Few meals hit the spot after a long day quite like a juicy steak. While there’s no shortage of restaurants out there that serve them, nothing tastes better than a tender piece fresh off the grill from your own backyard.
Thanks to James Beard Award finalists and co-owners of Portland, Ore.-based OX Restaurant, Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, you can whip up steak at home like a pro. Just follow their tips and recipe for the perfect skirt steak—one of the Argentinian-inspired eatery's most popular entrees—from their just-released cookbook, Around the Fire ($21; amazon.com).
Tip No. 1: Don’t sit and wait for the meat to reach room temperature. Transfer the steak straight from the fridge to the grill, the authors say.
Tip No. 2: Treat cooking times as guidelines. Denton and Denton write that the thicker parts of the steak will take longer to cook than others, so adjust the placement and grill time accordingly.
Tip No. 3: Serve skirt steak somewhere between medium-rare and medium. Because that's where you achieve perfect tenderness, they say.
Tip. No. 4: Always slice skirt steak against the grain. For this particular cut, the muscle fiber runs across the width of the steak and is easy to trace.
Nothing to it, right? Now test out your skills with the recipe below.
Grilled Beef Skirt Steak with Onion Marinade
For the Onion Marinade
1/2 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 small garlic clove, peeled
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp water
For the Skirt Steak
2 lbs skirt steak, silver skin trimmed away
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Smoked sea salt for finishing
Chimichurri for serving (optional)
For the Onion Marinade
1. Combine the onion, garlic, 1/4 cup of the oil, and water in a blender; blend until smooth.
2. Put the skirt steak in a large resealable plastic bag or baking dish and pour in the onion mixture, coating both sides. Cover or wrap the meat well so the onion scent does not permeate your refrigerator; chill for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
For the Steak
1. Prepare a grill to medium-high heat.
2. Remove the steak from the marinade and season both sides with the kosher salt and pepper. Transfer the meat to the grill and let cook until one side is well seared, 3 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 minutes more, for rare to medium rare. At this point, remove the steak from the grill and let rest for 2 minutes to allow the carryover heat to give it a more even doneness. Finally, return the steak to the grill and cook for 1 minute more per side (this guarantees this thin cut of steak will be served hot); add another minute of cooking on the second side for medium doneness. Remove the skirt steak from the grill and let rest 1 to 2 minutes before slicing and serving.
3. Cut each steak with the grain into three sections. Turn each piece to slice against the grain at a 45-degree angle. Slice into 1/4-inch pieces on a slight bias against the grain. You should get about 5 slices per cut piece, about 15 slices total. Transfer the meat to a warmed plate. Garnish with the remaining 1 tbsp oil and smoked sea salt and serve with the chimichurri.