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Skirt Steak! what to do? what to do?

lexpatti Apr 18, 2008 06:46 AM

I keep hearing about skirt steak being a great tasting steak and want to give it a try, haven't bought this cut before. I'm a rib eye girl but want to try something new. I'm assuming most marinate this cut. Please share your favorite ways to do skirt steak - Thanks so much in advance.

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  1. MMRuth RE: lexpatti Apr 18, 2008 06:48 AM

    I usually just marinate for an hour or two in red wine, olive oil, whatever herbs I might have around fresh (oregano, rosemary, thyme) and some garlic. Then I grill it on the grill pan for a couple of minutes on each side for rare to medium rare. Make sure you slice it against the grain, after resting. I do usually cut the long piece into several shorter ones so that they fit into the pan.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth
      oakjoan RE: MMRuth Apr 26, 2008 10:44 PM

      I love skirt steak. I usually sear it in a very hot cast iron pan. I sometimes don't even marinate it, but salt and pepper right before it hits the pan. It's a really tasty cut. Be sure not to overcook. Also good marinated and in a Chinesesque dish: tomato beef. I'm sure it's on the net somewhere.

      Also good seared and sliced up for tacos or fajitas.

      Skirt steak, however, has really gone up in price recently. It's now around $10 a lb. out here in SFBayarea. I have discovered another cut that hasn't gotten popular yet. It's a bit of a chore to cut the meat away from all the sinew, but worth it. It's butcher steak and is priced about $3 less than skirt steak. I asked my butcher about it when I saw it in the case and he actually trimmed it for me. That only happened once, unfortunately.

      1. re: oakjoan
        scubadoo97 RE: oakjoan Jun 8, 2008 01:05 PM

        So do you know what cut the "Butcher steak" is oakjoan? Sometimes I hear that term used with hanger steaks but they are not easily found

        1. re: scubadoo97
          calikoala RE: scubadoo97 Aug 20, 2009 05:52 AM

          hangar and skirt steaks are cuts from the stomach area. you don't see many hangar steaks because this is usually ground up into hamburger. the reason skirt steak has gotten so expensive is because it has become a very popular cut with the increase in use for fajitas and tacos. If you can not find skirt and hangar steaks when you go to the store. ask your butcher to cut them the next time the butcher a side of beef. if no one is asking for these cuts, they just grind em with all the other less savory cuts for burger or stew meat.

    2. m
      mar52 RE: lexpatti Apr 18, 2008 06:58 AM

      Marinate in olive oil and lime juice with your favorite herbs or fajitas rub.

      Grill with some sliced onions and peppers, cut against the grain and serve with tortillas and salsa for some fine fajitas

      1. jfood RE: lexpatti Apr 18, 2008 07:04 AM

        Jfood loves skirts. In fact there was a stretch last summer when 5 consecutive weekend BBQ's featured this cut, and the guests always asked whatthey were and how they were prepared.. His favorite is buying a bottle of a sauce named Wasabiyaki. He slices the steaks into ~5" pieces and throws them in a plastic bag with the sauce. Into the fridge for a few hours. Then onto the grill for a couple of minutes on each side. He then serves whole on a plate and lets the guests cut and enjoy.

        3 Replies
        1. re: jfood
          MMRuth RE: jfood Apr 18, 2008 07:05 AM

          That's a good idea to do 5" pieces - I always end up having to cut them in order to slice them properly.

          1. re: MMRuth
            Mild Bill RE: MMRuth Apr 20, 2008 10:28 PM

            Yes, it is a great idea..
            I used to slice it up into thin cross-grain slices and toss in the flavorful rendered resting juices, but the meat often got cold faster...
            For a couple years I've been plating 5" sections...

            It's such a tender, juicy, and buttery piece of meat that I've found it really doesn't need to be cut cross-grain when eaten as you would eat steak...
            Maybe folded in a tortilla it might be helpful...

            1. re: Mild Bill
              oakjoan RE: Mild Bill Apr 26, 2008 10:45 PM

              Yeah, I always cut mine into more manageable pieces as well.

        2. e
          ESNY RE: lexpatti Apr 18, 2008 08:07 AM

          I think skirt steak has such a great beefy flavor I do not like to marinade it. Since I live in an apartment in NYC, I cannot grill it, so like jfood, I cut it into lengthwise pieces that fit into my cast iron skillet, maybe 8 inches long. Then after the skillet is rippin hot, I liberally salt and pepper the steak and cook for maybe 2 minutes per side. Since it is so thin, you have to be careful not to overcook it.. shouldn't be more than medium rare. Then be sure to cut pieces crosswise to make it ultra tender. In the rare events I actually gussy it up, I top the cooked steak witha chimicurri sauce.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ESNY
            pellegrino31 RE: ESNY Apr 18, 2008 11:23 AM

            ESNY - I take the exact same approach except I use a grill pan (no outdoor grill for me either). Just salt and pepper is perfect.

            1. re: pellegrino31
              BobB RE: pellegrino31 Apr 24, 2008 08:46 AM

              Ditto here, salt and pepper only - why cover up that natural beefiness? But I'm ecumenical as to method, I'll use either a cast iron pan or an outdoor grill.

            2. re: ESNY
              fara RE: ESNY Jul 27, 2008 09:24 PM

              me four. i also just use a cast iron pan, butter or olive oil, and salt and pepper. it's a great steak, my butcher just told me about if a few months ago.

            3. g
              gordeaux RE: lexpatti Apr 18, 2008 08:20 AM

              you can marinate it, use a rub, or whatever you want. Doesn't matter. Only things that matter with skirt are:

              Don't let your marinade "cook" it. (watch the marinating time if the cuts are thin)


              DO NOT OVERCOOK IT!!!!!

