Grilled Skirt Steak Skewers
Ah, Memorial Day Weekend, that time of year in which you dust off the grill, vacuum out the cobwebs, scare away any critters who have taken up residence over the winter (including one black widow, yikes!), clean the grates, turn on the gas, and realize your starter doesn’t work. So you use a match, and for some reason that grill. Will. Just. Not. Get. Hot. Enough.
So you start over with the Weber and some charcoal, and grill a batch of beautiful skirt steak skewers that were marinating the whole time you were futzing with the equipment. And they are so perfect and delicious that you don’t care about the broken starter that needs to get fixed or your close call with a black widow. Like a Homer Simpson thought bubble, all you can think about is steak so goooooood.
Why is skirt steak in particular so good, and so perfect for grilling threaded on skewers? Let me show you:
It’s the fat, of course. Skirt steak is much fattier than, say, flank steak. The way that the fat is marbleized throughout the meat results in a cut that is much more flavorful, and more forgiving when you cook it. Unlike flank steak, which because it’s so lean needs to be cooked rare or it gets too dry, skirt steak can be cooked all the way through without suffering. You still need to cut the steak across the grain when you cut your strips, but the steak will be tender and flavorful because of the fat.
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1-inch piece of ginger, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed of membranes and silver skin
- Olive oil for grill grates
- 25-30 bamboo or wooden skewers for grilling
1 Place bamboo or wooden skewers in a dish, cover with water to soak.
2 Place all marinade ingredients in a small bowl, stir to combine. Set aside.
3 Lay the skirt steak horizontally out on a cutting board. Notice the grain of the steak that goes up and down. Cut the steak into segments (along the grain of the meat), about 6 to 8-inches long. Then, with each segment, turn the segment so the grain of the meat runs in a line from left to right, and cut thin strips (1/4 to 1/3-inch thick, 1 1/2-inch wide, 6 to 8-inches long), angling the knife, cutting across the grain.
4 Place the steak slices in a non-reactive bowl or casserole dish. Toss with the marinade to coat. Chill and marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours.
5 Preheat your grill, whether charcoal or gas, for high-direct heat. While the grill is preheating, thread the marinated skirt steak strips onto your pre-soaked skewers.
6 When ready to grill, brush the grill grates with olive oil (helps to fold a paper towel, soak the towel in olive oil, and use long handled tongs to hold the soaked paper towel and spread oil on the grates). You know your grill is hot enough when you can only stand to hold your hand 1 inch above the grill grates for one second. Working in batches if necessary, lay the skirt steak skewers on the hot grill grates, perpendicular to the grates. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until cooked through. Remove from grill and let sit for a few minutes before serving.