Early in the season, my grilled skirt steak (along with my roasted jalapeño polenta) helped contribute to a win for Team Guy. I was going to slow braise short ribs, but there wouldn’t have been enough time. That was no problem because I love to grill. I worked as a head cook at a steak house in Canada, and I’ve cooked thousands of steaks. I can also proudly say I never had a steak returned in my two-year tenure there. So, needles to say, I’m comfortable with a grill. Still, nervous as heck, but kinda confident . . . I think.
- 4 lbs. skirt steak
- salt & pepper
- 1 liter (33.8 oz. bottle) Coca-Cola
- 1 cup ketchup
- 3 oz. bourbon
- vegetable or grape seed oil
Place skirt steak strips out on a clean work surface or sheet pan. I like to stretch the strips out a little bit. This allows the seasoning to get into the cracks and grain of the steak. Also, when you put a steak on a hot grill it tenses up and constricts, this also helps trap seasoning in the meat. Pat dry both sides with paper towel or clean dish cloth. Salt and pepper the top, then flip and do the other side. Cover and put aside to warm up to room temperature.
In a large pot add your bottle of Coca-Cola, ketchup, and bourbon. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer. Reduce by half.
With a paper towel or dish cloth, wipe your grill with vegetable oil or grape seed oil. These have a higher smoke point then butter and olive oil. (TIP: Put one side of your grill on a medium to high flame, and the other side on low, or off altogether. This way you can cook and sear on one side, cook and warm on the other side. It gives you greater temperature control.)
Place steaks on the hot part of the grill. Listen for that magical sizzle. If you don’t hear the sizzle, take steak off and let your grill get hotter. After 2 minutes flip your steak, and salt & pepper it. After another 2 minutes flip again, and salt & pepper that side. The reason you do this is some of the seasoning will fall off when putting on the grill and flipping.
Now for the last 2 flips, we’re going to dunk our skirt steak into our Coca-Cola bourbon sauce, cook for 2 minutes, dunk again and put back on the grill. (TIP: The reason I do the dunk is; if I put any kind of sauce on a steak or chicken, the sauce will burn. The sauce cooks first, then the steak. Because of this you’ll have a piece of meat that looks cooked, and when you cut into it, it’s under done, and the sauce will be bitter.) This should have your steak cooked to about medium rare. Because skirt steak varies in thickness you may have to cut the thicker parts off, and leave them on the grill a little longer. The sweet and savory steak with a hit of heat from the roasted jalapeno polenta is a wonderful combination (my lamb and potatoes is a pretty rad combination too, if you haven’t tried that already).
In the comments below, please tell me about any other tips you have for perfect grilling!
photos courtesy of FoodNetwork.com