              I LOVE skirt. Very beefy, very tender, all kinds of fat in it. Use high heat, and cook it to med rare at the most. I usually char grill it and use it for tacos, or tostadas. Or I'll do a chimichurri type thing.

              If you are a rib eye girl, be prepared to fall in love with this cut. And if you are in a big city with a decent Latino population, skirts should be a fraction of the cost of ribeye.
              I generally pay no more than 2.99/lb for choice skirts (inner or outer - outer being my preferred cut.)

              5 Replies
              1. re: gordeaux
                Barbarella RE: gordeaux Apr 18, 2008 08:24 AM

                Damn, I am in Jersey and just paid $9.99 a pound!! I just sprinkle with garlic and grill till rare.

                1. re: Barbarella
                  mlgb RE: Barbarella Apr 18, 2008 10:40 AM

                  I think that's the best way. No marinades. I usually cook it stove top in an iron skillet.

                  Pay attention to the slice across the grain advice. And definitely do not overcook it.

                2. re: gordeaux
                  TongoRad RE: gordeaux Apr 18, 2008 08:37 AM

                  It definitely has the flavor to stand on its own without much of a marinade, but due to the fattiness I think it does benefit from a bit of acid added after the fact- maybe a squirt of lime, or even a balsamic reduction, depending on what the rest of your meal is like.

                  You're getting those skirts at a great price- count me in on being jealous as well...

                  1. re: gordeaux
                    scubadoo97 RE: gordeaux Apr 18, 2008 09:29 AM

                    It's gotten pretty pricey in my area as well going for around $7-8/lb even though we have a lot of Latins in our area. First it has become more popular with the general population and second there is less yield.

                    1. re: scubadoo97
                      gordeaux RE: scubadoo97 Apr 18, 2008 10:35 AM

                      Sounds like I might have to do some math, and start exporting!! I have two stores in my neighboorhood this week that have it on sale for 2.99/lb

                  2. danhole RE: lexpatti Apr 18, 2008 08:52 AM

                    You can look at recipes for Carne Asada Steak to get a feel for it. Most people use it for tacos, fajitas, etc, but it is delicious on it's own. It's widely available at mexican restaurants.

                    I get mine for $2.99 also.

                    1. d
                      Diane in Bexley RE: lexpatti Apr 18, 2008 11:15 AM

                      Agree that if you love rib eye, you will love meatiness of skirt. We use a lot of skirt steak, especially in summer. It isnt cheap here, runs around $6-7/lb, but boneless and very flavorful. Always have lots of teenagers hanging around in summer (have 2 attractive DDs), their favorite is steak fajitas. Pretty crazy marinade, but very popular:
                      1 liter Coca Cola (can use diet, caf/decaf doesn't matter)
                      1/4 cup white wine or dry sherry
                      1/4 cup dark soy sauce
                      2 T toasted sesame oil
                      2 T Lea & Perrins worchestershire sauce
                      juice from 2 limes
                      2 jumbo size large yellow onions sliced horizontally
                      2 lbs. skirt steak
                      salt, pepper & garlic to taste
                      Tortillas & Fixings
                      flour tortillas, usually pkg of 10-12, heated
                      1 cup sour cream (I use low fat)
                      1 cup grated cheese
                      1 cup sliced olives
                      1 cup salsa
                      1 avocado sliced or 1/2 cup guacamole

                      Make marinade with wet ingredients, mix well. In very large container, layer sliced onions, seasoned meat, garlic, more onions. Pour marinade over. Let sit in fridge at least 6 hours, but not more than 12 as lime juice will "cook" meat. Turn over once to ensure marinade reaches all nooks & crannies. Drain meat, drain onions, let sit on counter 60 min prior to grilling to come to room temp.

                      Prepare charcoal or gas grill. In large frying pan, saute onions for 15-20 min till carmelized and golden brown. Heat flour tortillas wrapped in alum foil so they don't dry out. I have a special lazy susan tray that has small bowls for all the fixings - onions, sour cream, cheese, olives, salsa, etc. Let meat rest 5-10 min after grilling, slice AGAINST grain in thin pieces. Kids love this because they assemble their own meal and can put as much of any one item as they wish.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Diane in Bexley
                        httpmom RE: Diane in Bexley May 14, 2008 11:41 AM

                        This recipe sounds really wonderful and I am going to give it a try... except for one thing...Coca Cola...not to put to fine a point on it but.... the idea of putting into our bodies an ingredient that can clean oil off a driveway and tarnish off a penny is pretty scary.

                      2. Dmnkly RE: lexpatti Apr 18, 2008 02:47 PM

                        My mother's old method (which I love, but am completely unable to judge objectively) is to grill them, basting with hoisin sauce that's been doctored with ginger and garlic, five spice and a touch of sesame oil. Then she'd serve them with guacamole and pico de gallo.

                        1. l
                          lexpatti RE: lexpatti Apr 18, 2008 03:41 PM

                          Thanks all, couldn't find any skirt steak on two stops this afternoon, so we did shrimp fajita's instead, I'll have to find skirt steak to try out some of these great ideas.

                          Is it typically not to find it?

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: lexpatti
                            scubadoo97 RE: lexpatti Apr 18, 2008 04:53 PM

                            You will typically find less of them on the shelf than other steaks. Less yield but a good alternative is flank steak. Not as much fat as skirt and is why my wife and kids both like flank better and I like skirt.

                            1. re: lexpatti
                              jayt90 RE: lexpatti Apr 18, 2008 08:09 PM

                              If a butcher or supermarket is not getting requests for it, it usually goes into ground beef. Same goes for the elusive hanger steak.

