The Other Red Meat
Now that I have this new Weber charcoal grill and the weather has been so nice, I am trying to learn how to cook all my favorite meats all over again.
For years I only used a gas grill because I couldn't be bothered with getting my hands dirty from real charcoal, starting a fire, waiting for the coals to get hot, deal with smoke in the eyes, etc, etc, etc.
What a mistake! There is no comparison. Sure I still heat up some dogs for the girls on the gas grill or when I'm in a hurry throw on some chicken breasts but charcoal seems so much superior in control and flavor.
More on this another time but let me tell you about the delicious skirt steaks I grilled up last night.
My cooking buddy Robert brought me two skirt steaks for my birthday from the Ardmore Farmer's Market that he visits every Saturday morning. I stuck them in the garage fridge and forgot all about them until yesterday morning. When I was looking for something to serve the kids, I came across them and realized I needed to cook them that day.
I immediately reached for my newest, favorite cookbook, Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures & Glazes written by my friend Jim Tarantino for a marinade recipe. I am new to this type of grilling so I picked one of his easiest marinade recipes for beef that turned out to be incredible.
What made it so incredible? Besides helping the meat stay tender and preventing me from overcooking it, the meat was unbelievably flavorful, all I had to do was cut and serve.
No seasonings or sauces, just cut and serve. Both my young daughters raved so it wasn't overly spicy and my 8 year old had both seconds and thirds.
The marinade from Jim's book was easy enough. I had all the ingredients in house but had to use some dried herbs in place of some fresh ones called for in his recipe. Didn't really matter in the end but I'm sure fresh herbs would have given the marinade even more flavor.
What Is Skirt Steak - sometimes called Hanger Steak
You may not be familiar with skirt steak but years ago if you could even find it at the market, it was very inexpensive. Today, because it is often the beef you find in fajitas, it has become more popular and harder to find and the price has gone way up.
Not nearly as expensive as filet Mignon but for a tough little strip of meat, it's not such a bargain anymore but it is tasty.
The skirt steak is the long, flat piece of beef cut from the underside of a cow. It is actually the diaphragm muscle and tends to be tough. But cooked right and sliced properly, it can be juicy and flavorful because it is streaked with fat.
I used Jim's Basic Red Wine Marinade For Beef but you really want to check out his other 399 recipes in his Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures & Glazes. The book is a great explanation of how all this stuff works.
I used this marinade on two skirt steaks but it would be great on New York strip steaks, sirloin, tri tips, beef kabobs or even venison.
Grilled Marinated Skirt Steak Recipe
- 2 pounds skirt steak
For the Marinade
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt coarse-grain
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs chopped, I used ½ tablespoon of dried rosemary and thyme each
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
- Chop up the garlic, parsley and fresh herbs and you are ready to go.
- Combine all the ingredients EXCEPT THE OIL in a blender or food processor and process until blended. The reason I list the olive oil last is because it is the last ingredient to go in. We want to drizzle in the oil a little at a time to emulsify it. Don't make the mistake I often make by not reading the instructions carefully and add everything at one time.You can make this marinade up to a week before you are going to use it by storing it in a clean, airtight container. I use glass jars from my youngest daughters favorite jarred peaches.
How Long to Marinate?
- I made the marinade in the late morning and cooked the steaks about 8 hours later. Jim says 8 to 12 hours is the best amount of time for skirt steak and I would agree with him.
- Grilling - I'm not going to go into the fine details of grilling meat in this post but remember skirt steak is thin and doesn't take long to cook. Depending on your grill, it should take 3 to 4 minutes per side for rare, longer for medium.Other methods of Cooking - You could also broil, sauté, pan-fry, pan-roast or even braise skirt steak but grilling is my favorite cooking method.