Lebanon Reporter

Commentary

March 18, 2010

Skirts are in for Spring

Lebanon — I’ve got a confession. Sometimes, meat speaks to me. The most recent conversation we had was when I made a quick trip to the grocery store to restock bananas (we’ve been eating a great deal of them lately and had run out). While in the produce section, I heard the familiar throaty whisper. I knew it wasn’t the bananas, because bananas can’t talk, of course. It was the meat. I hadn’t planned on visiting the meat counter but I didn’t want to be rude. I decided to just go say “Hi.”

As it turns out, it was a skirt steak beckoning me, letting me know in no uncertain terms, that it wanted to come over to my place for dinner. “I’m just here for bananas,” I said. “I’ve already got dinner plans. We’re having chicken.” This was one persistent skirt steak, telling me that it was both delicious and inexpensive at less than $2 per pound. So, I left the store with bananas, skirt steak and new plans for dinner.

Skirt steak is the perfect recession-era indulgence — big beefy flavor that is easy on the wallet. The cut comes from the flank, or the area of the cow between the ribs and hip. The long, flat piece of meat is the preferred cut for fajitas and London Broil. This steak’s great deal of connective tissue can make it tough unless cut in a specific way. The grains run across so slicing it thinly on a diagonal, across the grain, will cut through those tough fibers resulting in a flavorful, chewable steak.

One of my favorite ways to prepare skirt steak is marinated and then grilled. I like to use a marinade of citrus juices and sriracha, the Thai hot sauce available in Asian sections of most grocery stores. Citrus may not be top of mind when it comes to flavors to enhance beef, but the combination of the orange and the spicy sriracha makes a terrific duo. Citrus not only imparts flavor, but the citric acid helps to break down tougher cuts of meat like the skirt steak, and the sriracha provides enough heat to give this dish great depth of flavor.

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