                              It's up to us Chowhounds to create the demand!

                              1. re: jayt90
                                Mild Bill RE: jayt90 Apr 20, 2008 10:36 PM

                                A VERY popular cut of beef in Argentina is called Vacio...
                                It's the Flank with the Hanger steak and some fat attached...

                                They salt it, and toss it over the coals till crusty on the outside and tender and juicy inside...
                                Salt only on the Skirts too (entraƱa) ---- with Chimmichurri on the side...


                                1. re: Mild Bill
                                  oakjoan RE: Mild Bill Apr 26, 2008 10:48 PM

                                  Weird, doesn't "vacio" mean empty? Wonder where the nickname came from.

                            2. d
                              dhedges53 RE: lexpatti Apr 18, 2008 05:10 PM

                              I saw an episode of "Top Chef" a couple of weeks ago, when the chefs were asked to cook a Mexican street food, suitable for a high end restaurant. One of the biggest failures was some sort of taco using "skirt steak". Rick Bayless was judging. The chef's skirt steak was judged one of the worst because she didn't know that you have to cook skirt steak from medium to well done. I'll never forget the look on Rick Bayless face when he couldn't bite through the medium rare skirt steak. He told her that you have to cook it through, or you can't bite through it. I'd tend to believe Bayless over some of those who are suggesting you cook it medium rare.

                              13 Replies
                              1. re: dhedges53
                                Eat_Nopal RE: dhedges53 Apr 18, 2008 05:17 PM

                                Actually.... he is not correct. I think he takes the Central / Southern Mexico approach of using very flavorful but tougher forms of beef (i.e., Free Range Sebu over less mobile Angus etc.,)... and in Mexico they have a way of cookign this tougher meats to a very tender, but fully cooked way using gentle heat... and a quick marinade.

                                However in the Sonora, Chihuahua & Coahuila traditions... the beef of choice is Angus... its less flavorful... but can be seared rare without being too tough for enjoyment. I have done this myself many times using Whole Foods.. NZ beef... BUT NO MARINADE just a dry rub.

                                1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                  oakjoan RE: Eat_Nopal Apr 26, 2008 10:50 PM

                                  Absolutely false, and I speak from experience, having cooked numerous skirt steaks. Medium rare is as cooked as mine ever get...medium to well is dry and leathery.

                                  1. re: oakjoan
                                    Eat_Nopal RE: oakjoan Apr 27, 2008 07:38 AM

                                    What did I say that is false? Do you want to re-read my post? Have you cooked with a well traveled Sebu?

                                2. re: dhedges53
                                  gordeaux RE: dhedges53 Apr 19, 2008 05:43 AM

                                  This is totally false. Skirt does not have to be cooked medium to well. Totally false. Anytime you or Mr Bayless wanna come over for some, you are welcome to do so. Next time I'm at Topo, and run into him, I'll have to bring this up. I find a lot of ppl confuse skirt with flank for some reason.

                                  1. re: gordeaux
                                    MMRuth RE: gordeaux Apr 19, 2008 05:57 AM

                                    I agree that it doesn't need to be cooked medium/well done - I usually cook my skirt steak medium rare, though I do find it a bit chewy at rare (which is my husband's preference).

                                    1. re: gordeaux
                                      Dmnkly RE: gordeaux Apr 19, 2008 05:57 AM

                                      It's worth noting, perhaps, that Bayless was speaking within a taco context.

                                      1. re: Dmnkly
                                        danhole RE: Dmnkly Apr 19, 2008 09:06 AM

                                        I have a Rick Bayless recipe for skirt steak tacos bookmarked and he does NOT recommend that you cook it well done. Here it is:


                                        1. re: danhole
                                          Dmnkly RE: danhole Apr 19, 2008 12:28 PM

                                          Well, this recipe involves a marinade, which tenderizes the meat quite a bit and wouldn't have been possible within the context of a quickfire.

                                          I don't have a horse in this race at all, I'm just trying to think of reasons why he might have said what he said. And perhaps the editing killed some meaningful context, too. As chefs go, he's usually pretty meticulous about that kind of thing, in my experience. I'd be surprised to see him contradict himself like that.

                                          I certainly don't cook my skirt steak well done, but I'm not making tacos out of it, either.

                                          1. re: Dmnkly
                                            gordeaux RE: Dmnkly Apr 19, 2008 08:05 PM

                                            I can guaratee with 100% accuracy the skirt steak med rare is one of the most tender cuts of meat in a taco. Rare too. Anyone who wants to come to a store with me, and buy a choice outer skirt, not marinate it, and throw it on the grill, chop it, and throw it in a taco, and and verify this, you pick the day. Skirt is awesome grilled rare/med rare, dry rubbed. It's a fatty cut of beef with very little connective tissue. THAT is the fact. Unless there is some regional difference with what is deemed skirt, then I really have to believe that the people who are disputing this fact are sadly misinformed, or looking to bait people into arguments. Whatever. I'll keep enjoying what the grocery stores around here sell as skirt steak medium rare. You can enjoy whatever it is you are eating.

                                      2. re: gordeaux
                                        Eat_Nopal RE: gordeaux Apr 20, 2008 02:19 PM

                                        Again... I think Bayless may have been thinking about this in the context of certain beef. If you take the Central / Souther Mexican approach to beef... very well traveled animals, fed grass, alfafa, vegetable peels etc.... results in extremely flavorful (if you have been to Mexico you know what I am talking about) meat... but the flipside is that its tough... however, Mexicans use technique (pounding, marinades, cooking style) to make them tender.

