I once thought skirt steak got its name because it was favored by chicks, like mushy movies. Ladies will love it, guys will fall asleep. Apparently, I wasn’t far off. Turns out, skirt steak comes from around the cow’s belly, the place where a skirt would be worn (if cows wore skirts, that is). A boneless cut, prized more for its flavor than tenderness. To minimize toughness, it can be marinated and/or grilled, or pan-seared very quickly (think stir-fry) or braised very slowly. Slice thinly against the grain to maximize tenderness.
“Slice against the grain.” You see that instruction all the time and nobody bothers to explain it. I hear you. So let me translate this bit of chef lingo. Skirt steak (much like brisket and London broil) has long fibers running through it. You will see these distinct lines in the meat: these babies are tough. When you use your knife, instead of your teeth, to cut through those fibers, eating goes from “oy” to “ah.” So we cut “against” or “across” the grain: that means don’t slice parallel to those lines, but rather across those lines, ideally at a 45-degree angle. You’re cutting those long fibers into short ones to make it easier to chew. You don’t have to be a super chef to notice that cutting against the grain or cutting along the fibers spells the difference between meat that melts in your mouth and meat that’s tougher than your high school physics teacher. By the way, you can slice these meats before or after cooking, but if you cut after cooking, let the meat rest a bit. Everything behaves better when it’s rested.
Now let’s shoot for those speed flags. The steak here is seared only 4 to 5 minutes on each side and then removed from the pan to rest while we cook our veggies. Once they’re ready, slice the meat against the grain (you know how!) and return it to the pan for just 2 minutes to heat through and coat with sauce.
A warm, 1-skillet steak supper, perfect for a cold wintery night! Super yum!
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, such as Colavita
- 1 pound skirt steak
- 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch sticks
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch sticks
- ½ cup mushrooms, quartered
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped parsley
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat evoo in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak and sear until nicely browned, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove and let rest.
2. Add parsnips and carrots and sauté 6 to 8 minutes or until slightly browned and beginning to soften. Add mushrooms and sauté 2 minutes. Add stock and wine and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce to a simmer and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and sauce is reduced and thickened. Stir in parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Thinly slice steak against the grain and return to pan for 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through and coated in sauce. Divide between 4 shallow bowls.