Tag Archives: skirt

Bloody Mary Skirt Steak

This is a pretty simple one, and a close riff on one of my earlier skirt steak recipes. Buy yourself a bunch of skirts, some habanero peppers and some tomato juice (or Bloody Mary mix), and you should be pretty much set with the rest of the shit in your pantry.

Shit you’ll need:

  • Tomato Juice or Bloody Mary mix
  • Garlic Powder
  • Sea Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Fresh Habanero Peppers (optional)
  • Horseradish (optional)

Grab a large, long piece tupperware and pour some tomato juice into the bottom to create a little layer of marinade. Season with crushed red pepper, cracked black pepper, salt, and garlic powder. Drop a few slices of your habanero pepper in too. Then place two of your steaks in, and repeat in layers until you run out of steaks. I like to use a whole pepper per layer, because I like spicy shit. Top off your tupperware with a little more juice and spices so every square milimeter of meat is covered with the marinade. Then throw that shit in the fridge for several hours, or overnight.


When you’re ready to eat, get your grill screaming hot. I’m talking 500 degrees or more. Drip-dry or paper-towel-dry the meat before you slap it on the grill. You want to get as much of the liquid off as you can, so that you end up with GRILLED meat instead of STEAMED meat. If you need that sauce for some reason, you can boil up the remainder of the marinade in a sauce pot to use as gravy topping, or you can baste lightly as the meat grills. If you have a little more time, you can reduce the marinade into a really awesome, thick BBQ sauce. It comes out delicious when you do it right.


You’ll only need about three minutes per side, max, to get a nice medium rare temperature. So three minutes, flip, three minutes, then pull them off and let them rest.



Now here’s the key part of the process – the slicing… First, cut your skirts WITH the grain into four or five inch chunks. Then, spin each piece 90 degrees and slice AGAINST the grain for plating and serving. This cross-grain cutting is absolutely key to eating this kind of steak. It makes for an easier-to-chew bite of meat; way more tender.





The finished product: a plate of delicious meat. Pour some of your boiled marinade over the slices if you want, and throw a little horseradish on top. Enjoy with a refreshing Bloody Mary to double down on the flavors.




A fun part of this – take your leftover meat and broil in the oven on some garlic bread smothered with mozzarella cheese to make an incredible sandwich. Good shit.

Top Chef Premiere Event

My wife was able to score some VIP tickets to the Top Chef Masters Season 5 Premiere Tasting Event.

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With heavy hitters like David Burke and Bryan Voltaggio on the roster for this season’s competition, we were both really psyched to try their food. We were a bit disappointed to learn that Voltaggio would not be in attendance (he just had a baby), but we still had the pleasure of eating some of the best bites of food in the biz.

The way it worked: we were tasting the dishes that were presented in the elimination challenge at the end of the first episode.

I’ll start with what was by far our favorite dish of the evening, which has ended up being the feature of this article. It was masterfully created by Jennifer Jasinski, Executive Chef and Owner of Denver’s Rioja, Bistro Vendome and Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen, and her sous chef Jorel Pierce. Check out the pics below and let your mouth water like a hungry, rabid dog.

Jennifer and Jorel: best of the night!
Jennifer and Jorel:
best of the night!

They prepared an orange and ginger caramelized skirt steak with roasted mushroom-fregola salad and preserved lemon yogurt.

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The citrus really popped when you bit into the meat, giving it a bright contrast to the usual warm and earthy flavors you associate with good skirt steak. The caramelization gave the meat a nice crunchy and savory element, almost like a course sea salt, which contributed great textural dynamics.

I was curious, though, as to how the meat was butchered, because each piece of steak was sliced to a perfect little round circle, which is not normal when you think of skirt steak (usually sliced in strips on the bias). When I had the opportunity to speak to Jennifer and her sous chef Jorel about how the dish was prepared, they explained that several skirt steaks were “meat-glued” into a terrine form and shaped to look like sausages, then the terrines were cooked to a perfect medium rare before slicing into rounds (I think with a sous vide bath). I was blown away. I had seen this terrine technique used before, but never with skirt steak, and never had I seen it executed so perfectly and elegantly.

terrines of skirt steak
terrines of skirt steak
note they are set up to still be sliced on the bias
Jorel plating the slices of skirt steak terrines. Look at those juicy pink medallions!
Jorel plating the slices of skirt steak.
Look at those juicy pink medallions!