                                        I have definitely purchased Skirt Steak from the Supermarkets etc., that was tough at Medium-Rare... of course.... but every Skirt from a Mexican market (in the U.S.) has been much more tender... and I think that has to with a little bit of mechanical massaging (you will notice they are thinner & have a more uniform thickness from edge to edge than at Mainstream establishments).

                                        1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                          jayt90 RE: Eat_Nopal Apr 20, 2008 07:33 PM

                                          My skirt steak, two posts below this one, is the only one cooked before this issue came up, with photos. The steak was not tenderized, or marinated, or sliced thin across the grain. It was rolled, pinned, and charcoal grilled. Tender, juicy, and medium rare, leaning to rare.

                                          There is a sister steak in my freezer, from the same farmer, raised on grass, finished on grain, and I will cook that one to order, if we can agree on that, next week, with photos, after I get your directive...

                                          Give me your recipe before Sunday, and we'll discuss what to do...


                                      3. re: dhedges53
                                        dogthis RE: dhedges53 May 14, 2008 01:00 PM

                                        insanity! the only way to cook skirt steak is to season it simply with s&p, sear it on screaming high heat for a minute or two per side, let it sit 10 min, cut across the grain and, devour every morsel with little corn tortillas warmed in a skillet, fresh pico de gallo, fresh avocado, lime and cilantro, and some julienned jalapeno if you can handle it.

                                        1. re: dhedges53
                                          kimchee411 RE: dhedges53 Sep 24, 2008 11:00 PM

                                          You guys are way over-thinking this. The point was that you can't put chunks of medium rare steak in a TACO because you end up tugging on a piece of meat. Small pieces cooked medium is the way to go in this context. When's the last time you had a carne asada taco with red steak?

                                        2. Scargod RE: lexpatti Apr 18, 2008 06:37 PM

                                          As one poster mentions there are two cuts of skirt "steak" or diaphragm. I can't honestly tell you which is which but I usually go for the bigger, "fatter" or plumper piece.
                                          Speaking of fat; they are very fatty. I buy Angus and they are usually fine grilled medium rare. Perhaps a little chewy; sometimes not. I usually use a rub rather than marinade and then grill.
                                          Skirt steak is also lesser known as butcher's cut or something like that. Butchers would save this cut for themselves.

                                          I would like to know how you identify the different cuts and which is better.

                                          19 Replies
                                          1. re: Scargod
                                            jayt90 RE: Scargod Apr 18, 2008 07:59 PM

                                            Mine was Hereford, not at all fatty. No marinade was necessary. I stuffed and rolled it, fastening the end piece with toothpicks. It was grilled over charcoal for a few minutes, then finished on a cooler part of the grill, covered, for another 10 minutes.

                                            The stuffing has to stand up to the heat, so it could be cheese and herbs, sausage and peppers, or whatever works. This one had a summer sausage inside, and was cooked rare.

                                            It is served sliced across the roll, or grain, and always a hit.

                                            1. re: jayt90
                                              Eat_Nopal RE: jayt90 Apr 20, 2008 08:33 PM

                                              Looks great... rolling is technique (per my post above)... I like Hereford's... good flavor.

                                            2. re: Scargod
                                              Scargod RE: Scargod Apr 19, 2008 05:00 AM

                                              I am in error (again). According to Wickipedia the skirt is the tougher meat within the diaphragm and the hanger (or butcher's steak), is the "inner" piece that is more flavorful and (perhaps) tenderer piece that attaches to the diaphragm. My package says "beef diaphragm boneless skirt steak".
                                              Perhaps I've never purchased the elusive hanger steak! I had it at Cafe Boulud and it was very good.

                                              1. re: Scargod
                                                lexpatti RE: Scargod Apr 19, 2008 07:51 AM

                                                You might not be wrong Scargod, I found this after someone brought up "inside" vs "outside" skirt steak. Pretty interesting. I can't wait to play in the kitchen or grill with this cut.
                                                Love that sauce Sweetpea, right up my alley. Thanks

                                                1. re: lexpatti
                                                  Amer5858 RE: lexpatti May 2, 2008 05:30 AM

                                                  I find Stop and Shop one of the only supermarkets that carries skirt steak. it is usually right next to the flank steak. alternatively i always find it at the Hilltop Butcher shop. not expensive either. I don't know where in Mass you are. I just bought a slab at aforementioned Hilltop in Weymouth.

                                                  1. re: Amer5858
                                                    BobB RE: Amer5858 May 2, 2008 07:29 AM

                                                    Shaw's (at least the one near me) and Whole Foods have it most of the time too.

                                                  2. re: lexpatti
                                                    ChefBoyAreMe RE: lexpatti May 2, 2008 11:19 AM

                                                    Here's how you tell the 4 often confused steaks apart.

                                                    The "good" skirt steak (can't remember "inside" or "outside") is a long thin strip that looks a bit like a rack of baby back ribs, without bones. That is a very tender cut.

                                                    The "bad" skirt (again, can't remember if it is "inside" or "outside") is a tougher piece of meat, but it is more square in shape than above. I'd avoid this.

                                                    Hanger steak, aka Butcher's steak, or onglet, is a thicker( 1-1.5"), larger cut, which has a very grainy texture like skirt or flank, but is identifiable by a pronounced line of gristle down the middle. You are most likely to find this cut in a French bistro, and it is a classic "Steak and Frites" cut. Personally, I find it a bit "livery', a la a sirloin, vs a rib-eye.

                                                    Flank steak is more trapezoidal, about 3/4 of an inch thick, and tapered all around. A bit more "solid" than either of the above, but still with some grain. Less fatty, too, so it can be tougher, and should be sliced thinner, like a london broil to compensate.


