Steak is king of the grill during summer and our Grilled Marinated Skirt Steak with Mustard Greens Pesto does not disappoint. No siree, Bob. A peppery, bright colored mustard greens pesto, with toasted pine nuts and garlic, is an excellent tasting sauce to accompany the beefy flavors of grilled skirt steak.
Skirt steak is a thin cut of beef that likes being cooked on a very hot grill. This is not a low and slow grilling situation. We want to get a nice crust seared on the outside without overdoing it on the inside.
Loaded with beefy flavor, skirt steak tastes best when cooked rare to medium-rare. Aim for an internal temperature of about 125°F to 135°F.
Me personally, I prefer my steaks rare. Or as I like to say, just past the vet saving it.
The Flat Steak Sisters: Skirt, Flank and Hangar
Attention grill people: summer isn’t over yet. Despite all the back to school commercials on TV.
So, let’s head on over to the butcher. We’ll find skirt steak on display either folded in half or rolled up in neat little packages. Now, buy one. Just a pound or two will do.
Skirt, like her sisters flank and hanger, has a flat oblong shape, and we see them displayed up front and center at our butcher throughout the summer.
Of the three, our favorite is skirt for its flavor, affordability and availability. Each has intense beefy flavor, but skirt steak takes home the prize.
Hangar steak is also a great grilling steak but it’s sometimes difficult to find and when skirt is in short supply, flank is a capable stand-in.
Grill each side of your skirt steak for about 5 minutes. If you’re grilling indoors like we are, the marinade can kick up quite a bit of smoke when the steak hits the hot grill pan.
Regarding the often discussed issue of which oil to use, check out this article by Dan McGee regarding the taste of oils used in high-temperature cooking methods. Essentially, his advice is to use the oil you prefer and can afford, but learn how to detect if that oil has gone off or turned rancid in the first place.
For marinating meats prior to grilling, we always prefer to use extra virgin olive oil for its flavor. Regardless of any smoke point controversy or dubious health issue.
After resting the steak for 5 minutes, it is important that we slice our skirt steak against the grain in thin strips. The meat fibers will be shorter when cut this way as opposed to cutting parallel to the grain, where the fibers will be long and tougher to chew.
What exactly is the grain when talking about steaks?
With flat steaks, it’s fairly easy to determine the grain of the meat. There are striations or lines made up of meat fibers all running in the same direction which create a pattern that could be compared to wood grain. Always make perpendicular cuts across those lines. Also, hold you knife at a 45-degree slant for each slice. Cutting on the bias like this produces the best skirt steak slice.