After watching the first episode, I realized that she sincerely took the judges criticisms to heart, because their critique was that her original dish was too clunky with large unshapely pieces of steak taking away from the dining experience. So by forming the steaks into terrines and slicing the newly-formed meat into perfect bite-sized rounds (and still cut on the bias), she and Jorel erased that problem completely. I guess that’s what happens when an expert chef has the luxury of using a kitchen and a sous chef. In the first episode she had to cook outdoors with a very basic set of tools, all by her lonesome, so making a terrine or using a sous vide machine was out of the realm of realistic possibilities.

Bravo Jennifer and Jorel, for impressing this carnivore connoisseur with a really amazing dish!

Another highlight of the evening: a Vietnamese style pork dish whipped up by chef Sang Yoon. This was the only other dish that I kept eating more and more of. It was sweet and pungent with the familiar, fresh, herby and spicy flavors commonly associated with Vietnamese cuisine (chili, cilantro, fish sauce, etc). Plus it was nice and juicy as well.

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 And, finally, here’s a little photo dump for all you bastards out there who want to see more:

fish and thinly sliced rare beef
fish and thinly sliced rare beef
Chef Sang Yoon and sme judges
Chef Sang Yoon and some judges
Gale Simmons
Gale Simmons
James Oseland
James Oseland
Curtis Stone
Curtis Stone
The Cake Dealer and David Burke
The Cake Dealer (my lovely wife) and Chef David Burke
spices on a bed of bay leaves
spices on a bed of bay leaves
Sous chef Nick Lama
Sous chef Nick Lama
slicing the pork
slicing the pork
sous chef Vinson Petrillo plating the fish
sous chef Vinson Petrillo plating the fish
a curry-like clam dish
a curry-like clam dish
Saluggi's Pizza - grabbed a slice of my favorite pizza in NYC to cap off the evening
Saluggi’s Pizza
I grabbed a slice of my favorite pizza in NYC to cap off the evening


Hike Up Your Skirt A Little More

With Memorial Day celebrations upon us, I figured I would share a sure fire way to impress guests at a BBQ. I chose skirt steak because it is likely going to be one of the cheapest cuts you can find in the grocery store and still prepare it deliciously with very little effort. So hike up your skirts a little more, and show your BBQ friends the stankin’ ass pair of balls you have dangling underneath.


• skirt steak
• olive oil
• lime juice
• lime – optional
• garlic cloves
• garlic powder
• kosher salt
• fresh cracked pepper
• fresh habanero pepper (or jalapeno, or dry crushed red pepper) – optional
• fresh oregano – optional
• tupperware
• a grill
• a pair of tongs
• a plate
• a knife
• a pair of balls the size of eggs


In the grocery store, look for a cut with the least connective tissue still clinging to it. This would be thick, white flappy stuff. You’ll have to trim some of that off when you get home, so if you can avoid it ahead of time, then that’s helpful.

It’s always best to cook it right away; the fresher the better. It may be a few days since it was butchered, maybe longer. I like to go to the grocery store and come home to immediately start cooking. No fridge needed.


Place the steak in a tupperware container with an inch or two of olive oil in it. The steak can fold over; it doesn’t need to be a huge tupperware container. Next chop up your garlic and peppers, because you are going to soak the steak in there with some crushed garlic cloves and chopped habanero peppers. This olive oil soak isn’t as critical with a fatty steak like skirt, but this technique also works really great on more dense meats, or cuts without much marbling or fat content. Also if you are too vaginal for habanero, or if your shitty grocery store doesn’t have them, you can use jalapeno, crushed red pepper flakes, or nothing at all. But if you don’t like spicy foods, then go fuck yourself because that means you’re an asshole anyway.

Leave it in the tupperware at room temperature if you plan to cook it the same day, which I highly recommend. Know that the longer you leave the peppers in, the spicier it will get, and the longer you let it soak in the oil and garlic, the more tender and flavorful it will get, as that shit soaks into the meat.

Whatever you do, DO NOT PUT THE LIME JUICE IN THE SOAKING LIQUID. Lime juice has acids and enzymes in the citrus that will break down meat and essentially cook it. In fact that’s how ceviche is made with raw seafood.


Wait. Even an hour will make a difference with this soak. And yes; you want the meat to be room temperature before it hits the grill. Occasionally you should turn the meat to ensure that all sides and surfaces are coated and get soaked in the goodness.

In the meantime you can start prepping your sides. I like grilled asparagus with steak, as I tend to shy away from starches when I am eating a steak dinner. Avoiding starch will leave more room in your gut for meat.

If you have a charcoal fired grill, you can start that up while you wait too. I use a gas grill because it’s fast. I’m impatient, so I like my grill ready when I am.