                                                    1. re: ChefBoyAreMe
                                                      Eat_Nopal RE: ChefBoyAreMe May 2, 2008 12:16 PM

                                                      My two cents.... the Bad Skirt is actually the more flavorful... but tougher cut... the Good Skirt is a bit less flavorful but definitely tender enough to serve rare (it will be chewy but in a good way).

                                                      I am glad you brought that up because it is a very good point and goes back to the Bayless example. "Bad Skirt" is what normally would be used in tacos... griddled to medium sliced a cross the grain, then chopped again at an angle.... "Good Skirt" is what normally would be used in a Tampiquena or Arrachera type entree.

                                                      1. re: ChefBoyAreMe
                                                        Scargod RE: ChefBoyAreMe May 2, 2008 02:47 PM

                                                        You guys are playing the "bad skirt-good skirt" routine. I'm onto you!
                                                        But seriously, when I look at anatomical pictures of humans it appears that there is one diaphragm muscle on the left side and one on the right; thus two muscles, pieces or strips. I don't know whether there is any correlation to beef, but it seems there would be one on the left side and one on the right side and no good or bad piece.

                                                        1. re: ChefBoyAreMe
                                                          Alfred G RE: ChefBoyAreMe May 2, 2008 04:47 PM

                                                          Right on target Chef. I was just about to post the definition from The Cook's Thesaurus when I saw your posting. I hope this eliminates the confusion. And, yes . . . medium rare with just salt and pepper cut across the grain .

                                                          1. re: Alfred G
                                                            dhedges53 RE: Alfred G Aug 3, 2008 11:12 AM


                                                      2. re: Scargod
                                                        Scargod RE: Scargod Apr 23, 2008 05:53 AM

                                                        I was in Stop n Shop yesterday and asked several people from the meat department about "hanger steak". Nobody, including one butcher, had ever heard of it or "Butcher's steak". I guess I will try more of a meat market today, but this is puzzling. This "hanger steak" is really ellusive!

                                                        1. re: Scargod
                                                          jayt90 RE: Scargod Apr 23, 2008 08:01 AM

                                                          Most butchers know the hanger steak, but some meat cutters never see it, as it is set aside while the primal cuts are prepared. Here is a description: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanger_s...

                                                          and skirt steak

                                                          1. re: Scargod
                                                            lexpatti RE: Scargod Apr 23, 2008 08:02 AM

                                                            I"m finding the same with Skirt Steak. I've had hanger steak in a restaurant - very good. I have found flank steak but the meat department at Mrk Bsk said they usually have both flank and skirt.

                                                            1. re: Scargod
                                                              jfood RE: Scargod Apr 23, 2008 08:41 AM


                                                              The only place jfood has found hanger steak in CT is a little aways from you in Wilton, CT on route 7 just north of merritt. And it is hit/miss there as well.


                                                              1. re: Scargod
                                                                FoodFuser RE: Scargod Apr 26, 2008 06:49 PM

                                                                Take the pic in the wiki article (best detailed pic I've seen) to the Asian meat counter. Mine has it in a 2 pac cryovac.

                                                                Sadly, even the head butcher in many standard groceries is clueless about NAMP numbers or names of muscles. Pics work wonders.

                                                                1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                  jayt90 RE: FoodFuser Apr 27, 2008 07:11 AM

                                                                  there is a substantial difference in training and knowledge from meat cutter to butcher.

                                                                2. re: Scargod
                                                                  Scargod RE: Scargod Jun 10, 2008 06:12 PM

                                                                  Had a real hanger steak for a real butcher a wek or so ago. It does have a different flavor, which we both liked. It was fairly tender; a little more-so than skirt. It was relatively round (perhaps 1-1/2 inch and about nine inches long.

                                                              2. re: Scargod
                                                                oakjoan RE: Scargod Apr 26, 2008 10:54 PM

                                                                As I posted above, Butcher Steak is not the same as Skirt Steak...at least according to my butcher. They also don't look alike. Butcher steak is thicker and has more sinew and needs more prep (slicing away gristle and sinew, etc.).

                                                              3. SweetPea914 RE: lexpatti Apr 19, 2008 06:17 AM

                                                                All great advice so far. I agree that it shouldn't be over cooked and is best grilled. Even if it's just on a grill pan in doors...
                                                                This is our favorite skirt steak recipe, the sauce is addictive, I end up putting it on everything! The only change I make is I like to substitute lime juice for the lemon juice.


                                                                1. d
                                                                  dhedges53 RE: lexpatti Apr 19, 2008 05:41 PM

                                                                  I reiterate, do not cook skirt steak rare or medium rare or it will be tough as shoe leather. Unless, of course, you have slivered it against the grain, diced it, or marinated it for a couple of years. I stick by my post, and Chef Bayless opinion. You can't bite through rare or medium rare skirt steak unless you've done something to it.


                                                                  END OF STORY

                                                                  15 Replies
                                                                  1. re: dhedges53
                                                                    MMRuth RE: dhedges53 Apr 20, 2008 04:23 AM

                                                                    I guess I thought skirt steak was always sliced v. thin against the grain - it was in that context that I said that one can cook it rare or medium rare.

                                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                                      gordeaux RE: MMRuth Apr 20, 2008 08:27 AM

                                                                      This sounds like something you'd do for flank steak. Maybe this is a regional difference in nomenclature. After being in the restaurant industry for many years, I do find that a lot of ppl confuse FLANK (which either has to be braised (like braciole) or marinated and cooked rare/med rare and then sliced very thinly against the grain with SKIRT steak a lot for some reason.

