There's a restaurant near us that I absolutely love. It's classy and swank and the food has always been excellent. You should see their brunch buffet!!!! One of my favorite dishes there is a grilled Cubano skirt steak. It's actually an Asian-Latin fusion dish because they put a spicy Thai Tamarind sauce on top.
I decided to try and recreate this recipe once and was very pleased with the results. (verrrrryyy pleased!)
First, you want to make sure you use the right cut of meat. Skirt steak. It's also referred to as hangar steak. It comes from the belly of a cow and is a very thin cut. It has a ton of flavor all on it's own, but it's not particularly tender on it's own so I like to marinade it. I wouldn't replace with flank steak. Flank steak is thicker and you won't get the same results. Trust me.
Here's a diagram of where the skirt steak comes off a cow!
This is a marinade recipe I came up with on my own. I really wanted to get a lot of flavor into the beef.
In a bowl, mix together:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed
a handful of cilantro
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 tsp crushed red chili flakes
a couple dashes of chili oil (found in the Asian aisle of your grocer)
Mix everything together with a fork. Put your skirt steaks into a large ziploc and dump the marinade in. Seal up the bag, pushing out as much of the air as you can. This will help the marinade envelope the meat and keep it sitting in the marinade at all times.
You want to marinate your meat for at *least* 8 hours. Overnight is best.
About an hour before you grill, take the steak out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter. Beef always cooks better when it's closer to room temperature. Gives you even cooking.
Because this steak is so thin, it won't take very long to grill up. Also, personally I would never cook these past medium rare otherwise you will wind up with shoe leather.
Since we had this with grilled corn on the cob, put the corn on first, as this takes a lot longer to cook than the steak. Here are good directions on how to grill corn.
Drain the marinade and pop the steaks onto a very hot grill. Let sit for about 2-3 minutes to get grill marks then flip over. Repeat so that you've grilled the steak twice on each side. Press the fattest part of the skirt steak and if it's still squishy, you might want to turn the grill down and lower the lid so it can cook through some more. Don't be tempted to cut into this to check the doneness. Just remember the general rule -- if it's squishy, the meat's still a little raw. If the meat is soft but not hard, it's perfectly medium rare. If there's no bounce back at all and firm, you've done gone and killed it. :P
Remove the steak from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Your corn will probably be done at this time, too. I love mixing together some soft butter and a little bit of smoked cumin, salt, and pepper. Take a knife and rub that all over your corn. It gives you a wonderful smoky, spicy flavor on your corn that complements this dish very well.
Slice and serve the steak and eat! This is going to be the best steak you ever ate. Guaranteed!