Sunday, May 22, 2011

Skirt Steak with Red-Wine Mushroom Sauce

This is one of those meals that sounds really fancy and could be used for a special occasion but really, it's affordable and super-quick. Skirt steak is usually used for beef fajitas. I know everyone has probably had beef fajitas that are tough and hard to chew but there are a few simple steps you can take to make the meat fall-apart tender. This recipe was adapted from my Gourmet Today cookbook but you can also find the original recipe on Epicurious, which is an online collection of recipes from Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazines. A great resource for recipes with tons of user reviews so you can learn from others' experiences.

Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

  • 1 1/2 lb skirt steak
  • 6-7 mushrooms (can use white mushrooms, I used creminis or baby portobellos)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TBSP cold unsalted butter
  1. Trim off any large, tough pieces of fat from your skirt steak. You don't want to remove it all - just any of it that is easy to cut away. In the pic below, I've cut the fat away from the bottom piece and the top one has not been trimmed yet.

  2. Cut skirt steak into 2-4 pieces so it will fit in your largest skillet.
  3. Tenderize your steak. You can do this with a meat mallet, a fork, or a heavy-duty tenderizer like this one that I bought to perfect my chicken fried steak (still working on that one). Whatever instrument you choose, don't be gentle with it. You'll want to pound or prick the entire surface of the meat 3-4 times. Then, flip it over and repeat on the other side.
  4. Pat steak dry and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.
  5. Cut the bottom stems off of your mushrooms and slice them.
  6. Chop your fresh parsley and set aside.
    1. Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet on medium high for 3-4 minutes.
    2. Slide your steaks into the skillet and cook for 3 minutes.
    3. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes.
    4. Remove steaks from the skillet and put on a plate, covering them with foil to keep warm while you make the sauce.
    5. Pour off the grease from the skillet and let the pan cool for a minute or so while you gather the mushrooms, wine, sugar, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce and butter.
    6. Turn the burner back on to medium high and add the 3/4 cup of wine, sliced mushrooms, 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp sugar and your bay leaf.
    7. Once it's all in the pan, turn the heat to high to boil the sauce, using a wooden spoon to stir and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. This is called deglazing though I'm not sure why.
    8. Continue to boil the sauce until some of the liquid evaporates - about 3 minutes. 
    9. Open one side of the foil from your meat plate and pour any juices that have accumulated into your sauce. 
    10. Remove your sauce from heat and discard bay leaf.
    11. Stir in butter and taste it to see if it needs salt and pepper.
    12. Pour over steaks and serve.
    13. You can also slice the skirt steaks but there is a special way to do it. They always say to cut "against the grain". If you look at the picture below, the "grain" is the horizontal lines that run across the meat. To cut against it, you'll want to go perpendicular to it, making a grid pattern. It's a bit hard to explain but hopefully the picture helps. Enjoy!

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