Balsamic Marinated Skirt Steak, seared on the outside, cooked to your liking on the inside, is one of the most flavorful pieces of meat you can prepare. The steak is left to marinate in a mixture of balsamic vinegar, oil, fresh garlic, mustard and Worcestershire sauce along with cayenne pepper for four to six hours, which makes the meat tender and really flavorful.
If you are not familiar with skirt steak, it might be because the meat may go by a different name at your local butcher shop. Depending on where you live, it might be called beef plate, inside or outside skirt steak, boneless diaphragm, fajita steak or even Philadelphia steak. This particular cut of meat is known for its outstanding beefy flavor and is often used in fajitas and stir-fries. Since this is not a tender cut of meat by nature, it is very important to only cook skirt steak to rare or medium rare and then cut the steak against the grain very thinly just before serving. This all helps to ensure that your steaks will end up tender and delicious.
Balsamic Marinated Skirt Steak
Serves two, adjust the recipe accordingly.
- 1/2 to 3/4 lb. skirt steak
- 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 c. oil (I used peanut for high heat grilling)
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic, mashed to a paste
- 1 tsp. mustard
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper or to taste
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Skirt steak is a long piece of meat so cut it into shorter, more manageable pieces and then place into a resealable zip bag. Mix all the rest of the ingredients except the salt and pepper until blended and pour over the meat. Remove as much air from the bag as possible and seal. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours but I like to marinate the meat 4 to 6 hours so that the vinegar in the marinade has a chance to tenderize the meat. When you are ready to cook, take the steak out of the refrigerator and remove from the marinade. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper and let come to room temperature before cooking.
Preheat your grill until hot and cook quickly. I use the sear burner on my gas grill which has intense heat and cook each side for about a minute for rare. Timing on your grill may vary but try not to cook the steak to more than medium rare which has a very rosy pink center, approximately 2 to 4 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat. The steak should register 120 to 125 F for rare, 130 to 140 F for medium rare when checked with a meat thermometer. Once you take the steaks off the heat, wrap with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes for the juices to even out. *If you don’t have a grill or it is the wrong time of the year to be cooking outdoors, you can prepare the steak in a very hot grill pan or skillet on your stove top.
If you would like, you can use the excess marinade to prepare a sauce. Simply bring the balsamic marinade to a boil, lower the liquid to a simmer and cook for a few minutes to reduce then serve with the sliced steak.
This balsamic marinated skirt steak is very simple to prepare and I believe your family and friends with enjoy it. You can make your marinade early in the day then marinate the skirt steak a few hours before you are ready to cook…I suggest 4 to 6. Prepare your sides at meal time and then grill your steak. While the meat is resting, you can get the rest of the meal on the table then slice your steak and serve. I served the balsamic marinated skirt steak with cheesy potato cakes which were crispy on the outside and soft and flavorful on the inside along with an heirloom cherry tomato and basil salad. Other good options for side dishes are twice baked potatoes, sweet potato wedges or sautéed spinach. If you don’t reduce the marinade to use as a sauce, a nice accompaniment when serving skirt steak is Chimichurri Sauce, you can find the recipe here.