Skip The Marinade On Skirt Steak And Create A Flavorful Sauce After Cooking Instead

There is a fair amount of debate surrounding whether or not one should marinate steak. On one hand, opponents say that marinades add too much moisture and can affect the texture of more tender cuts. On the other, marinade proponents say they provide more flavor and help to soften the texture of tougher cuts. Whichever side of the issue you stand on, allow us to make a case for skipping out on marinating a skirt steak in favor of adding a flavorful sauce after cooking.

Skirt steak is a long and thin cut of steak that comes from the flank, or underside, of the cow. Though a cheaper cut, skirt steak is nevertheless full of good beefy flavor. However, part of the reason for skirt steak's affordability is that the cut is riddled with a web of sinews and connective tissue, giving it a chewier texture. This naturally makes skirt steak an excellent choice for marinating, as the acids would work to break down these connective tissues and make the steak more tender. This isn't always necessary, however.

Though skirt steak may be chewy, it is far from tough. And because it is so thin, it does not take very long to cook. Therefore, you can cook it naked in the pan without worrying too much about it getting rubbery. And after the steak has rested, you can make an excellent sauce with its juices.

Resting juices give you endless options

The idea behind cooking the steak nude, so to speak, is that you get a delicious brown crust, which can only happen if little moisture is present. Since a marinade would moisten the skirt steak greatly, your chances of getting any browned goodness are slim if you're only going to cook it briefly.

Let your skirt steak rest after searing, during which time it will give off some of its juices — perfecting for making a flavorful sauce to drizzle over your steak. Add a vinaigrette or homemade chimichurri on top of the resting meat, which will mix with all those juices. Or, try returning the juices back to pan with some red wine and herbs, then reduce them for a decadent pan sauce. Adding this juice to just about any dressing is going to elevate the beefy flavors of the steak, more so than a marinade would. The point of marinating, after all, is to inject flavor into the meat, and this is the inverse of that. Best of all, using the juices provides you with a flavorful and fast option: The skirt steak doesn't take long to cook, and you don't have to spend a half an hour or more waiting for any marinade to sink in.