Friday, October 18, 2013

Meaty Requests--Spice Rubbed Skirt Steak

Me thinks the family wants to bite into a chunk of grilled meat. Rehan hints about the longetivity of the many steaks in the freezer. Glenn says he would like something toothsome. That's code for ' I want to eat a big piece of red meat,' one that is generally charred to perfection and eaten with carbs and veggies. They are not too particular about the latter! As long as they appear on the plate alongside that chunk of meat!

It's been a while since we had skirt steak. Among the various cuts, this is one I love the most. More than rib eye, more than the cowboy, more than flank. It's thin. It cooks super fast. It cuts like butter when done. I've been buying them for years at the Mexican grocery I frequent. It used to be cheap, cheap, cheap. Then some chef popularized it and noe there is no skirting round the price issue! Now it's a hot ticket item. 

It always needs a marinade. Something garlicky and granular. A thin coat of spice before I grill. And I love Rick Bayless's Mexican marinades. This marinade is an amalgam of a few of his recipes.

Spice-rubbed Skirt Steak 
Serves 4

2 pounds Skirt steak
1 teaspoon Garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon Onion powder
1 tablespoon Cumin powder
1 teaspoon Chile powder
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground Black pepper

Cut the steak into three inch wide pieces.

Combine the other ingredients and apply to steak. Rub well to coat the meat.

Cover meat, refrigerate and marinate meat for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.

Bring meat to room temperature before you cook it.

If you are grilling outdoors, start the grill and let it heat up. See Note

If you are grilling indoors, place the grill pan on a high flame.  

Lightly oil the grill pan and place steaks on to pan.

Leave the steaks be. Do not move them. This is the best way to get those hatch marks.

After 2 minutes turn the steaks 30 degress and leave for a minute.

Then flip them over and cook for another 2 minutes without moving them. Turn 30 degrees again and leave for a minute. The steaks will be medium rare at this point. It really is the best way to have skirt steak. If you like your steak medium well go ahead and sear them for an additional 2 minutes on each side.

Remove from the grill and place on a platter. 

Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let the steaks sit for 4 to 5 minutes.

Get your sides ready!

Slice the steaks against the grain to get the best cut and texture.



The above recipe uses an indoor grill pan. I have a cast iron one as well as a nonstick pan. I used the cast iron as it gives the steak a better char.

If you plan on grilling outdoor, start the gas or charcoal grill. Gas grills are faster than their charcoal counterparts for obvious reasons.

Any cut of meat could be used in place of skirt steak.

My sides are corn with creme fraiche and chives, caramelized sweet potato spears and avocados.

Smoke from the grill fills the kitchen. An Indian summer lets us throw open windows and doors. We ruminate over the meal and the day. Juices flow verbally and organically. Steak makes for a gratifying evening.