                                                                      FLANK steak is not skirt steak where I live. they are two separate cuts. One has to be marintaed and sliced against the grain if quickly cooked(flank)

                                                                      One is tender, and delicious as is if cooked med rare (skirt)

                                                                      1. re: gordeaux
                                                                        jfood RE: gordeaux Apr 20, 2008 08:33 AM


                                                                        Do not think people are confusing flank and skirt although he sees some curious distinctions between hanger and skirt. Likewise jfood has always scratched his head on exactly how to cut skirts against the grain given the direction of the grain running the narrow-ways.

                                                                        In any event jfood likes to serve skirts medium rare as a steak versus sliced so it does not come into the equation. Likewise he loves to eat/serve flank steak and slices this cut in the same manner as he just performed surgery on several briskets.

                                                                        1. re: jfood
                                                                          MMRuth RE: jfood Apr 20, 2008 09:00 AM

                                                                          I do cook both of these cuts, and when I cook skirt steak (medium rare), after letting it rest, I cut the pieces of skirt steak in half, and then slice it "against the grain". Maybe there is no need to do that to get tender meat, but that's what I do. Next time, I'll try cutting some each way, and see what I think.

                                                                          1. re: MMRuth
                                                                            MMRuth RE: MMRuth Apr 20, 2008 09:25 AM

                                                                            I just went and looked up both flank and skirt steak in a couple of books, and several call for cutting both on the diagonal, "against the grain", including an old Lobel book I have called "Meat", with respect to the flanken.

                                                                            1. re: MMRuth
                                                                              mlgb RE: MMRuth Apr 20, 2008 01:38 PM

                                                                              I think the issue with cutting across the grain arises when you are not eating it with a knife and fork, e.g in tacos. So you need to cut it into strips or chop into small pieces. Maybe I remember that Top Chef episode, where they put the whole big piece of steak into the taco (or whatever it was they made) and it was difficult to eat because he couldn't just bite off a piece?

                                                                              Also, maybe in the old days when it was a cheaper cut, the beef just was less tender? We ate pasture raised beef when I was growing up, so probably a bit tougher than US beef. And maybe older. But there was definitely no beef cooked more than medium rare in our house and we loved skirt steak.

                                                                            2. re: MMRuth
                                                                              scubadoo97 RE: MMRuth Apr 20, 2008 07:51 PM

                                                                              That's what I do. I usually cut the skirt in 3rds then cut across the grain so the pieces are not overly long.

                                                                        2. re: MMRuth
                                                                          oakjoan RE: MMRuth Apr 26, 2008 10:57 PM

                                                                          I think that against the grain is generally the way to slice skirt steak. And again, since I've eaten it with great delight on at least 20 occasions in the past couple of years, I can say that IT IS NOT TOUGH "as shoe leather". Maybe we have better skirt steaks here in Oakland/Berkeley. It's always cut against the grain, like a flank steak.

                                                                        3. re: dhedges53
                                                                          jfood RE: dhedges53 Apr 20, 2008 05:53 AM


                                                                          Jfood has served hundreds of pounds of skirt steaks to friends and family with a nice med to med-rare doneness, and you can bite through it, it is tender, it is not cut across the grain or marinated for years. And jfood is a huuuuge fan of Bayless and had a wonderful conversation with Topolobampo's manager a few weeks ago after a fantastic meal there.

                                                                          So he would gladly side with his own experience on this and state that your "fact" is an opinion.

                                                                          1. re: jfood
                                                                            mlgb RE: jfood Apr 20, 2008 08:46 AM


                                                                            Mr. Bittman with a skirt steak.

                                                                            1. re: mlgb
                                                                              gordeaux RE: mlgb Apr 20, 2008 12:11 PM

                                                                              Bingo - "Lots of fat, lots of marbling, do NOT overcook it under any circumstances...Hot fire, and a fast grill..Literally two minutes on each side...you basically brown it, and it's done...you want it rare to med rare."

                                                                              1. re: mlgb
                                                                                jfood RE: mlgb Apr 20, 2008 12:43 PM

                                                                                different prep but the cooking and serving is exactly how jfood does it.

                                                                                thanks mlgb

                                                                                1. re: mlgb
                                                                                  oakjoan RE: mlgb Apr 26, 2008 11:06 PM


                                                                                  The Bittman video is really cute. "Remember....the diaphragm"

                                                                              2. re: dhedges53
                                                                                ESNY RE: dhedges53 Apr 20, 2008 01:20 PM

                                                                                FACT - you are incorrect.

                                                                                I've eaten countless skirt steaks, none have been cooked past medium rare and most have been rare. None have been tough or chewy and all have been delicious.

                                                                                1. re: dhedges53
                                                                                  BobB RE: dhedges53 Apr 24, 2008 08:52 AM

                                                                                  A little overemphatic there, dhedge. I add my voice to those who have enjoyed many a true skirt steak rare and know that this is in fact not a fact.

                                                                                  I agree with the earlier poster that you're probably conflating skirt steak and flank steak, which is sometimes sold as skirt. This relates to a discussion I just had in another thread on the difference between onglet and bavette, at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/512119

                                                                                2. h
                                                                                  HillJ RE: lexpatti Apr 20, 2008 09:40 AM

                                                                                  Our family uses skirt steak for grilling steak on a stick served as a satay dish with dipping sauces. Pineapple or mango sauce goes very well. Like others have mentioned, we marinade for about 30 mins in a ziplock bag a light blend of flavors depending on the dipping sauce. Talk about your quick cook recipe-outstanding!

