Saturday, July 3, 2010

adventures in meat: skirt steak

i am a lazy american. yes, i shop at kroger. weekly. granted, my shopping pattern probably befuddles the marketing analysis on the kroger plus card - hardly any processed or pre-packaged foods and a careless disregard for sales, coupons, and little yellow tags.

what does this have to do with skirt steak?

well, i've noticed a lot of recipes call for skirt steak. because the kroger co has to trim the number of cuts available in the meat department to make room in the store for frog-shaped watering cans and tiki torches, i have never been able to locate a skirt steak at the local kroger. i've asked meat department employees, and they have directed me to flank steak.

which i now know is not the same thing.

i decided this week to stop being lazy and actually go to a butcher. wassler meats to be precise. wassler had been recommended to me in the past for breakfast sausage (thanks, john!) so this week i bought all my meat there.

a google search told me skirt steak comes from the "plate" (see below) and is actually the diaphragm muscle. apparently it has a tendency towards toughness but has a good flavor. often it is used in fajitas.

the skirt steak i got was frozen. when it was thawed and unwrapped, what i beheld surprised me. i wasn't really expecting such a long strip of meat, displayed here by my mom.

i understand the use as fajita meat. my recipe was not for fajitas, however, but thai grilled skirt steak from the april 2010 food and wine. i marinated the steaks for nearly 24 hrs in the following mixture:

1/4 cup seasame oil

1/4 cup soy sauce (tamari)

2 tablespoons each of finely chopped ginger, garlic, cilantro, and salted roasted peanuts

2 scallions, minced (i used green onions)

1 tablespoon each of light brown sugar, lime juice, and chile oil (i used mongolian fire oil, which is a little different)

half of the marinade is reserved for the sauce and the other half coats the meat. to complete the sauce, add 1/4 cup chicken stock to the reserved marinade.

after marinating, the steaks were grilled for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side to keep them rare and prevent toughness from setting in. a light sprinkle of salt and pepper and the skirt steak was ready.

the quick time on the grill was well rewarded - the meat was very tender and flavorful. skirt steak is also a reasonably priced cut, so the ratio of enjoyment to price was favorable.

i paired it with red curry peanut noodles from a 2008 food and wine, using udon noodles instead of the spaghetti the recipe called for. the noodles were good and could stand alone. if i make them again, however, i will probably add more chicken stock and lime juice to the sauce. the peanut butter made it a little thick and sticky. i would rate the skirt steak experience a success.


JKNEPFLE said...

Nice! I've never been able to get ahold of skirt steak. I even asked at the butcher (Humbert's and Meiner's) and they kinda looked at me like I was dumb.

jeff said...

I HEART skirt steak, although all I've ever done with it is carne-adada-ish things. I'll try this next time.

Have missed you guys - hope you're well.


k said...

josh - glad i happened upon the right butcher. i'm also going to give bridgetown finer meats a try this week for lamb shoulder...we'll see how it goes.

jeff - i am just happy food sounds good to me again. pregnancy and my gi tract have been sparring since the beginning. plus, i am now unemployed so i have a lot more time to write :)

liz said...

ok this looks awesome