Skirt Steaks are one of the go-to meats to all the meat lovers out there. This cut of beef is just about perfect for any type of dish and style of cooking. Whether it’s grilled, seared, or roasted, it’s just decadently sumptuous!
But what if your butcher runs out of your favorite skirt steak? There’s nothing to panic because you can substitute it with other beef cuts such as strip loin steak. Other cuts you can also use are flank steaks, ribeye steaks, and a flap steak.
What’s a Skirt Steak Cut?
But before anything else, let’s get to know more about the Skirt Steak Cut. It’s a type of cut beef that has longer and flatter meat. Due to the way, it’s cut, the meat of the skirt steak is more tender and flavorful. It’s cut from the beef’s rear quarter area that has better meat and minimal fat content.
This is mostly used when making beef fajitas, quick and easy dinner steaks, pulled beef sandwiches and so much more. It’s very flexible to pair up with different side dishes depending on how it’s cooked. Skirt steak is always a perfect idea for special dinner meals.
Skirt Steak Substitutes
Let’s show you how to substitute these cuts over the regular skirt steak.
1. Strip Loin Steak
Strip loin steak or also known as strip steak is another type of beef cut that is taken out from the lower part of the cow’s loins. This particular meat is the animal’s muscle that does little to no work, which makes it even more tender and juicy when cooked.
You can ask a butcher instead to give you this cut whenever the skirt steak is unavailable. Surely, there’s not much difference. The only thing is the way it’s cut. Strip loins are a bit thicker when cut. You may request the butcher to slice it thinner just like strip steaks or you can do it yourself at home.
How To Substitute
Once you achieve the desired cut for your strip loin steaks, you may already use it to substitute for your dishes. Make sure the meat is fresh from the butcher so the taste is more juicy and sweet. Marinade it according to the dish you’re making, especially when the meat is partly cold.
Steaks are perfectly achieved when the meat is at the right temperature. You can top the steaks onto salads, noodles, and pasta. I like being experimental with my steaks other than pairing it with mashed potatoes or whatnot. Strip loins are easy to pair up with other dishes.
2. Flank Steak
On to our next skirt steak substitute is Flank Steak. This type of beef cut shares quite an interesting name around the world. In France, the French call it bavette while in Columbia it’s called sobrebarriga. Both countries equally admire this cut of beef because of its really lean cut.
The cut is leaner compared to skirt steak because it’s taken from the cow’s abdominal area and its lower chest part. This cut contains much less fat and has more lean meat. Cooking flank steaks needs a whole lot of good skills to avoid it from overcooking that could result in dry and gummy meat.
How To Substitute
When using flank steak to substitute skirt steak, it’s best to consider what kind of dish you’re going to use with it. I highly recommend preparing flank steaks when slow-cooked for a goulash soup or grill it in a nice hot charcoal fire.
The best tip I can give to keep it tender is to pound the meat. Pounding the meat will help it soften and thin it out so as not to create a chewy texture when cooked. I don’t recommend it much for making it a simple steak dish since it’s too lean and has zero to little fat.
But, flank steaks are still flexible to use when it comes to other dishes. Just be cautious with the way you cook and handle the steaks to avoid it from drying up.
3. Ribeye Steak
This cut is one of the most loved beef cuts in the world. I even personally choose this cut for a really good steak at home. This type of cut is specifically taken out from the muscle that covers the entire rib section. It’s also a longissimus type of muscle just like strip loin steak and has less movement from the animal. Hence, it’s tender texture.
These cuts are popular in most butcher and meat shops. It’s impossible for it to run out because of its high demand in the market. It’s taste, texture and aroma made it so popular for every hungry palate.
How To Substitute
You can substitute ribeye steak over strip skirt steak in almost all dishes. Other than steak dishes, I use ribeye steak when making spicy fajitas. I usually thin it out and cut it into strips then marinate it with my fajita seasoning. It’s absolutely good and juicy to taste.
It’s also perfect for barbecues, beef sandwiches, salad toppings, and just by itself. With a little salt and pepper, it already brings out the best of the meat. Just make sure that when you cook it medium rare, it should be fresh and newly cut from the market or grocery store.
4. Flap Steak
And last but not least is the flap steak or sometimes called flap meat and sirloin tips in New England. This specific cut of meat is taken out from the animal’s bottom sirloin butt. It’s also a thin cut of steak just like the skirt steak. It’s the perfect balance of lean and fatty meat.
No wonder it’s usually ground by most butcher shops to sell as beef patties. It’s the perfect cut for that juicy burger bite. This cut of meat is actually gaining more popularity as a choice for steaks and other beef-based dishes.
How To Substitute
Flap steaks are best cooked at high heat, especially when grilled or pan-fried. That’s why it’s also great as a typical butter pan-fried steak dish because it absorbs the marinade quite effectively. I highly recommend marinating the meat overnight to give the meat a huge kick of flavor.
Other dishes you can use it for are stir-fried dishes with vegetable or noodles, you can also mix it with salads, saute it with potatoes and carrots, and even make it as a hearty soup. It’s such a diverse cut that can be used with any dishes. Substituting it with skirt steak won’t even make much of a difference.
My Personal Choice
Out of the four substitutes we’ve mentioned, I would always go for my first love, Ribeye Steak. Although it’s on a little bit of the pricey side, ribeyes are definitely the best cut of beef. It’s a mixture of top lean meat and fat content when mixed with that one bite, it’s an explosion in your mouth.
It shares the same qualities as skirt steak. That’s why it’s easier to substitute both from one another in almost all kinds of beef dishes. To save up from the cost, you can always haggle to your butcher especially if you’re already a regular customer.
The most important thing to know when substituting ingredients is to know what it is that you’re trying to replace. Always study the quality of the meat cut and what it does to the dish. How different it is when it comes to flavor, texture, and aroma? List it all down and compare it to other available meats.
When you see that one of the cuts almost matches the qualities you’ve listed, then you’ve just made your pick. Rest assured, you will never go wrong with your choices and the food will still turn out awesome.