Skirt Steak with Avocado Chimichurri
Add a little Argentinian flair to pan-seared skirt steak with a simple avocado chimichurri sauce. The lean and beefy cut cooks in just minutes in a sizzling hot skillet. It’s a quick dinner that will take your taste buds on a South American adventure!
Skirt steak is often the cut of choice for popular dishes like fajitas. However, its versatility and ability to take on robust flavors begs to be enjoyed with a tangy and herbaceous sauce like chimichurri.
Because of its natural intense beefy flavor, I kept the seasoning simple for this recipe, and let the sauce shine. It’s a culinary duo that will get devoured fast!
WHAT IS SKIRT STEAK?
Skirt steak is sold as long and relatively thin strip of meat in most grocery stores. It comes from the short plate (diaphragm area) of the steer found under the rib section.
It’s an affordable cut that sells quickly. For that reason, it’s a rare commodity to find as there are only four steaks per cow, two from the inside and two from the outside skirt. The outside skirt is more tender in texture.
What makes it unique is its coarse visible muscle fibers that create small pleats like a skirt. Those tiny peaks and valleys on the surface mean it has more area for seasonings and marinades to be added for extra flavor.
It also requires proper carving across the grain, so that those tough fibers can become more tender and delectable.
HOW TO COOK SKIRT STEAK
Learning how to cook skirt steak is simple. It’s a long and thin cut so you may have to cut it in half or thirds to make it fit in the pan and get a proper sear.
- Make sure to dry the surface from any excess moisture before adding the salt and pepper. This will help the surface of your steak caramelize, or get a good sear.
- Use a pan that can tolerate and hold high heat well. I use my trusty 12-inch cast-iron skillet and preheat it.
- Sear for a few minutes on each side for medium-rare doneness. If the meat becomes overcooked, the texture is extremely tough and chewy. Medium-rare is the way to go for this cut.
- It’s crucial to carve the steak against the grain for maximum tenderness.
We have even more tips on how to cook the perfect skirt steak here!
WHAT’S IN CHIMICHURRI?
My avocado riff on chimichurri recipe starts by breaking down fresh cilantro, parsley, and garlic together in the food processor to extract their flavor and aromas into the sauce.
You can also chop the herbs with a chef’s knife if a processor isn’t handy. Kosher salt, cumin, and red pepper flakes add savory seasonings with a hint of heat. Red wine vinegar provides pungency to the sauce to complement the rich meat.
A high-quality extra-virgin olive oil gives a slight fruitiness and body to the sauce. I wait until the very end to dice the avocado to keep it bright green in color. The creamy lime green fruit adds mini creamy bits to the sauce.
HOW TO MAKE CHIMICHURRI AHEAD OF TIME
The chimichurri sauce can be made up to one day ahead of time.
The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two days. Make sure to stir the sauce a few times before serving to mix all of the ingredients that might have settled or separated.
HOW TO USE LEFTOVER SKIRT STEAK
Hands down the ultimate way to use the leftovers is to enjoy it with some fried eggs and potatoes the next day for breakfast. The steak and the sauce would also be delicious in tacos, burrito bowls, or on top of a salad.
LOOKING FOR MORE GREAT STEAK RECIPES?
- Steak Salad
- Flank Steak and Mushrooms
- Skewered Skirt Steak
- Flank Steak with Orange and Avocado
- Grilled Chili Lime Flank Steak
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