Skirt steaks are not going to ask about your day or comfort you after a fight with your boss. Sometimes lacking tenderness, but full of flavor and generally quite affordable, they’re like the old faithful of the steak world. Often used for boldly seasoned dishes, such as fajitas or stir-fry, they stand up to robust sauce and piquant vegetables. But they have a superb stand-alone flavor, and when chosen carefully, and finessed a little, they can be more delicate than you might expect.
The diaphragm muscle of the cow, located in the area just below the ribs, skirt steaks are thin cuts of meat that risk being tough if prepared incorrectly. This makes them ideal to be softened in a marinade all afternoon, and then, quickly cooked over high heat, by pan searing or grilling. Or braise them to maximize suppleness. Another option is to choose the prime or Wagyu skirt steaks, which are wonderfully tender without any special effort.
At our restaurant, Carlos Gardel, we serve prime skirt, which is simply prepared, grilled with sea salt and served with our house Chimi on the side. Or we glaze it with Chimi at the very end of the grill time for a rich, smoky flavor and strong outer char. This steak put us on the map as a steakhouse back when we first opened in 1996 and remains a favorite and LA classic.
The outer skirt steak is from the plate section, below the rib and in-between the brisket and flank. For the outside cut, butchers used to typically leave the membrane attached. If left unpeeled and grilled, it can still be tasty but will be tough and chewy. More often these days, butchers have already removed the membrane. If not, simply use a sharp knife to cut and pull away this excess tissue. These cuts can be quite fatty. Because of grill flare-ups, clean some of the fat away before cooking. But not all of it. Remember, fat is flavor!
More commonly, grocery stores sell the inside skirt steak. This cut comes from the flank and is a bit thinner and trimmed free of fat and membranes.
Regardless of which cut is available or preferred, this long, flat strip of meat has incredible flavor all on its own! Tip: slice against the grain for primo tenderness.
2 lbs. Skirt Steak
Kosher Salt, to taste
Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
Gardel's Chimichurri, to taste
Clean the skirt steak of the membrane (if still attached) and some of the fat and silver skin.
Season liberally with salt and black pepper.
Grill on high heat 2 minutes on each side. Let the meat rest.
For tender meat, slice on a bias and against the grain.
Serve with Gardel's Auténtico Chimichurri for a mild, tangy burst or with Gardel's Spicy Balsamico for a deep, smokey, and slightly spicy finish!