This Simple Buttery Herbed Garlic Skirt Steak is as much about how to cook a skirt steak as it is about the butter slather. It will delight your taste buds and make skirt steak fans of even the biggest skeptics.
If you are privileged enough to be invited over for a meal at my brother’s house, there is a good chance that you have been wowed by one of his steak recipes. People walk away so full, they feel like they have to roll (not walk) down his driveway. And then, when the fullness has passed, all they can think about is having another bite. The great news for us is that Stevens is a very generous recipe sharer (hence the blog) and happily hands out ingredient, tips and tricks for his best and brightest recipes. And this buttery herbed garlic skirt steak is, my dear readers, a bright, bright star.
I Only Seem to Like Steak From Restaurants…
I once had a friend who said that throughout high school, he did not believe that he liked meat and obviously never had this Simple Buttery Herbed Garlic Skirt Steak. It always tasted chewy and dry. Once he got into college though, he realized that his issue wasn’t with meat – it was with the way his father had been cooking the meat. I think this little anecdotal story jives with the way many people feel about steak. It takes a little practice to find the rights cuts and the right way to prepare it, but if done well, it is absolutely delicious and makes you want to lick your plate.
Okay Okay, So How Do I Do It?
The first trick is to SALT it. Pretty much every steak, especially if it’s not in a marinade should be liberally salted with a coarse salt. Let the salt meld with the meat for at least 20-30 minutes, if not more. I’ve talked with people that recommend salting a steak the night before, so if you think of it, go for it! BUT it’s difficult for me to plan that far ahead! If it is for you too, that’s OK…just don’t skip this step.
The second trick is to cook it quickly on very high heat (like 500-600). This allows the outside to form a crust and gather the enhanced grill flavor without letting the juices escape, therefore keeping the interior tender. The best place to do this is the grill…if you haven’t been grilling your skirt steak, it’s a mistake or mis-steak…(haha I’m full of bad jokes). Don’t believe me? Check out this article here by Cook’s Illustrated.
The third trick is to let the steak sit for 10 whole minutes after cooking. Don’t cover it, don’t cut it, don’t touch it…maybe even try not looking at it. This will allow the juices to settle so they evenly distribute throughout the steak, making each bite indulgent. If you want to know more details, read this article here.
I Haven’t Shopped For Steak in Awhile…What Am I Looking For?
According to Smoked BBQ Source, a skirt steak is a thin and fibrous piece of muscle that separates the chest of the steer from its abdomen and acts as its diaphragm muscle. This cut of meat tend to be lean, but still have some nice marbling of fat. For this recipe specifically, you want to get a skirt steak that is about 1/2 inch thick (this is on the thicker end) and you want to look for the cut with the most fat. If possible, you also want to pick the longer and less wide (3-4 inches) cut which is the outside skirt. The inside skirt will do for this recipe (that is 5-7 inches wide) but the outside skirt is slightly better. Need pictures or more information? Click here.
What Do You Serve This With?
This is a ‘goes with everything’ type of steak recipe but here are a very ideas that get us salivating:
- Sliced with cilantro/lime rice and this Fresh and Easy Mexican Caprese Salad .
- Inside these Holy Grail of Corn Tortillas with some pico de Gallo. Or with this Mighty and Healthy Fresco Elote Salad.
- *With a little chimichurri sauce on top with a side of rice. Coming soon to Cakes & Coriander – chimichurri sauce with avocado…it’s the best steak topping!
Tips and Tricks For Buttery Herbed Garlic Skirt Steak
- Don’t skip the salt and sit. You can salt your steak the night before and stick it back in the refrigerator. If you don’t think of it or don’t have the time, at least give it 20 minutes…but 30 is better.
- Stevens uses the ‘thumb test’ in order to get his steak to the right temperature. If you haven’t heard of this test, check out this super short video here. By using your hand, you get a feel for the different levels of steak tenderness/doneness. This can also be slightly dangerous if you’re not careful – so watch the heat when checking your meat!
- If you are on the more cautious side (like me) then feel free to use a meat thermometer. If you are cooking steak, these are more optional, but come in handy in order to not overcook your meat. They are also relatively cheap and (in my opinion) essential to cooking other types of meat such as chicken or pork.
- Give your grill some time to set up and get to that super high temperature. We want the meat to hit a super hot surface. If you do not have a grill, you can achieve a similar result with a super hot cast iron skillet. Just maybe open a window because there might be a little smoke let off from the marinade.
- We use Himalayan Pink Salt. We get it from Costco in bulk. It’s cheap, delicious and works well with just about every recipe. If you are using a coarser sea salt for this recipe, use 3 tsp to salt the meat instead of 4. Keep 1 tsp for the marinade.
- Use fresh garlic. The flavor profile is much cleaner and it doesn’t have the moisture ‘drag’ like the canned stuff. If this seems intimidating, try buying pre-peeled fresh garlic. They have it in almost all grocery stores now… I get mine at Aldi or even Walmart. I also like this little garlic microplane machine here. It makes slicing or grating garlic large amounts of garlic super easy and the cleanup even easier.
- These silicone brushes are great for the grill and spreading marinade onto hot meat. They last a long time and are fairly inexpensive.