Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tequila and Lime Marinated Skirt Steak

Some of my favorite meats for grilling are thin steaks like flank steak, skirt steak, and flap meat. They're all very similar, with the grain of the meat running lengthwise. Since they're thin, they cook quickly, and when you cut across the grain, the meat is very tender.

If you don't cut across the grain - well, don't do that. Fortunately, it's very easy to see which way the grain runs.

Since these meats are so thin, they take on the flavor of marinades pretty quickly.

The difficult part about cooking thin steaks is that they can overcook very quickly. You can't walk too far from the grill because the difference between medium rare and well done is a matter of minutes.

Just like any meat, you want to let the steak rest before slicing - but in this case you don't have to let the meat rest for very long - five or ten minutes is good enough.

Skirt steak isn't all that pretty, but once you slice it for serving, you won't notice that. My favorite use for skirt steak is for tacos, and that's how I used this one.

Aji amarillo is a type of hot pepper from Peru. If you can't find this particular chile powder, you can use any one you like - and adjust the amount to suit your preference for heat.

Tequila and Lime Marinated Skirt Steak

1 skirt steak
Juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons tequila
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon aji amarillo powder

Combine the lime, tequila, a pinch of salt, and the chili powder and spread it on the steak, coating all surfaces of the meat. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature, or up to an hour. If you prefer, put the meat in a plastic bag to marinate.

Heat the grill - or you can use a grill pan, if you prefer. Remove the meat from the marinade and blot it dry. Grill the meat on both sides just long enough to get the meat to your preferred doneness.

Let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing across the grain.