Skirt Chasing

6 01 2011

I love skirt- steak. It is an incredibly flavorful and often inexpensive cut of meat from the plate (not to be confused with flank steak, which is different cut). The trade off for all that flavor is that it can be less than tender. That’s where the tropical papaya comes in. Papaya contains the enzyme, papain also known as papaya proteinase I, which is an extremely potent natural tenderizing enzyme. So in addition to the wonderful flavor, it makes this grill item melt in your mouth tender; perfect to put on a handmade corn tortilla and top with salsa, guacamole salad and fresh veggies. There is just one more accompaniment needed- seems like my skirt chasing always leads me back to Margarita, Margarita….

 Papaya Marinated Skirt Steak

  • About 2 pounds of skirt steak, trimmed if needed 
  • 1 large papaya, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stems trimmed off and tops roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 3 smashed garlic cloves
  • Roughly chopped hot chili pepper, if desired

Place all the ingredients together in a large zip-loc bag. Allow to marinate, refrigerated, for at least 4-6 hours, preferably overnight. Toss the steak on the grill for several minutes each side (exact time will depend on thickness), allow to rest for 5-10 minutes and serve.

Start here

Finish here




6 responses

6 01 2011

in all of my travels skirt steak is the better of these two diaphragm pieces of meat thus it is usually the more expensive cut – In NYC at a butcher skirt steak now sells for maybe $5-8 lb while flank steak is $3-5 lbs – none-the-less papaya should do the trick – I used papaya with a tough whole goat once and it worked wonders – it was a small little goat so the whole thing was put in a big clear garbage bag with two chopped up papayas overnight — the next day it was tossed on a huge grill whole and in a few short hours the meat was slipping off the bone tender…..mmmm I can taste it now.

6 01 2011

@DB: That goat sounds delicious; even at 5-8 it’s still cheaper than filet!
@TOB: Can you share that marinade?

6 01 2011

love that catchy title! I can see adding papaya to my shawarma marinade. Great dish, with a pitcher of margarita, life is good!!

8 01 2011

I love papaya, and had no idea of it’s power to tenderize. This is great news and I’m looking forward to trying t out. I wonder……can we puree and cook down the marinade for a sauce for the same meat? What do you think, Doc?

10 01 2011

@BB technically from a food safety perspective you should not cook down the marinade to use as a sauce – ideally you should save some of the marinade on the side before adding to the meat and reduce this down…

13 01 2011
E Stelling

Love the title. Papaya is not used so often in my house, but my clients it was. I have to do this soon. Man, prices of meat are high in NYC, not so much in my area, but I love it so much, the meat makes it into my basket no matter.

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