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Grass-fed Skirt Steak Just Kicked My Ass

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  • Grass-fed Skirt Steak Just Kicked My Ass

    I was pleasantly surprised today to see my whole foods, which typically only stocks grassfed liver, had a range of grass fed meats at reasonable prices. I've never made skirt steak before, but I know it can be tough, so I planned on making some with some old veggies I had lying around. Even after cutting it thin against the grain, and letting it simmer in broth for 30+ mins after browning, it still is like eating rubber bands! Any thoughts on how I can avoid this in the future? It tastes fine, just a bit... hard to swallow

  • #2
    Marinade -- 24 - 48 hours.
    Then surprisingly, cook it fast and medium rare is as far as you wanna go. Two minutes per side above hot coals or beneath a broiler.
    Then, for this cut, a 5 minute rest covered in foil is particularly useful.
    Now cut into strips.

    I love this cut done in Italian dressing and the strips served with antipasto goodies.
    And I love it for fajitas over a sour cream dessed chopped salad and topped with guac.

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    • #3
      You quick cook or grill skirt steak until medium at most. Long cooking/ over cooking just causes the muscle fibers to contract and become hard.
      Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
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      • #4
        Oh I wondered what this thread was about.

        So how do we know which cuts will get tender with long cooking and which will just go tough?

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        • #5
          Thanks. In the future I'll marinade. This was all a bit last minute.

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          • #6
            Skirt steak is AMAzing! Along with hanger and flank steak, it is one of my absolute favorite cuts. We never even marinate it, just salt and pepper, on the grill for about 4 minutes per side, and DONE! It turns out rare/medium rare (which is not a health issue if you're buying good, grass-finished beef), and when cut against the grain it is better than filet mignon
            You are what you eat,
            and what you eat eats too - Michael Pollan

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            • #7
              So how do we know which cuts will get tender with long cooking and which will just go tough?
              The muscles that get a lot of use, for example the brisket (chest of the cow) and shoulder and rump roasts, will be tough and need to be braised or otherwise slow cooked. Muscles that get less use, like the tenderloin and hanger steak are going to be very tender. It's like thinking of eating a bicep or quadricep versus a less used muscle on a person (kinda creepy, sorry).
              You are what you eat,
              and what you eat eats too - Michael Pollan

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              • #8
                Sometimes I put skirt steak in a slow cooker with chunks of onion and a few hot peppers over night. Simple and good.

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                • #9
                  For most of the more tender cuts (skirt steak, tenderloin) I think you are either supposed to use really short (keep it below medium rare) or really long cooking times (3 hours+) to have tenderness. Also, cutting perpindicular to the grain is a must for cuts like skirt steak and london broil.

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                  • #10
                    aaahh skirt steak - we enjoyed it for years in its obscurity - a great piece o' meat and very inexpensive...not anymore -the cut has become very popular and gone up in price. I am now doing amazing things with brisket and flank.

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                    • #11
                      Flank steak is like $9/pound for conventional stuff now here! Grass fed is ridiculous, like $16 or $18 I think. I do love flank steak though.
                      You are what you eat,
                      and what you eat eats too - Michael Pollan

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                      • #12
                        We use to get Flank steak for about $3.50 a pound and I have an amazing recipe for it, but now it is so expensive we rarely buy it.

                        Flank Steak Pinwheels

                        Tenderize the steak with a mallet - very primal
                        Strech it out as large as you can get it on a cutting board and season with salt, pepper, and lightly coat with A-1 (I know not exactly primal, but we are talking 1 tablespoon on a large steak)
                        lay 3 strips of lightly cooked bacon across the steak
                        top with a 3/4 inch layer of fresh spinach
                        Roll-up the steak in the opposite direction of the 3 bacon strips
                        Cut the roll into 3/4 in thick pinwheels, we usually fit two or 3 pinwheels on a shish kabob skewer

                        Grill over a hot flame preferably charcoal until just browned. med-rare is what I am shooting for.

                        So Good, I might have to go get some for dinner tonight.
                        Last edited by Kev; 05-26-2010, 10:06 AM.
                        Strive for healthy today.

                        Satisfaction is the death of desire.

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                        • #13
                          fantastic! thanks for these great cooking tips. Maybe I'll turn into a decent cook yet.

                          Just went to the butcher... OMG... so hard to choose. I hate days when the budget is tight. It was fish day (we live inland so having the fishmonger arrive fresh from the city is a big deal) so I was really tempted by Tasmanian salmon. However there were some lovely steaks on the bone, I forget what cut it was called, and also I got some gluten-free 100% Angus Beef sausages for tomorrow, I'm going to bake them with a load of veggies, a 'tray bake' a la Jamie Oliver.

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                          • #14
                            You can tenderize meat by spreading avocado on it and let it marinade.

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