Beef Skirt Recipes

Scotch Beef is renowned for its exceptional quality, thanks to Scotland's long tradition of small-scale farming practices that emphasise the well-being of animals and the health of the land. The cattle enjoy a life grazing on Scotland's lush verdant pastures, resulting in beef that is naturally tender and rich in flavour. The Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) that Scotch Beef proudly holds is a testament to its distinctive character and traceability, assuring consumers of its authenticity and excellence with every purchase.

Among the various cuts of meat, the beef skirt steak is a bit of an unsung hero and is often overshadowed by better-known choices. Beef skirt is a budget-friendly option that requires minimal cooking skills and it pairs beautifully with a variety of flavours and marinades.

From grilling and frying to slow cooking, beef skirt steak can be transformed into an array of culinary delights. Whether you are firing up the BBQ or adding flair to a family feast, these beef skirt steak recipes are all about big taste and easy prep.

So grab your apron and let's get cooking!

Which Part of the Animal is Beef Skirt Steak?

Beef skirt steak is sourced from the diaphragm muscle of the cow, which is a part of the beef plate. The beef plate is located on the underside of the animal, beneath the ribs and next to the flank steak. The skirt steak consists of two muscles: the outside and the skirt, which is from the diaphragm muscle itself, and the inside skirt, which is located just below it. These cuts are known for their grainy texture and rich flavour and are commonly used in dishes that call for sliced or chopped beef, such as fajitas and stir-fries. The skirt steak's characteristic marbling and intense beefy flavour make it a firm favourite worldwide.

You can purchase outside skirt steak or inside skirt steak. Flank, which is next to the skirt, has a less intense beefy flavor and is tougher.

The Characteristics of Beef Skirt Steak

The strong muscle fibres and marbling make beef skirt steak uniquely tasty, but it also requires careful preparation and cooking to achieve the perfect balance of flavour and tenderness.

  • Flavourful: The skirt steak's robust beef flavour is its hallmark, making it highly sought after worldwide by chefs and foodies alike.
  • Marbled: Good marbling translates to juiciness and flavour, and skirt steak has this in spades.
  • Grainy Texture: The pronounced grain of the skirt steak is due to the long muscle fibres, which also dictate the method of slicing the meat against the grain to ensure tenderness.

Is Beef Skirt the Same as Flank Skirt?

The beef skirt and flank skirt are often confused due to their proximity and their similar names, but they are actually different cuts of meat, each with their own characteristics and uses.

➡️ Beef Skirt Steak:

  • It comes from the diaphragm muscle of the cow, specifically from the plate section which is just below the rib.
  • It is a tough cut of meat with thick grain.
  • You can buy outside or inside skirt steak.
  • It is known for its beefy flavour and marbling.
  • It is a long, flat cut that is best cooked quickly over high heat to avoid becoming tough and chewy.
  • It is also ideal for marinating and is often used in dishes such as fajitas.

➡️ Flank Skirt (Flank Steak) or Bavette:

  • Flank steak is cut from the abdominal muscles or lower chest of the cow.
  • It stands out as the thickest and coarsest piece of the skirt.
  • It is leaner than skirt steak with a more pronounced grain.
  • Flank steak benefits from marinating and should also be cooked quickly on high heat.
  • It is often used for classic grilled flank steak recipes.

Both cuts should be sliced against the grain to maximise tenderness. While they can sometimes be used interchangeably in recipes, it is important to remember that because the flank is leaner, it might not be quite as flavourful as the more marbled skirt steak, and can become tougher if overcooked.

What is Skirt Steak Best For?

The beef skirt is an incredibly versatile cut of meat that lends itself to a variety of cooking methods.

  • Low and Slow: Cook skirt steak long and slow, braising in casseroles or stews where its full-bodied beef flavour shines. The skirt steak's robust structure and marbling allow it to absorb the flavours of the braising liquid and tenderise over the cooking period, resulting in juicy steak that is succulent and fork-tender.
  • Quick Frying: Alternatively, a beef skirt can also be quickly fried or grilled and simply seasoned with salt and pepper. When prepared in this way, it is best served rare to medium-rare. If skirt steak is cooked beyond this point, there is a tendency for it to become tough, as the heat can cause the muscle fibres to contract and the juices to run out, leaving the meat less tender.
Scotch Beef proudly holds the coveted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) badge, which is a testament to its distinctive character and traceability, assuring consumers of its authenticity and excellence.

