Skirt and flank steak are often underappreciated despite their great flavor profiles. These cuts both come from well exercised areas of the cow which means they get a lot of blood flow. That also means they pack a lot of flavor! For those of you that receive regular steaks in your monthly Kettle Club share, you’ll be getting a 1 lb. package of flank or skirt steak this July. Let’s learn a little more about these steaks and walk through some cooking tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of these flavorful cuts!
Skirt steak is cut from the plate, or underside of the cow. It’s the cut of choice for making fajitas and stir fry due to its great flavor. Because it comes from a very muscular area of the cow, it can be tough if not prepared and served properly. To ensure you’re getting maximum tenderness, you can marinate skirt steak before cooking. Be sure to use a marinade that includes some an acid (lime or lemon juice, soy sauce or vinegar). The acid helps break down some of the touch muscle fibers making the cooked steak more tender. You can quickly pan sear or grill or broil skirt steak slowly to reduce any tough texture.
The flank steak is cut from the abdominal muscles of the cow. Like skirt steak, it’s known for its flavor but can be chewy if not prepared properly. One of the most important aspects of serving flank steak is ensuring that it’s cut against the grain. “Grain” is a term that refers to the direction in which the muscle fibers are aligned. It should be relativity simple to determine the direction of the grain by looking at the cut. Cutting against the grain helps loosen long muscle fibers that can make cooked meat chewy.
Now that you’re an expert on flank and skirt, let’s enjoy some summery fresh carne asada tacos!