Thursday, September 16, 2010

Three marinades for Flank or Skirt Steaks

I love both Flank and Skirt Steaks.  They are both very economical and tasty cuts of meat and while I use them interchangeably for cooking purposes - they do taste a bit different.  Saveur has a great little piece on "Know Your Cuts" which define the difference between Skirt and Flank.

All of the recipes grill the steaks and I'm lucky in that I have a lovely cast iron grill pan.  But, you can broil it if you don't have a way to grill the steak up.

The first one is from Alton Brown, who I love for introducing me to the science of cooking.  He has this great Skirt Steak recipe that is brilliant for both taste and speed.  Most of the marinades require some time to both tenderize the meat and meld the flavors.  This one said a hour - but I didn't marinade it at all - and it was still very tasty.

Skirt Steak

  • 1/2 cup melted butter - cooled
  • 1/3 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 4 scallions
  • 2 large cloves garlic 
  • 1/4 cup lime juice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1 tsp brown sugar or honey (optional)
  • 2 pounds inside skirt steak, cut into 3 equal pieces  
Puree everything (except the meat!) in a blender.  Put the marinade on the meat.  Grill.  Eat. Yum. 

So this is Emeril's recipe for Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce which we had for dinner tonight.  It does need some time to marinade into the meat.  I did a hour - but I do think that Emeril's recommendation for a minimum of 3 hours is true enough.  I did end up changing this quite a bit.

Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley
  • 5 large leaves of basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 large shallot or 2 small ones
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red chili pepper
  • skirt steak
In a blender or food processor, put butter, vinegar, lemon, parsley, basil, oregano, garlic, shallots, salt, pepper, chili and blend into a nice paste.  Take 1/2 the paste and marinade the steak.   Grill the steak.  Plate and spoon over a bit of the left over paste.  It will melt into the good!

This recipe is from "Earth to the Table" by John Ash and works really well as fajitas.  Since your grilling anyway - pop on some bell peppers and sliced onions... and you are good to go.  Who needs tortillas? :)  I haven't found a great solution to olive oil in cooking for recipes like this which need to be marinated for a long time.  Since the moment you stick this in the fridge the butter, coconut oil or palm oil solidifies.  As soon as I figure out a option... I'll let you all know.

Flank Steak in Lime-Chipotle Sauce

  • 1/2 tablespoon minced chipotle in adobo sauce ( more or less depending upon your heat levels - this is very mild because the BF can't do too hot.)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup hearty red wine (I usually use a Merlot or Rojas ... depending on what had been opened)
  • 1/2 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
  • steak
In a large bowl, mix chipotle, garlic, cilantro, olive oil, wine, and tamari and blend well.  In a zip-lock bag, put in the steak and marinade. Marinade the steak for at least 4 hours but it works best overnight. Once you are ready, cook up the steak. Slice thinly, against the grain.  

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