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Published June 18, 2019. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Grilled skirt steak that is cooked to perfection, thinly sliced and served over creamy polenta with roasted vegetables. This is the perfect meal to impress your guests with.
Skirt steak has become increasingly popular meat in the last 5-10 years. It’s more affordable than the likes of a filet mignon or a New York strip and still has plenty of flavors. The key to making and serving up a successful grilled steak is temperature, time and how you slice it.
This recipe as a whole was intended for family or friends gathering. It is definitely more of a restaurant-style dish and perfect for impressing your guests.
What Is It
Skirt steak is a thin cut of meat that comes from the plate section of the cow and is traditionally thought of like a tougher cut of meat. The plate is on the lower chest area of the cow in between the brisket and the flank.
Current market costs are $11.89 per pound and will fluctuate a little bit in the summertime because it’s such a popular steak to grill. Always figure about 8 ounces per serving so essentially 1 pound of steak will feed 2 people. However, if you are serving tacos than 1 pound will feed 4.
How to Grill It
The best way to cook it is by grilling it over high heat or searing it on a flat top over high heat. Here is how to grill it.
- 1. Preheat your grill to high heat (450° to 550). High heat will ensure your meat is marked, cooked and will give you the best opportunity for it not to stick to the grill.
- 2. Brush the meat with oil and season it with sea salt and pepper. The oil will help lubricate it so it won’t stick on the grill. If you are looking for a marinade than try using a mojo marinade if making tacos, or a soy red wine marinade.
- 3. Add the meat to the hot grill and cook it for 3 minutes before flipping it over and cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes give you a total skirt steak grill time of 6 minutes. Remember that it’s very thin and will cook extremely quickly, so this cooking time will give you a perfect medium-rare internal temperature. If you overcook it. it will become very tough.
- 4. Remove the meat from the grill and rest on a cutting board for 2 to 3 minutes. Always rest your meat as it will allow the juices to suck back into it making it even juicier.
- 5. Using an extremely sharp knife, slice it on an angle and as thin as you possibly can. This video does a great job of showing how to cut it.
How to Serve It
I served this recipe with some creamy polenta and some simple roasted vegetables. Honestly, the steak would go great with just polenta but hey fresh veggies are in abundance in the summertime so feel free to get creative and mix and match vegetables to your liking.
How To Store It
The best way to store it is uncut and in a plastic bag or container. Reheat quickly on a grill and slice and serve. If you freeze it is best to thaw, reheat and finely chop and put into a soup or stew.
chef notes + tips
- Is there another name for it? NO. When purchasing it from your butcher or grocery store simply ask for skirt steak.
- Is it the same as flank? No, it comes from the plate area of the cow while the flank comes from the cow. Flank is a bit thicker and less marbled, but also tougher.
- What is the closest thing to it? The closest cut of meat that resembles look, texture and flavor would be flank steak but are still visibly different.
- Which is tougher inside or outside the skirt? Every cow has 2 skirts to it and the outside skirt is much more flavorful and marbled while the inside skirt is not. The inside is still delicious, but the outside is where it’s at.
- Why is it so expensive? Believe it or not, this used to be a pretty cheap cut of meat, but as it’s gotten more popular over the last 10 years it has gone up in price but is still reasonable as it relates to other cuts of meat.
- Let the steak cook! Do not be so antsy to think it is burning so you need to flip it as soon as possible. Remember the first thing a steak wants to do on any hot surface is to stick. If you want you can cook it for 4 -5 minutes on the first side and only 1-2 minutes on the second side. This will give you darker grill marks on one side.
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Grilled Skirt Steak Recipe with Polenta
For the Polenta:
- 1/2 Polenta Recipe
For the Vegetables:
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
- 1 bunch of garlic scapes
- 1 bunch of thinly shaven asparagus
- 1 thinly shaven fennel bulb
- 2 cups of baby arugula
- 10 cooked crispy slices of Pancetta
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
For the Steak:
- 2 pound skirt steak
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
For the Garnishes
- fresh basil leaves
- fresh oregano leaves
- reduced balsamic vinegar
- crumbled blue cheese
- Polenta: prepare 1 recipe for polenta
- Vegetables: Coat all the vegetables in olive oil, season them with salt and pepper and spread out on sheet pans lined with parchment paper and roast in the oven on 375° for 10 to 15 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to blister and the asparagus and fennel begin to brown.
- Steak: Coat the steak with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cook on a hot grill (450° to 550°) for 2 minutes on each side. Once it is done grilling let the steak rest for a few minutes before thinly slicing it against the grain.
- To Plate: Place down a healthy scoop of creamy polenta followed up with some arugula leaves, shaved asparagus, shaved fennel, roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic scapes, and crispy pancetta. Top off with the thinly sliced skirt steak, fresh herb leaves, a few drops of reduced balsamic vinegar, and blue cheese crumbles.
- This recipe as a whole was intended for family or friends gathering. It is definitely more of a restaurant-style dish and perfect for impressing your guests.
- Always figure about 8 ounces per serving so essentially 1 pound of skirt steak will feed 2 people. However, if you are serving tacos than 1 pound will feed 4.
- Grilling on high heat will ensure your skirt steak is marked, cooked and will give you the best opportunity for it not to stick to the grill.
- Always rest your meat as it will allow the juices to suck back into the steak making it even juicier.
- This video does a great job showing how to cut it.