                                                                                  1. Scargod RE: lexpatti Apr 20, 2008 09:03 PM

                                                                                    Cooked two (8 and 10 inch long) pieces of skirt steak from a Stop n Shop this evening. I put a little worchestershire sauce and my favorite combo of herbs and spices on them (which included a little mild Hatch ground chiles) and I rubbed this in by hand. NO marinating, no pounding. I grilled it outside on a very high heat. It was medium rare and oozed juices all over the plate. Granted, it was not as tender as a good ribeye, but it was close. I've had sirloin, ribeyes and t-bones that were no tenderer.
                                                                                    We really enjoyed it. I served it as 3-4 inch long chunks and we cut and ate it easily, like you would any good steak. YMMV. This is/was my typical experience.
                                                                                    FWIW, I served this with hot, garlic and oyster sauce flavored bok choi and Yukon Gold poatoes stewed in chicken stock.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Scargod
                                                                                      bdjules RE: Scargod Apr 20, 2008 10:07 PM

                                                                                      My favorite way to prepare it is to grill it over mesquite, seasoned only with kosher salt, black pepper and california style garlic powder

                                                                                      1. re: bdjules
                                                                                        Scargod RE: bdjules Apr 20, 2008 10:27 PM

                                                                                        I actually have and use mesquite chips for adding the flavor. When I lived in North Texas I commonly used mesquite wood for grilling, by itself.
                                                                                        What is California style garlic powder? I have a slightly coarse, toasted garlic powder...

                                                                                    2. sarah galvin RE: lexpatti Apr 23, 2008 06:08 PM

                                                                                      Is skirt steak the same as flank steak?

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: sarah galvin
                                                                                        gordeaux RE: sarah galvin Apr 23, 2008 07:45 PM


                                                                                        1. re: sarah galvin
                                                                                          jfood RE: sarah galvin Apr 24, 2008 03:21 AM


                                                                                          here's a good link


                                                                                          1. re: jfood
                                                                                            sarah galvin RE: jfood Apr 24, 2008 05:24 PM

                                                                                            thank you, jfood. I have never had it. I'll have to look for it now.

                                                                                        2. l
                                                                                          lexpatti RE: lexpatti Apr 24, 2008 11:58 AM

                                                                                          Can't wait, Mrk Basket had it today!!! The other day they only had Flank but he said it's usually right there as well but they were out - so to those asking: Flank is not Skirt. (and @ $5.29 per lb)

                                                                                          Thanks for all the advice, I'm excited to try this Friday nite - I'm not going to marinate, just a little olive oil/salt and pepper and definately med rare to rare. I'll report back. We need a new grill so it might be done of a cast iron grill pan (unless I get a new grill tomorrow). :-)

                                                                                          1. l
                                                                                            lexpatti RE: lexpatti Apr 26, 2008 11:36 AM

                                                                                            OK, grilled it up. Very nice flavor although I like a little more tender meat. It was nice, wondering if the marinade would tender it up. It was perfectly cooked, pink in the middle (if there is much of a middle). I'm anxious to do it again. I used as steaks, but then I experimented with cutting the pieces every which way, didn't make a difference in the tenderness.

                                                                                            Leftovers, I cut small pieces and added to a roasted vegie soup. Wow, totally fantastic. I'm experiementing with soups lately and having a wonderful time for my taste buds. Makes me want to enter a soup contest. I'll call this one - Roasted steak and vegie soup. Yum!!! Smooth and creamy with chunks of steak.

                                                                                            Thanks all!!!

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: lexpatti
                                                                                              jayt90 RE: lexpatti Apr 26, 2008 03:57 PM

                                                                                              Glad you liked it. Try rolling and grilling sometime, sliced like a wrap on the plate. Stuffed as desired.

                                                                                              1. re: jayt90
                                                                                                lexpatti RE: jayt90 Apr 26, 2008 05:54 PM

                                                                                                kewl, saw your photos above - looks excellent. Will have to give that a shot, just got a new grill tonight - yahhhh!! Nice weber charcoal - love love love charcoal grills.

                                                                                            2. p
                                                                                              pizzaqn RE: lexpatti May 2, 2008 10:12 AM

                                                                                              I always purchased skirt steak;now, however, the meat depts. are trying to tell me that flap meat is the same. Looks the same but I do not believe its the same---is it?

                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: pizzaqn
                                                                                                BobB RE: pizzaqn May 2, 2008 10:33 AM

                                                                                                Never seen or even heard of flap meat - is it possibly a regional name?

                                                                                                1. re: BobB
                                                                                                  HillJ RE: BobB May 2, 2008 10:48 AM


                                                                                                  description of "flap meat"

                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                    BobB RE: HillJ May 2, 2008 11:08 AM

                                                                                                    Yes, a quick google search brings up lots of references, half of which describe it as the same thing as skirt steak and the rest imply it's a nearby but slightly different cut. But I still think there must be some regionality to its use, as a native New England chowhound and avid cook I have NEVER seen the term used in any supermarket, butcher shop, or restaurant in this part of the country.

                                                                                                    1. re: BobB
                                                                                                      HillJ RE: BobB May 2, 2008 12:23 PM

                                                                                                      I thought the simple, straight forward descrip on gourmet sleuth was sufficient. No need to get in a "flap" over flapsteak, lol!

                                                                                                2. re: pizzaqn
                                                                                                  Scargod RE: pizzaqn May 2, 2008 11:32 AM

                                                                                                  Flap meat: ears or tail? Would be ears on my dog....
                                                                                                  PS: they have a universal numbering system for the parts of a cow. Perhaps they could correlate the two. http://www.steakperfection.com/beef/

                                                                                                  1. re: pizzaqn
                                                                                                    FoodFuser RE: pizzaqn May 2, 2008 12:16 PM

                                                                                                    Flappers: full info below. It's NOT the diaphragm.

                                                                                                    for Firefox:


                                                                                                    for other browsers, insert this search string:

                                                                                                    obliquus abdominis internus IMPS 185A

                                                                                                    These will lead to several good descriptions and pics.

