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Jun 3, 2011 09:54 AM

Skirt steak

I got excited when I found a skirt steak yesterday. I'm marinading it now in (probably too much) adobo sauce, lime juice, cumin and olive oil. But I haven't planned any meal around it. Any ideas other than tacos or grilled and sliced on top of salad (dinner last night with a strip steak). Thanks!

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  1. I is my go-to meat for fajitas with essentially the same marinade as yours.

    1. We had some last night on ww flatbread (basically just dough rolled into a circle and cooked in a skillet; the laziest, fastest way to have fresh bread) with panfried squash, hot sauce, and sour cream on top. That isn't vastly different than tacos, though.

      1. We just salt and pepper it and grill it over indirect heat 4 or 5 minutes per side, cut it into half-inch wide slices across the grain and serve it like you would a steak - side of potatoes and veggies. It is a very flavorful and pretty tender cut and really doesn't need much enhancement.
        It used to be cheap, but now it has gone way up in price since it has become so popular.

        1. I favor a sandwich on a crusty roll dipped in pan juices but you could always go the ropa vieja route.

          4 Replies
          1. re: ferret

            That's what I ended up doing, with grilled red pepper, red onion and corn mayo. It was good but I sliced with the grain like flank steak, not across. But I will try it again because it has potential!

            1. re: katecm

              What you did sounds great. You definitely want to cut it against the grain though next time.

              I like grilled skirt with chimmichurri, grilled corn and a glass of good Malbec on the side.

              1. re: katecm

                Hi Kate, both flank and skirt should be slices cross-grain. :)

                1. re: katecm

                  "It was good but I sliced with the grain like flank steak, not across."

                  With the grain? I always slice flank steak across the grain. Hmmmm.

              2. Skirt steak was the original cut of meat for fajitas when it was much less expensive. Am I preaching to the choir? I asked because that's what sherriberry indicated what it is used for. I once saw skirt steak in an Illinois Whole Foods store being sold at $12.99 a pound. I went into sticker shock.

                21 Replies
                1. re: ChiliDude

                  there is an ethnic market in my town that often sells it for under $5/lb. Admittedly, it is way more expensive than when I first discovered it dirt cheap in college, but when I can get it for a reasonable price, I still love it for fajitas.

                  1. re: ChiliDude

                    Skirt is skirting up to near ten to eleven dollars a pound in my area. Use to be that skirt and flank were about the same price but not anymore.

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      The reason is that 90% of skirt steak is exported to Japan due to a lifting of tariffs on particular cuts of meat. Of the skirt steak, almost 100-% of outside skirt (which is the traditional cut for fajitas) is exported to Japan. We're left with the remaining inside skirt which is inferior. There was an article in the Houston paper on the history of fajitas that talks about this.

                      The best substitution cut, IMO, is flap steak. The grain and texture is very similar to outside skirt and it is also extremely tender. It's available at Costco here for around $5/pound.

                      1. re: achtungpv

                        Thanks for the explanation. Flap steak is excellent if I can ever find it. Seeing it is a rarity in our grocery stores and requests are met with indifference.

                        1. re: achtungpv

                          It's ridiculous what's happening to beef prices. Only 2-3 years ago flap was going for 2.50ish at costco. Now it's what ribeye/strip used to cost. I've pretty much stopped buying beef.

                          1. re: joonjoon

                            I dunno. Seems like it's just the cuts that used to be cheap that have gotten trendy and expensive. Oxtails, short ribs, and flank steak are ridiculously overpriced, while the grocery store has USDA Choice strip steaks for under $5 a pound on a fairly regular basis. Go figure.

                            1. re: alanbarnes

                              You're right now that I think about it. I saw strip steak at a local wegmans the other day for 12.99 and almost passed out. Luckily I can still find acceptable tail for under 3 bucks here. I've pretty much stopped buying short ribs.

                              1. re: joonjoon

                                "I've pretty much stopped buying short ribs"

                                It would not surprise me to learn that the increase in restaurant demand for short ribs has driven up the price. I have lost count of the number of restaurants I have been to in the last couple of years that either had short ribs on the menu or offered it as the special.

                              2. re: alanbarnes

                                I've noticed this too but in some instances it also has to do with yield. How many skirt steaks, flap steaks, tri tips oxtails, can you get from one steer compared to ribeyes or strip steaks. I'm not happy with the new development. I've always been a sucker for the cheap cuts and rarely buy strip steaks regardless of the cost difference.

                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                  Do you suspect interest in short rips and oxtails will die down and these items will revert to lower prices? Or by "trendy" do you mean something else.

                                  1. re: tommy

                                    A number of prominent chefs have been singing the praises of these formerly cheap but always delicious cuts of meat for years, thus educating the public as to just how tasty they can be. While demand may slacken somewhat with reduced time in the spotlight, the genie's out of the bottle and isn't going to get stuffed back in.

                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                      I agree. The term trendy is often used as a pejorative, describing somewhat of a fad for followers who just blindly follow to be, well, trendy. But I see no indication that people who have discovered cuts other than the 3 or 4 that our culture was accustomed to will lose interest in these other cuts because they are no longer hip.

                                      The discovery of these cuts isn't trendy to my mind. It's a maturation of our food culture.

                                      1. re: tommy

                                        I don't think the two ideas are mutually exclusive. When short ribs suddenly appeared on every upscale menu in town, that was a trend, and it wouldn't be unfair to call them trendy. Doesn't make 'em any less delicious.

                                        With time, these ingredients may become less ubiquitous in cutting-edge restaurants, but there will still be a few places doing them very well, and more folks cooking them at home. That's maturation.

                                        And yeah, I did intend for the word "trendy" to have a pejorative edge. Even great foods can get too much attention. It's like a good song that gets overplayed - you get tired of hearing it while it's at its peak of popularity, and can only enjoy it again once it stops bombarding you from every functioning speaker.

                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                          Short ribs never appeared on every upscale menu in my town or towns near. Sounds like our experiences are different.

                                          1. re: tommy

                                            Hyperbole? If I've said it once I've said it a million times - I NEVER use hyperbole. (Well, maybe just a little. Rather a lot, actually.) But there's no denying that once Thomas Keller and David Chang blazed the short-rib trail, there were plenty who followed.

                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                              just reviewing menus for an upcoming trip to SF and ran across a few with short ribs which were at the higher end of the price range for their menus.

                                              Tommy, not on EVERY menu but certainly more than there use to be 10+ years ago.

                                          2. re: alanbarnes

                                            Agree. Short ribs are now so common on menus in my area, from food trucks to upscale, that they do seem like an overplayed trend.

                                            1. re: Island

                                              absolutely true here too in Western MA.

                                              1. re: magiesmom

                                                They are trendy in western MA, yes?

                                2. re: achtungpv

                                  True about the inside-outside differences of skirts, the inside being more livery-tasting. It is a darker, purpleish color. I avoid it.
                                  Even the outer skirts I have tried recently have been tough, even with careful prep, marinade, and cooking - and pricey, too. I have all but given up trying to replicate the tender, buttery arracheras with chimichurri I have occasion to enjoy in Mexico and S.A.

                                  1. re: achtungpv

                                    Here are a short and long winded skirt steak explanation from Houston food writer Robb Walsh. It was made popular at legendary Houston Tex Mex restaurant Ninfa's on Navigation in SE Houston.