skirt steak is a long, thin cut of beef that comes from the plate or diaphragm muscle of the cow. It’s known for its rich flavour and tender texture, making it a popular choice for grilling and other high-heat cooking methods. Until recently, it has not been a common steak here in Australia but with the raise in the popularity of Mexican, Tex Mex and South American food is now available at good butchers.

Origins and History of Skirt Steak

Skirt steak has a long and interesting history, dating back to the early days of the cattle industry in the United States. It was a popular cut among cowboys and ranchers, who prized its rich flavour and toughness.

Over time, skirt steak became a staple of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, where it’s often used in dishes like fajitas and carne asada. Today, skirt steak is enjoyed by food lovers all over the world, thanks to its delicious taste and versatility in the kitchen.

Flavour Profile of Skirt Steak

Skirt steak has a rich, beefy flavour that’s slightly more intense than other cuts of beef. It’s also known for its tender texture, which is due to the long, thin muscle fibres that make up the cut.

When cooked properly, skirt steak can be incredibly juicy and flavorful. It pairs well with a variety of seasonings and marinades, making it a versatile cut for a range of recipes.

Flank steak, what’s the difference?

The main differences between skirt steak and flank steak are their location on the cow, thickness, and texture. Skirt steak is a thin, narrow cut from the diaphragm area of the cow, with intense beefy flavour and more intramuscular fat, making it juicier. It has a loose grain that runs crosswise. On the other hand, flank steak is a thicker, wider cut from the bottom abdominal area of the cow, with an intense beefy flavour and tough fibres running through it. It is a reasonable substitute for skirt steak and is best cut thinly against the grain for tenderness. Flank steak is denser and doesn’t take on much flavour from a marinade, while skirt steak takes to marinades better

Choosing and Preparing Skirt Steak

When selecting a skirt steak, look for a cut that’s bright red in colour and well-marbled with fat. The fat helps to keep the meat tender and juicy during cooking, so don’t be afraid of a little marbling.

Before cooking, be sure to trim any excess fat or connective tissue from the meat. Skirt steak is best when cooked quickly over high heat, so preheat your grill or pan before adding the meat.

How is skirt steak best cooked?

Skirt steak is a versatile cut of beef that can be cooked in a variety of ways. Some popular cooking methods include:

  • BBQ: Skirt steak is perfect for the BBQ over high heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side for a medium-rare steak. We recommend that you heat the BBQ/Grill for at least 10 minutes beforehand so it is ripping hot.
  • Pan Frying: Frying skirt steak in a hot pan is another great option. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side for a medium-rare steak.
  • Grilling: Skirt steak can also be cooked under the griller in your oven. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side for a medium-rare steak.
  • Braising: For a more tender and flavorful skirt steak, try braising it in a flavorful liquid like beef broth or red wine.

While skirt steak has a delicious flavour on its own, adding the right seasonings can take it to the next level. Here are a few seasoning tips to try:

  • Salt and pepper: A simple blend of salt and black pepper is all you need to bring out the natural flavours of skirt steak.
  • Chimichurri: This popular Argentinean sauce is made with fresh herbs, garlic, and red pepper flakes. It’s a great way to add a zesty kick to skirt steak.
  • Fajita seasoning: If you’re making fajitas, try using a fajita seasoning blend for extra flavour. Look for a blend that includes chilli powder, cumin, and smoked paprika.
  • Garlic and herb butter: Top your cooked skirt steak with a dollop of garlic and herb butter for a rich and decadent finish.

Recipe Ideas for Skirt Steak

Skirt steak is a versatile cut that can be used in a variety of recipes. Here are a few ideas to inspire your culinary creativity:

  • Grilled skirt steak tacos: Marinate skirt steak in lime juice, garlic, and cumin, then grill to perfection. Serve in warm tortillas with avocado, salsa, and cilantro.
  • Skirt steak salad: Top a bed of greens with sliced skirt steak, roasted vegetables, and a tangy vinaigrette for a healthy and delicious meal.
  • Skirt steak stir-fry: Slice skirt steak thinly and stir-fry with vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and broccoli. Serve over rice or noodles for a satisfying meal.
  • Skirt steak with chimichurri: Top the cooked skirt steak with a generous spoonful of chimichurri sauce for a zesty and flavorful dish.

FAQ’s

Q: Is skirt steak tough? A: Skirt steak can be tough if it’s not cooked properly. Be sure to cook it quickly over high heat and slice it thinly against the grain for maximum tenderness.

Q: How long should I marinate the steak? A: Skirt steak can be marinated for as little as 30 minutes or as long as 24 hours. A simple marinade of lime juice, garlic, and cumin is a great place to start.

Q: What temperature should I cook skirt steak? A: Skirt steak is best when cooked to medium rare, which is an internal temperature of 54-57°C. Better to side with rare on this steak as you can always cook another 30 seconds if needed

Q: What do Australians call skirt steak? A: While the name originates from the US we actually call it skirt steak as well, so you can just ask for it by name.

Wrapping Up About Skirt Steak

Skirt steak is a delicious and versatile cut of beef that’s perfect for grilling, searing, or braising. Whether you’re making tacos, salads, stir-fries, or simply grilling a steak, skirt steak is sure to impress. With the right seasoning and cooking techniques, you can create a mouth-watering meal that’s sure to please even the most discerning of palates. So why not give it a try and add skirt steak to your next meal plan? Your taste buds will thank you!


Article written by David

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