                                                                                                    1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                                                      EdwardAdams RE: FoodFuser May 15, 2008 08:56 AM

                                                                                                      Interesting, right next to the tri tip, similar and another grilling favorite.

                                                                                                      1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                                                        Nonny RE: FoodFuser Jul 27, 2008 05:08 PM

                                                                                                        I hesitate to begin this thread again as the names of cuts in different parts of the country are very different but The New York Times Sunday magazine section had a recipe for Carne Asade - and guess what? It asks for flap steak -- which is not, according to the article, hanger, skirt or flank.
                                                                                                        Where to get it? I can get hanger and skirt at Caraluzzi's in Wilton (Georgetown area) but what about flap.
                                                                                                        I am dying to make these. I googled "flap" and hear they have them at Costco's but not a member....anyone know.

                                                                                                        1. re: Nonny
                                                                                                          BobB RE: Nonny Jul 28, 2008 01:18 PM

                                                                                                          I've gotten into arguments - er, discussions on the subject out here before. Personally I'm convinced "flap steak" is a regional term for skirt or flank that is simply not used in my part of the country (New England). I'm quite certain you can make your Carne Asada with skirt and it will be wonderful.

                                                                                                          1. re: BobB
                                                                                                            Nonny RE: BobB Aug 1, 2008 07:37 AM

                                                                                                            Thanks BobB. Beef terminology is really very regional.
                                                                                                            Just weird that the NYT would be so adament that flap is not any of the aforementioned.
                                                                                                            I'll go for the skirt and try it this weekend.

                                                                                                    2. b
                                                                                                      bitchincamero RE: lexpatti May 14, 2008 11:51 AM

                                                                                                      My dad marinates it in Corona for a couple of hours, then adds salt and pepper on both sides and throws it on the grill.

                                                                                                      One thing about skirt steak, it should be cooked through (not too much pink inside) or it'll be impossible to chew. It's delicious all charcoal-y from the grill.

                                                                                                      I also like to make a sandwich with jicama chimichurri slaw with skirt steak: http://www.bitchincamero.com/mel/2007....
                                                                                                      I'm actually making it tonight. Wee!

                                                                                                      1. e
                                                                                                        EdwardAdams RE: lexpatti May 15, 2008 08:53 AM

                                                                                                        Flap meat and skirt steak are one and the same. I get it in two different Asian markets where it is marketed as flap meat and I suspect used for stir fry. One market even sells it pounded very thin.

                                                                                                        I will second the notion that it needs to be grilled to a more done state than other beef. It just tastes better that way for some reason.

                                                                                                        1. toodie jane RE: lexpatti Jun 8, 2008 08:24 AM

                                                                                                          Univ of Nebraska is THE site, evidentally, for beef cuts information. Here is a cool rotating graphic of the Flanken sub-prime cut. You can see the flank and skirts on the left of the muscle mass as the image rotates. Looks as though it's connected to the t-bone on the right. No wonder it's flavorful.


                                                                                                          1. VAfoodie RE: lexpatti Jun 8, 2008 04:19 PM

                                                                                                            Apply a favorite rub and whip up some chimichurri sauce (see Epicurious)

                                                                                                            1. i
                                                                                                              IzzoMan RE: lexpatti Aug 24, 2008 07:26 PM

                                                                                                              what i do for skirt steak is sprinkle very lightly salt and pepper on both sides throw it on the grill (not really) and close the grill wait 4 minutes do this on bothe sides and get some metal foil and rap it up and wait then take the steaks out of the foil put it on a plate and if you look at the foil there will be its juices there and pour that on the steak and there ya have it

                                                                                                              1. Kate is always hungry RE: lexpatti Aug 24, 2008 11:11 PM

                                                                                                                My mother used to cook this all the time. Sometimes on the charcoal grill during the summer and in the winter, under the broiler. Her seasoning of choice was Lawry's. Not sophisticated but I loved it. Especially with a bottle of Heinz ketchup and a can of Heinz beans. Otherwise, it is great marinated the way a good old time Romanian steak house makes it. YUM! Don't forget to bring dental floss!
                                                                                                                P.S. I love rib steaks too.

                                                                                                                1. pondrat RE: lexpatti Aug 25, 2008 02:19 PM

                                                                                                                  I just made this Skirt Steak with Anchovy & Lime recipe from F&W last night.

                                                                                                                  Excellent !!

                                                                                                                  I was even able to trick a few non-anchovy eaters to try it and 2 out of 3 loved it as well. The only thing I did differntly was to thinly slice the skirt steak after it rested and then put it back into the sauce on the heat for less than a minute. Then I served it as appetizer portion strips.


                                                                                                                  1. d
                                                                                                                    docflash RE: lexpatti Jun 2, 2014 01:28 PM

                                                                                                                    i love skirt steak! but since i eat my steaks black & blue (pittsburgh style) cooking 'em that way is challenging, since they're very thin. here's what works for me:

                                                                                                                    first, i hit 'em with the jaccard, which tenderizes the stringiness factor and allows me to even out the width easily by simply pressing the steak with my hand. i suppose a meat pounder would also work. next, i marinate it overnite (soy / ginger / oil / garlic / mustard). next day, i roll it up tightly. since it's now typically a cylinder about 3.5 to 4" high, i'll double skewer at right angles both the top and bottom with presoaked wood skewers and slice it half way between the flat top and bottom, leaving me with two cylinder steaks each just under 2" thick. i then proceed with my usual hot griddle and propane torch method for a total of 3 or 4 minutes.

                                                                                                                    result: nice outside char, and cool, red inside. perfect!!

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