The skirt steak comes from the mid area of the animal.
This cut defies my message of ‘tough cuts require slow roasting or braising’. I have cooked this cut many times and have found that the best cookery methods for skirt as whole cut is slow cooking by grilling or pan frying. That is initially sear on high heat to brown both sides before turning down the heat to gently cook the interior.
Cook this meat to medium rare at the most. You need that pink interior.
It is the combination of the nice brown and flavourful exterior (as a result of searing on high heat) and the pink interior (as a result of gentle cooking afterwards) of this cut as well as the chewiness that adds to the overall positive eating experience.
Why this cut is so tasty is because there is connective tissue in this area (because it is a tough cut). During the cooking process (when you are cooking it on a low heat) the connective tissue breaks down and this is why you can really enjoy this steak.
Another advantage to skirt steak is that, compared to the tender cuts that you can grill and pan fry as steaks, is that it is affordable.
In my book Your Meat Mate I have both a grilling and braising recipe for this cut as, of course, it is fine to braise. However, in my opinion you are doing more justice to this cut by grilling or pan frying it. The dry heat cooking methods of grilling and pan frying is where you achieve that contrast of nice brown and caramelised exterior from the high heat to the nice pink and tasty interior (provided you only cook it to medium rare at the most). Also, the chewiness that comes from these dry heat cooking methods is something that braising cannot achieve.
Page 65 has a terrific grilling recipe that includes a delicious curry marinade for skirt steak.
When you have finished cooking this steak and have let it rest and cut against the grain to achieve the full value of the eating experience.
Flank steak is from the same area and has the same cooking principles and eating qualities as skirt steak.
Go ahead and make your next steak purchase skirt steak!
Page 65 skirt steak