Yes, cow’s have skirts. You use them to make fajitas. The cut of steak known as the skirt is close to the diaphragm which means it gets used a lot. The more the muscle gets used, the tougher it will be and will either require marinating and a quick cook or covering in liquid and a long, slow cook.
Fajitas are popular restaurant food. They are also make an excellent home cooked meal. Some planning is required because the steak must marinade for at least two hours to tenderize. The prep work can be done the night before. It won’t hurt the steak to marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
When you’re ready to cook, the steak and vegetables are sitting on go. I love the kind of cooking where the prep work and the actual cooking happen in stages. It just flat seems easier to do it that way than to try to get it all done at one time.
The addition of honey to the marinade might seem a bit surprising. I like to use a lot of lime juice to lend flavor as well as tenderness. The volume of lime juice I use is a little over the top and needs mellowing just a tad. That’s the job of the honey. It takes away some of the lime’s bite.
The price of beef, any beef cut, will knock your socks off these days. I can’t go to the grocery store without saying, “Exactly how much higher can groceries go?”.
It might be cheaper to cook an old cloth skirt that no human wants to wear any longer. Unfortunately, no amount of marinade can get a cloth skirt flavored right. For the time being, we’re stuck paying sky-high prices for beef skirts which means we probably have to pay less for our cloth skirts to afford the beef skirts.
And that’s what makes the world go ’round.
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yield: 8 servings
Skirt steak is unique in that it must be either marinaded and then seared quickly to medium rare or you need to braise it and cook the daylights out of it. I have never braised this particular cut of meat. I reserve braising for big, cheap cuts of meats that I can cook for the better part of the day and not worry about the texture becoming mushy.
The whole skirt steak is a rather long strip which will need to be cut to fit into a skillet. Cutting it in large pieces is fine but don’t make the mistake of slicing it thin before cooking. The best method is to sear the large pieces quickly, remove from the skillet, tent with foil and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing into thin pieces.
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 4 limes)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup cooking oil (I used canola)
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 large garlic cloves, smashed and diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds skirt steak, membrane removed
2 large bell peppers (I used one green and one red), cored and sliced in rings
2 large sweet onions, sliced in rings
shredded iceberg lettuce
sliced jalepeno peppers
wheat and/or corn soft tortillas
Mix together first 7 ingredients for the marinade.
Place steak and vegetables in a large ziplock bag. Pour marinade in bag. Mix well and make sure everything is coated and marinade is evenly distributed. Marinade in refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.
Let beef and veggies marinate at room temperature for at least an hour before cooking. Drain well before cooking.
Heat a large, well-seasoned cast iron skillet until it’s smoking hot. Add a tablespoon of bacon grease. Place skirt steak in skillet and sear for two minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and cover with aluminum foil and let rest while the vegetables are cooking.
Add more oil to the skillet if necessary. Throw the veggies in the hot skillet and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the vegetables are tender.
Remove skillet from heat and scoot the vegetables over to one side to make room for the steak.
Slice steak on the diagonal in thin strips. Return to hot skillet.
The best part about fajitas is serving right from the skillet. In fact, I do believe that’s the law.
To assemble fajitas, place a small amount of the beef/vegetable mixture in the center of a tortilla and small amounts of desired toppings. Roll up the tortilla, pick it up with your hands and eat!