Mommy bloggers are all over the idea of quick and easy dinner ideas. And I love ’em for it. I don’t have to battle soccer practice, but I can totally relate to the feeling of walking into my apartment without any idea of what I’m going to have for dinner and knowing that I am going to have to make it happen anyway. Sometimes, these nights come as a pleasant surprise. The end of the day at work rolls around and I realize … I’m done! I can leave! It’s really liberating. (And basically the opposite of realizing it’s 9:00 and I have to order dinner to the office NOW because all the restaurants are closing and, ohmygod allofthasudden I’m totally STARVING and what do I have to snack on? Just sour patch kids? Eh, yeah, that’ll do until my meatballs get here…)
So on those nights, when I’m walking out of the office with nothing delicious in the fridge, and the wonderful prospect of making myself dinner at home, I stop and pick up a skirt steak. It’s quick, it’s delicious, it’s healthy (maybe? I am never really sure about that sort of thing). Tonight, I had skirt steak atop my favorite all (hail) kale caesar! (salad). It was dreamy.
The key to great, simple skirt steak is a good cut of meat. We go to one of those schmancy, hipster-twee grocery stores that didn’t exist when the East Village was still the East Village (also known as, before lawyer-schmoes like me moved in) where the butcher always has grass-fed, organic, responsibly-sourced, local, blah, blah, blah.* For two people, I usually get 3/4 pound of the good stuff. Depending on how hungry The Boyfriend is, we’ll have a little left-over that I can fashion into lunch the next day.
- ¾ lb. skirt steak
- Vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper
- This, like, couldn't be easier. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and turn on a vent over your stove -- you'll thank me later for that tip. Heat a cast iron skillet on high with a tablespoon of vegetable oil, which has a higher smoke-point than olive oil. Season a room-temperature ¾ lb. piece of skirt steak on both sides with a big pinch of salt and fresh-ground black pepper. (If you are buying the meat on the way to cook dinner, just skip putting it in the fridge. Something about keeping the temperature constant throughout the meat. Don't worry too much about it -- but remember that we don't want to start with a cold piece of meat.)
- Once the oil is hot, put the meat in the pan. And do nothing! If the meat is moving, it's not browning. We want to get a nice, brown crust, so you have to leave this piece of meat alone for 2 minutes. Then flip it and cook on the other side for 2 more minutes -- no touching, no shaking, no turning. Then stick the whole pan in the 350-degree oven for 3-5 minutes. When time is up, take the steak out of the skillet and cover with a piece of aluminum foil roughly the size of a sheet of paper. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so. You have to let the meat rest so the juices don't all just run out and leave you with a dry piece of beef. Take this time to treat yourself to a glass of wine. You deserve it.
- Once the meat has had a chance to rest, slice it against the grain and serve. It will still be warm. And so tender.