Monday, July 15, 2013

Grilled Coffee & Cola Skirt Steak – Two Great Drinks = One Fantastic Marinade

I’ve made hundreds of different marinades over the years, but for some reason, cola had not appeared in any of them. One reason is that I never drink soda, so it’s simply not around, but above and beyond that, it always sounded more like a gimmick to me, invented by some marketing guru at Coke. Boy, was I wrong.

This coffee and cola marinated skirt steak was the most delicious thing I’ve grilled all year. The cola provides a unique sweetness, which is balanced beautifully by the bitterness from the coffee and dark grill marks. The marinade (probably technically a brine) made the already uber-juicy skirt steak even more so, as well as absolutely fork tender.  There wasn’t anything I didn’t love about this recipe.

Speaking of fork tender, this is dependent on two key things – that you slice the meat against the grain, and you don’t cook it too rare. As you’ll see in the video, it will be very obvious which direction you need to slice, so that shouldn’t be an issue. As far as doneness goes, I really think that somewhere around medium produces the ultimate skirt steak texture.

I have no problem with rare meat, but rare skirt steak can be chewy, and you also want enough heat to melt the marvelously marbled meat’s fat. In fact, I’d take a medium-well piece over a rare piece any day, and I can’t think of another cut of beef where I’d say the same thing.

So, if you’re looking for something a little different at your next backyard barbecue, I really hope you give this grilled coffee and cola marinated skirt steak a try. It was amazing. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 portions:
1 whole beef skirt steak, about 1 1/4 pounds (no need to trim, except for any obvious large chunks of fat)
salt and cayenne to taste
For the marinade:
2-3 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp ketchup
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried rosemary (or 1 tbsp freshly minced)
1/4 tsp hot sauce, or to taste
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup strong, freshly brewed coffee
1 (12-oz) bottle cola

View the complete recipe