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Skirt Steak

The skirt steak is commonly known as the fajita steak. It can be quickly grilled, pan-fried, or stuffed, rolled, and then braised. It is a very flavorful cut, yet a tougher cut. Skirt steak is best prepared by pounding the meat flat and then marinating. Skirt steak takes great to marinades. The issue with marinades and most cuts of beef is that the marinade is only able to tenderize the outer ¼ inch of the meat. Since a skirt steak is thin the marinade is able to tenderize the entire steak. Marinate skirt steak overnight (or at least six hours) and then pat dry. Cook uncovered on high heat for 2 minutes per side for medium rare.  Let rest to make the most of the juices. Cut against the grain into thin strips. This helps further tenderize the meat and makes it perfect for fajitas.  According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary skirt steak is a noun circa 1909: a boneless strip of beef cut from the plate. The plate is the belly portion of the cow. See image below. The skirt is the diaphragm muscle which lies between the abdomen and chest cavity. It is a strip usually between 3/4 and 1 lb. In the United States whole skirt has meat-cutting classification NAMP121 which includes specific cutting, trimming and boning specifications. NAMP 121C refers to the tougher outer skirt which is the diaphragm muscle and attached thick membrane which must be removed before cooking. Usually the butcher has already trimmed it. NAMP 121D refers to the more tender inner skirt attached to the animal between ribs 6 and 12.