Let the grill get psychotically hot. Close the lid and crank it all the way. Some of the best steakhouses cook their meat at around 700 degrees for the initial outer cooking. They often use lower heat for thick cuts during a second cooking phase, to get the middle perfectly cooked without overcooking the outside. We won’t need to do that with skirt steak, since it is thin. So the hotter, the better.


Now that your meat has been soaking for a while, take it out and pat it dry with paper towels. Get all the oil off. You want the meat to hit the grill bone dry. It may seem like a waste of olive oil, but I promise you it will be worth it once you take that first bite.


Season the mother fucker generously with kosher salt, cracked black pepper, garlic powder, and whatever else your heart desires. But don’t overdo it otherwise you will drown out all the great flavor you just imparted into the meat during the soaking process.

This isn’t baking, so you don’t need exact measurements here or anything with the seasoning. My wife is a baker and the great thing about grilling as opposed to baking is that grilling is more free form, more relaxed. With baking my wife needs precision, and she needs her measurements to be as close as possible to her recipes. If she goes off a few grams everything can get screwed up. With grilling you pretty much have to be an invalid to fuck it up.


So your grill is hot as shit now, and you are ready to start cooking. Grab your tongs, a serving plate, the lime juice, and your meat. You’re ready to rock!

Lay the meat horizontally across the grill bars. When the meat hits the grill it should scream and sizzle. Nice and hot. That means you are going to get some great char lines.

So you’re wondering what the fuck the lime juice is for, right? Well here is where it comes into play. I like to use a spray bottle for the lime juice, because you don’t want to add too much liquid to the meat during the cooking process, otherwise you will steam cook your meat and it will turn gray and soft on the edges instead of that nice crispy charred outside that you expect when grilling. So just give the meat a good mist every so often to get that flavor on there. Another option is you can use fresh limes. Slice them up and lay them on the upper surface of the meat as it cooks. Then, when you flip the meat, put the slices back on top of the meat again, or surround the meat by placing the slices directly on the grill beside the meat. Trust me you’ll taste the lime. Last, you can also zest the rind onto the meat when you season it.

I also like to throw some fresh oregano from my garden on the grill during this time too. Throw it everywhere; on the grill, on the meat, on your prick, etc. It gives it a nice herb-kick!


Watch your watch. Two to three minutes a side on a steak this thin, and on a grill this hot, should be plenty. What I like to do is probably overboard; I like to do one minute with the top open, one minute shut. Then I flip the steak and do another one minute open, one minute shut. If it still needs more, I flip the steak again to get crossed grill marks (turn vertically) and do one minute open. Then flip the steak again and do the final minute with the grill top shut.

Think of it this way: closing the lid causes the center of the meat to cook more. However with a thin steak like this you may not even need to do the lid closing; it’s just a technique I thought I’d share with you assholes anyway. Also keep in mind that the more you flip and move the meat, the less defined grill marks you will have on the finished product (apprearance IS important).


Remove the meat from the grill with the tongs and let it rest for a few minutes. The meat is still cooking even though it’s off the heat, and the juices are still going to come out if your seasoning and crust doesn’t lock in all the juices. Whatever you do, DO NOT CUT IT WHILE IT’S HOT! If you cut it now it will bleed out and become a runny mess. When you let it rest, you give the steak the opportunity to reabsorb all the delicious, savory meat juices that would otherwise fall out if you cut it while it was still sizzling. That’s why I hate when steakhouses do this with the porterhouses for two or three people. They ruin it. As a result they have to add tons of butter to keep it succulent. Then you’re increasing your fat intake, you’ll get the meat sweats afterwards, etc. It’s not a good scene. With a hot cut you’d have to eat it fast, when it’s too hot. Then you burn your mouth. Then you can’t taste it because you blew out your taste buds. Then for the next three days you’re eating flaps of dead skin that slough off the roof of your mouth throughout the day. That sucks.

So let it rest. If you have any juices in your resting plate afterwards, you can reduce them down in a pan to create a sauce.


Slice into square shaped portion sizes by running your knife WITH the grain of the meat. However, while eating or when slicing prior to service, you want to use a really sharp knife and cut AGAINST the grain. This technique is referred to as cutting “on the bias.” This increases tenderness, makes for a nicer appearance, and the meat holds together better when the striations are cut in this way.

Garnish with a wedge of lime, and use that to dress the meat a bit with a quick squeeze before eating.


Eat. Then, later, you can shit it all out.