Whether you are slow-cooking this versatile cut of meat until it falls apart or quickly searing it to savour its deep flavours, beef skirt steak provides a canvas for a range of culinary creations.

How to Cook Beef Skirt Steak?

Cooking skirt steak is a relatively straightforward process and requires minimal input, however, to maximise its natural tenderness and flavour, here are some essential tips to get your skirt steak recipe right every time:

  • Marinating: Because skirt steak has a tendency to be tough, marinating for at least 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours if time allows) can tenderise the meat and infuse it with flavour. Marinate skirt steak in a mixture of acidic marinades (such as vinegar, citrus juice or even yoghurt), oils, and seasonings.
  • Cooking Method: High-heat, quick-cooking methods like grilling or pan-searing are ideal for skirt steak. These methods sear the exterior, creating a delicious crust while keeping the inside moist and tender.
  • Slicing: Always slice skirt steak against the grain. The long muscle fibres, if not cut correctly, can result in chewiness. Slicing against the grain shortens the fibres and makes for a more tender eating experience.
  • Resting: Let the steak rest after cooking. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, maintaining its moisture and succulence. This is an important step when it comes to making skirt steak tender and delicious.

The Versatility of Beef Skirt Steak

Beef skirt steak is an extremely adaptable piece of meat that fits perfectly into a myriad of recipes and satisfying diverse palates.

✅ Flexibility in Flavours:

  • Cultural Chameleon: Beef skirt steak's ability to absorb a wide range of flavours makes it a favourite across various cuisines, from the piquant spices of Mexican dishes to the subtle umami of Asian sauces.
  • Marinade Marvel: Whether it's steeped in a tangy citrus marinade or a savoury soy mixture, this cut of meat takes on and amplifies these flavours, creating a canvas for creativity.

✅ Cooking Techniques:

  • High Heat Hero: Cook skirt steak on high heat for a delightful char on the outside and a tender, juicy inside. This cut's thin profile makes it perfect for quick, high-heat cooking methods such as BBQ-ing or grilling.
  • Slow Cook Savvy: Beef skirt's robust structure also lends itself beautifully to slow cooking methods, such as braising, which breaks down the tough fibres and imparts deep, complex flavours.

✅ Dish Diversity:

  • Casual to Gourmet: This cut is as comfortable being the star of a family barbecue as it is being featured in a refined dish at a gastro pub.
  • Appetizers to Entrées: From appetizer portions like steak bites or carpaccio to hearty entrées paired with grains or vegetables, skirt steak's range is impressive.
  • Versatile Leftovers: Cooked steak leftovers can be added into sandwiches, wraps, or even stirred into pasta, stir-fries or rice dishes.
  • Fusion Friendly: Adventurous chefs use skirt steak in fusion dishes, combining elements from different culinary traditions to create something innovative and exciting.

✅ Nutritional Profile:

  • Lean Protein: Skirt steak offers a rich source of lean protein, making it a perfect addition to a balanced diet when consumed in moderation.

✅ Budget-Friendly Option:

  • Cost-Effective: Skirt steak is often more affordable than other premium cuts, providing a cost-effective option for high-quality beef.
From fajitas to classic French bavette recipes, you can cook skirt steak in a variety of ways.

Classic Beef Skirt Recipes

Classic beef skirt recipes often emphasise this versatile cut's affinity for marinades and its ability to stay tender and flavourful, even after high-heat cooking. Here are a few classic favourites:

