Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Skirt Steak with Cilantro Garlic Sauce

Skirt steak is one of the more compelling reasons that a ridged, cast iron pan is a worthy investment for your kitchen. It’s one of the best cuts off the grill—a high fat-to-meat ratio helps keep it rich and moist—and it adapts incredibly well to off-summer adventures on the stove. This particular recipe is from The Best of Gourmet: A Year of Celebrations, an über-fancy, photo-laden dinner party cookbook that has hidden in its less-glamorous final 100 pages a collection of absolutely spot-on recipes.

A food-processor sauce comes together in the same amount of time it takes the steak to finish cooking and rest. Flank steak would also work for this recipe, a similar, leaner cut that’s sometimes easier to find, and which has a more profound beefy flavor (though with less fat, it’s harder to cook perfectly). Either way, cutting the meat across the grain is essential—on a flank cut, the grain usually goes lengthwise along the steak, while on skirt it's crosswise. You can further thwart the inevitable chewiness of both these cuts by slicing on the bias at a 45 degree angle, which helps make thinner slices.

At first I’d thought about serving the steak on a bed of greens with extra sauce, allowing the cilantro-garlic pesto to seep down and season everything. But if I’d had some flour tortillas in the fridge, this would have been rolled up with some chopped onions and another sprinkle of the cilantro.

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