Skirt Steak
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A Skirt Steak is a “Flat Steak” and in America is one of two cuts of meat taken from the interior of the abdominal cavity of The Plate Primal Cut. The other is the Hanger SteakTogether these two types of Steaks, taken from inside the abdominal cavity are called, with little imagination, "Inside Cuts."

In the U.K., Flank SteakNAMP 193, can also be referred to as Skirt Steak, but at Smart Kitchen we follow the U.S. custom and for clarity only use Skirt Steak to refer to the interior, flat steaks taken from the Plate Primal Cut. Skirt Steaks have much more Marbling than Flank Steaks and are therefore less dry when cooked. We discuss Flank Steak in its own section in our exercise on The Flank Primal Cut.

Availability

Skirt Steak is available all year long.

Production

The production of beef is carried about by three primary types of operations: Cow & Calf Operations, Weaner Calf & Yearling Operations, and Dry-Lot Feeding Operations (also known as “Backrounders”) which are the most expensive operations in the Beef Industry. To learn more about Beef Producers just follow the link to Smart Kitchen’s Page on Beef Producers. The Beef Producers are represented by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

American cattle production has remained almost stagnant between 1985 and 2009, growing just 6.4%, while the amount of beef imported has nearly tripled in that time, according to an analysis of USDA figures conducted by R-CALF USA, another the trade group that represents cattle producers.

Once raised, Beef is typically sold to Meat Packers who slaughter, inspect, and butcher the animals to provide Primal Cuts to butchers and portion cuts to consumers.

The Meat Packing Industry is in a period of consolidation. In 1999, the 10 largest beef-packing firms accounted for more than 90 percent of all Steer and Heifer slaughter in the U.S. In 2011, according to the Western Organization of Resources Councils three major companies controlled Beef market. Visit Smart Kitchen’s Meat Packers Resource Page to learn more.

Varieties

Within the abdomen there are two cuts that qualify as Skirt Steak. These two are the Inside Skirt SteakNAMP 121D , and the Outside Skirt SteakNAMP 121C (NAMP 121E if it is skinned).

The terms are often confused, misused and used interchangeably, which is wrong. They are not exactly the same cut. Follow the links if you are very interested in the differences and distinctions between the Inside Skirt Steak and the Outside Skirt Steak.

Purchasing

In the grocer’s meat case, Skirt Steak can also be known as Philadelphia Steak, because of its use in The City of Brotherly Love for Philly Cheese Steaks, as Kronfleisch in a German marktet, as Bistro SteakTenderized and rolled as London Broil or as Fajita meat because the Outside Skirt Steak is often used in the Tex-Mex classic.

Storage

Raw Skirt Steak should last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Add an extra day of cold storage time if the Skirt Steak is Marinated or oiled. Raw Skirt Steak will keep for 2-3 months in the freezer without any appreciable deterioration in quality.

Cooked Skirt Steak should be refrigerated for up to 1-3 days.

Culinary Uses

The Outside Skirt Steak is long and thin and resembles a belt, “faja” in Spanish, hence the name of the dish “Fajitas.” Outside Skirt Steak is also a good choice for Carne Asada.

Portion Size

Allow 6 to 9 ounces (170 g to 255 g) per person of Skirt Steak as a Serving Size.

Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

No

Low Calorie

No