Sometimes I have great plans for dinner, and I go to all the trouble of making marinades and pre-slicing vegetables and thawing hunks of local beef, 0nly to get home from boot camp and find out that all of my ideas are completely fukt because I don’t have corn tortillas and it’s 7:30 pm, so making them is out of the question.
What’s a girl to do?
Improvise, that’s what.
So instead of having delicious skirt steak tacos a la Rick Bayless, we ended up having this bastard meal that looked like a skillet from iHop (pourin’ 0ne out for my homie, Steve Jobs. RIP).
But this was actually way tastier because it was made from scratch in my kitchen out of wholesome ingredients, rather than in a substandard diner, served by women with smoker’s coughs, and made from giant bricks of solid GMO and I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-beefz.
Snow Creek Ranch, our local supplier for beef, really knows how to make some flavorful steak. I will give them that. Also, I will give them all of my money once a year so that they can continue to fill my deep freezer with quarter cows. Going down to the basement right n0w involves two freezers jam-packed with everything from turkeys from Good Shepherd Ranch and entire heritage pork jowls to every kind of beef imaginable from Snow Creek. Opening either freezer is like taking down a pinata with a chainsaw. Exciting, rewarding, easy, and probably something is going to fall out and hit you in the head. That’s actually how I determine dinner. Whatever smacks me in the face goes in my mouth.
Zip your pants back up. This is a family blog.
No, no it’s not.
Skirt steak was the most recent ejaculation from our family freezer, and MAN do I love skirt steak. It used to be such a cheap cut of meat, too, since it’s profoundly unattractive.
But recently butchers have cottoned on to the fact that it’s delicious and flavorful and versatile, and now they charge $14 a pound for it like assholes. Skirt steak and Mexican food go together like…margaritas and Mexican food. Which is to say, very well. The assertive, beefy flavor of skirt takes to the spice, char, acidity, and earthiness of most Mexican dishes. It’s especially great for fajitas and tacos al carbon (spanish for “tacos from carbon-based life forms” or “steak tacos” depending on how strict you are with your spanish vocabulary. I do not personally speak spanish, except for “el bebe agua.” Thanks for that gem, Rosetta Stone. I’m ready for Mexico!
So here’s the marinade recipe, with the rest of the instructions in the notes. Do forgive me for my clumsiness while I learn wordpress. Also, forgive the photos from my iPhone. The wee man has lost YET ANOTHER sd card. He’s like a friggin’ magpie of electronics. Someday I’m going to find a secret room in the house containing nothing but half-chewed pretzels, puzzle pieces, and electronics. He’ll be laughing inside like an evil genius.
- ½ onion, roughly chopped
- 1 t cumin
- 1 t kosher salt
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 T water
- 2 lbs skirt steak, silverskin (silvery membrane) removed
- In a blender, combine onion, cumin, salt, lime juice, and water and blend to a puree. Add a little more lime juice and water if necessary to keep the blender running.
- In a bag, combine skirt steak and marinade for 2-4 hours
- Preheat the grill to VERY HOT
- Cook the skirt steak on one side until it develops a nice char
- Flip and cook the other side for a couple of minutes.
- Remove from the grill and set on a plate. The steak should still give easily when pressed with a finger. This means the interior isn’t overdone. We’re going for medium rare at most.
- After a 10 minute rest, cut the steak into quarters and then slice on the bias. This should give you nice, bite-sized, easy to chew pieces.
To complete the recipe like I did, make some crispy hash browns, grill some onions and poblanos and slice them into bite-sized slices, and make a stack of hash browns, onions, poblanos, steak, and cheese. DELICIOUS.
To make it much, much more authentic, eliminate the hash browns and serve the meat and veg with soft, fresh corn tortillas and some homemade pico de gallo.