Skirt Steak Cast Iron Recipe

Having a steak craving? This skirt steak recipe is quick and flavorful thanks to a delicious marinade, topped with a herby, garlicky, bright chimichurri. 

Skirt steak recipe
Skirt steak recipe

What is skirt steak

Although skirt steak is a tough cut due to the number of connective tissues, it is one of the most flavorful cuts of beef.

It’s a thin, elongated, relatively lean cut that comes from the short plate of the cow, just under the rib section and next to the flank. If you’re wondering what’s the difference between skirt steak vs flank steak, they are actually very similar.

The main difference is that in a flank steak the fibers run lengthwise, and in skirt steak, they run along the width of the cut.

There are actually two types of skirt steak- the inside and outside- and they’re pretty similar. Looking at it, the outside skirt is longer, wider and about 50% thicker than the inside skirt.

The inside skirt also generally has a lot of hard fat and membrane that needs to be removed. If you’re getting your steak from a butcher, they can tell you what cut it is.

Or if you’re like me and go to a chain grocery store and the person working the meat section doesn’t get paid enough to know or care about that ish, that’s fine. Don’t come at me steak nerds, but I say just use your judgment when deciding if any fat needs to be trimmed.

Skirt steak is always sliced thin and often served with eggs for breakfast, stuffed into tortillas for skirt steak tacos, in a stir fry and more. Skirt steak also pairs great with a baked potato, a cold crisp salad or roasted vegetables. Topping sliced skirt steak with a chimichurri is classic.

Skirt steak with chimichurri

How to cook skirt steak

Because of this cut’s looser structure, skirt steak is great to marinate and will take on whatever flavors you choose.

I marinate for at least 30 minutes but no more than a couple of hours. After it’s done marinating, remove the steak from the marinade, discard the rest, and pat the steak dry.

This will cut down on the amount of smoke and help the steak crisp up. The best way to cook it is quickly and over very high heat- either grilled or over a cast iron, like this skirt steak recipe will show. Skirt steak has just enough fat between tissues so as to keep it moist while it’s cooking.

Thank you, delicious fat! Hot and fast cooking will result in a tender, tasty piece of meat. 

Skirt steak is also a magical cut of meat where you don’t need a meat thermometer to hit a beautiful medium rare.

You can eyeball it and get a tasty, browned, pink-inside steak every time. It’s the thinness of this cut that makes it the easiest, most foolproof steak to cook at home, especially for the occasional red meat eaters like JD and I.

Skirt steak marinade

This marinade is inspired by a kalbi (Korean short ribs) marinade, and will add a lot of beautiful flavors to your skirt steak. Soy sauce adds savoriness, lime juice brings acid, and a lil brown sugar adds beautiful caramelization.

Aromatics like green onion, cilantro, garlic and jalapeno join the mix and add delicious freshness and make this marinade amazing.

Adding chimichurri to you skirt steak

This herby, garlicky, and tangy chimichurri recipe honestly tastes amazing slathered on just about anything, but I think you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t put it on your skirt steak.

Chimichurri is found in Argentinian and Uruguayan cuisines as a table condiment to dollop on grilled meats. We’re following their lead on this and doing the same.

Since this sauce is made of all uncooked ingredients, it’s super easy and you can quickly throw it together while your skirt steak is marinating. 

How to grill skirt steak

Marinate folks! Be sure to let it sit in the marinade outside of the fridge for a good 30 minutes prior to cooking. This way, it will get close to room temperature and help it cook more effectively. 

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill, we’re talking hot. Like 500 degrees. Grill 3 to 4 minutes per side, for a medium rare to medium.

If you prefer a very well done steak, I would use a different cut other than skirt, like ribeye for filet. Skirt steak is thin and if cooked longer than 5 minutes, it gets very tough and no amount of drowning it in A-1 can save it at that point.

After cooking, don’t let your hunger mess you up and just dive in. Let it rest for roughly 5 – 10 minutes. A larger steak would usually need to rest for 30 minutes, but since our friend skirt is so thin, we don’t need that long.

How to cook a skirt steak in a cast iron

Like with grilling, we’re marinating this bad boy, allowing for the steak to sit in the marinade outside the fridge for a good 30 minutes.

While your trusty cast iron skillet is getting hot over high heat with a little olive oil, pat your steak dry with a paper towel.

This will allow the steak to form a nice crust and cut down on smoke. (You still might want to open a window or briefly turn off your fire alarm if you have a feisty one).

Now that your steak is ready, place it in the pan and don’t touch it until it’s ready to flip in 3 – 4 minutes. Once flipped, wait 3 – 4 more minutes and then remove it to a cutting board to rest for 5 – 10 minutes.

How to cut skirt steak

Skirt steak is long and ribbon-shaped. After it’s cooked and rested, you might feel tempted to slice the beef off the short end (like slicing coins from a banana). Don’t do it! That’s the wrong way to slice a steak and will result in a very chewy piece of meat.

The best way to cut skirt steak- most steak in fact- is against the grain of the muscle fibers. The “grain” refers to the cow’s connective tissue and muscle fibers running together.

If you were to mess up and cut it as described above- with the grain- you would basically be biting into long strands of muscle making it super chewy. No thank you.

So when you cut against the grain, it makes it easier to chew and get all them good bites.

Since I don’t eat steak often, it took me a couple of tries to properly cut a skirt steak so my stomach and jaw would be happy. Here are the tried and true steps:

  1. Take the long ribbon of skirt steak and first cut it into manageable 4 to 6 inch pieces. Usually, this means dividing the skirt steak into three or four equal rectangular pieces.
  2. Slice the individual rectangular pieces the long way and at a diagonal (against the grain). Remember, you want thin slices, not thicc.
Skirt Steak Cast Iron Recipe

Skirt Steak Cast Iron Recipe

Author: Maddy & JD – Them Bites
Satisfy your steak craving with this skirt steak recipe- quick and flavorful thanks to a delicious marinade, topped with a herby, garlicky, bright chimichurri.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people
Calories 217 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Chefs Knife
  • 1 Cast iron skillet

Ingredients
  

Marinade

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 or 3 chopped green onion
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 lime
  • 1 stalk roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 chopped jalapeno

Steak

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs skirt steak
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Chimichurri

Recipe Instructions
 

Marinade

  • Mix together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and lime juice. Place steak in ziploc bag or tupperware and pour over. Add jalapeno, green onions, garlic, and cilantro and mix in with steak and marinade. Allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes.

Cooking the steak

  • Place a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat with a TB of olive oil until hot.
  • Remove steak from marinade and pat dry.
  • Cook steak in hot skillet 3 – 4 minutes on each side until nicely browned.
  • Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 – 10 minutes.

Finishing

  • Cut thin strips against the grain.
  • Dollop with chimichurri and enjoy.

Notes

This goes great with our Chimmichuri Recipe!

Nutrition

Calories: 217kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 8gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 1664mgPotassium: 807mgFiber: 8gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 2515IUVitamin C: 58mgCalcium: 209mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Skirt steak, Skirt steak cast iron, Skirt steak in Spanish, Skirt steak recipe, Skirt steak tacos, Skirt steak vs flank steak
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