  • Fajitas: Perhaps the most well-known skirt steak dish, fajitas feature marinated and grilled skirt steak sliced and served in tortillas with sautéed peppers and onions.
  • Stir-Fry: Beef skirt steak’s fast cooking time makes it ideal for stir-fry dishes, quickly seared with vegetables and a savoury sauce.
  • Steak Salads: Skirt steak is a perfect addition to salads, offering a hearty protein component that contrasts well with fresh greens and vibrant dressings.
  • Beef Tacos: Marinated, grilled, and chopped, skirt steak makes for an authentic and delicious taco filling.
  • Bistro Steak with Mustard Sauce: A French-inspired dish where the steak is pan-seared and served with a creamy mustard sauce.
  • Cornish Pasties: A British classic where skirt steak is combined with potatoes, swede and onions inside a pastry shell.
  • French Bavette with Shallot Sauce - Skirt steak (bavette in French) pan-seared and served with a rich shallot and red wine sauce.
  • Beef Bulgogi: A Korean dish in which the steak is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and pear juice before grilling.
  • Philly Cheesesteak: Although traditionally made with ribeye, skirt steak can be used for a quick-cook version of this iconic sandwich.
  • Beef Stroganoff: A Russian classic where the steak is sautéed and simmered in a sour cream sauce, usually served with noodles or rice.
  • Italian Beef Rolls (Braciole): Skirt steak is pounded thin, filled with herbs and cheese, rolled, and simmered in tomato sauce.
  • Moroccan Tagine: Slow-cooked with spices, apricots, and almonds, skirt steak becomes tender and rich in this North African stew.
Rest the skirt steak on a cutting board before slicing against the grain. This allows the juices to redistribute yielding deliciously tender meat every time.

The versatility of beef skirt steak is vast. Its ability to adapt to different cooking styles and flavour profiles makes it a cherished ingredient for both chefs and home cooks, capable of delivering both comfort and innovation in each dish it graces.

More Skirt Steak Recipes from Around the World

Beef skirt steak is a versatile cut of meat that is celebrated in a multitude of global cuisines. Here is a list of beef skirt dishes from around the world, each showcasing this affordable cut's adaptability to different flavours and cooking techniques:

  • Argentinian Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce - A South American favourite, featuring a vibrant herb and garlic sauce.
  • Mexican Carne Asada - Marinated in citrus and spices, grilled, and often served with tortillas and salsa.
  • Italian Tagliata di Manzo - Grilled skirt steak sliced thinly, served over rocket leaves and topped with shaved Parmesan and balsamic glaze.
  • Thai Beef Salad (Yam Neua) - Grilled or pan-seared skirt steak, thinly sliced and tossed in a spicy lime dressing with herbs and salad greens.
  • Japanese Gyudon - Skirt steak simmered with onions in a mildly sweet sauce, served over rice.
  • Vietnamese Bò Lúc Lắc (Shaking Beef) - Cubed skirt steak quickly seared with garlic, soy, and fish sauce, served with a lime-salt-pepper dipping sauce.
  • Brazilian Churrasco - Skirt steak grilled churrasco-style, often served with farofa (toasted cassava flour) and vinaigrette.
  • Cuban Ropa Vieja - Skirt steak slow-cooked with tomatoes, bell peppers, and spices until it can be shredded, traditionally served with black beans and rice.
  • Greek Marinated Skirt Steak - Marinated in olive oil, lemon, garlic, and herbs, then grilled and served with tzatziki.
  • Indian Beef Fry - Beef skirt steak marinated with spices, then fried with curry leaves and served as a dry dish.
  • Spanish Faldillas a la Plancha - Grilled skirt steak typically served with potatoes and aioli.
Have you got a favourite skirt steak recipe? Serve thin slices with a chimichurri sauce and a dash of lime juice or simply season your cooked steak with black pepper and salt or a touch of smoked paprika.

These dishes highlight the skirt steak's ability to take on bold flavours and serve as a centrepiece in diverse and rich culinary traditions.

Where Can I Buy Scotch Beef Near Me?

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With the help of our user-friendly map, you can now locate premium Scotch Beef in minutes right on your doorstep. Simply enter your postcode, and the map will highlight your nearest Scotch meat supplier. Buying quality meat couldn't be simpler!

Supporting Scottish Farmers

Buying Scotch Beef is more than getting your hands on the best quality meat this country can offer. It is also about becoming part of the time-honoured traditions of Scottish farming. With every purchase you make, you are also supporting a community of local farmers whose love for raising their livestock is woven into their generational tapestry. These farmers are the guardians of traditional farming methods, champions of sustainability, and committed to excellence that distinguishes the Scottish red meat industry.

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