Chile–Lime Skirt Steak

Martha Hall Foose

Adapted from Screen Doors and Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook (Clarkson Potter, 2008)

"The cotton pickers come up from Texas, working a circuit of farms for the harvest season. Along with their farm implements they bring a cook's trailer, a cook, and a cut rarely found in our local markets until recently—the skirt steak and fajita meat. Skirt steak is a lot like flank steak but a little narrower and leaner. It is very flavorful and benefits from an acidic marinade to help tenderize and season it. This cut, as well as flank steak and hanger steak, is best cooked no further than medium rare."—Martha Hall Foose


1 to 1 1/2-pounds beef skirt steak or flank steak
Grated zest and juice of 3 limes
2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Place the meat in a resealable food-storage bag. Add the lime zest and juice, green onions, garlic, cilantro, olive oil, coriander, cumin, chile powder, and salt and pepper. Turn several times to coat the meat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours, turning every so often to coat the meat.

Set a grill 6 to 8 inches above the coals or heat source and heat to medium. When ready to grill, there should be a light ash coating on the glowing coals or gas grill.

Remove the steak from the marinade and discard the marinade. Place the steak meat presentation side down on the hot grill rack. Grill the steak briefly, 2 to 3 minutes per side, for medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. For maximum tenderness, slice the steak very thinly at a slight angle against the grain.


4 servings