Grilled Skirt Steak with Onion-Cilantro Relish

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 1h 35m

Serves 4

Spicy marinades are well suited to hearty cuts of meat like skirt steak. Take care not to marinate the steak too long, though, or the meat will be tough and stringy. The marinade is excellent with pork, lamb or chicken, too. Serve with fresh tortillas and refried beans.


  • For the Marinade:
  • 4 dried Anaheim chili peppers
  • 4 dried arbol chili peppers
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh jalapeño chili pepper, stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound trimmed skirt steak
  • For the Relish:
  • 1 small white onion, minced
  • 1 fresh serrano chili pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Companion recipe: Flour Tortillas



Remove the stems from all the dried chilies, then shake out and discard the seeds. Place the chilies in a small saucepan with water just to cover. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat and let stand for 20 minutes to soften. Drain.

In a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the cumin seeds until lightly browned and fragrant, 2-3 minutes. In a blender, combine the softened chilies, cumin seeds, garlic, jalapeño chili and red wine vinegar. Puree until thick and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the olive oil and salt and blend again until well mixed.

Place the skirt steak in a shallow nonaluminum dish and pour the marinade over it. Let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.

Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a broiler.


In a small bowl, stir together the onion, serrano chili, cilantro, salt, lime juice and olive oil. Set aside until you are ready to serve.

When the fire is hot or the broiler is ready, place the steak on the grill rack about 3 inches from the coals, or place in a broiler pan at the same distance from the heat source. Grill or broil, turning once, until seared on the outside but still pink in the center, 1-2 minutes per side.


Slice the steak across the grain and on the diagonal. Arrange the slices on a platter and serve with the relish on the side.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2084

nutrition information per serving

491 calories; 39g total fat; 57mg cholesterol; 1547mg sodium; 6g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 24g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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