Umami Recipes
Umami Recipes

Tender Pan-Seared Skirt Steak



20 minutes

active time

35 minutes

total time


1 1/2 pounds flank steak (the beef skirt sold in Sainsburys is actually flank)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Dry mustard

About 3 tablespoons softened butter (more if needed), divided


Tenderize the steak with shallow cuts: Remove the steak from the refrigerator up to 30min before and pat dry. Cut away any tough connective tissue on the surface of the steak. Using the tip of a sharp knife, poke small cuts into the meat, almost all the way through. The cuts should be at an angle, in the direction of the grain of the meat as the knife tip is going in. The cuts should be about an inch apart from each other. Turn the steak over and repeat the cuts on the other side. Make sure that the cuts you are making on this side are parallel with the cuts you made on the other side, otherwise you may cut across an existing cut, and end up poking a hole through the meat. (See recipe link for photos.)

Rub with the salt, pepper,, and butter: Sprinkle one side of the steak with salt and freshly ground pepper. Rub 1 tablespoon of butter all over the side of the steak. Turn the steak over and repeat with pepper, and another tablespoon of butter.

Sear in a hot frying pan: Heat a large cast iron frying pan on high heat. Place steak in hot pan. Let sear for 2 to 3 minutes until well browned. Use tongs to lift up to see if nicely browned. If so, flip to the other side and let sear for 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat: Remove the pan from the heat and let the steak continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes in the residual heat of the pan (assuming you are using cast iron, if not, lower the heat to low).

Check for doneness: Use your fingertips to check for doneness or insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak - 120°F for very rare, 125°F for rare, or 130°F for medium rare. Flank steak should be served rare or medium rare, otherwise, it may be too dry. If the steak isn't done enough to your liking, return the steak and pan to medium high heat for a few minutes.

Let the steak rest: Remove the steak from the pan to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes, covered with aluminum foil.

Slice thinly: Cut the meat in very thin slices, at an angle, across the grain of the meat. This way you break through the tough long muscle fibers. (See recipe link for photos.)

Make the sauce: Any juices that come out of the meat while cutting or resting, return to the pan. Return the pan to a burner on high heat and deglaze the pan with a little water, scraping up any browned bits. Once the water has mostly boiled down, add a little butter (about a tablespoon) to the pan for a nice sauce. Arrange the cut meat on a serving plate and pour the deglazed pan juices over the meat.


20/10/2033 - Result: followed recipe as stated and it turned out perfect. Method: Pat extremely dry. The “cuts” method did produce a less chewy steak. 1.5 minutes seared each side not 2-3 minutes. Leaving them in the hot pan worked great and it took them about 4-5min to come up to temperature in the pan, producing a medium rare steak. I feel they could rest less for a truly great steak. The pan sauce was easy and lovely (and not to salty). Next time: Don’t be so conservative with the salt and pull earlier for thinner steaks.

07/10/2023 - Result: Combining the above with Kenji Alt-Lopez’s reverse sear method, i did not like the results. Terribly salty, oven thermometer extremely fiddly, very overcooked after searing amd dealing with smoke alarm, did not correctly slice or jaccard against grain. Next: Would refer to this recipe’s photos in future (link at end of page). Commenters sliced mushroom in the butter pan sauce which sounds delightful!

03/10/2023 - Result: My first attempt was alarmingly rare and required a further 3-4 min sear to get to medium rare, so I would follow recipe as shown next time.


Serving Size

Serves 4 to 6


273 kcal

Total Fat

15 g

Saturated Fat

8 g

Unsaturated Fat

0 g

Trans Fat



105 mg


303 mg

Total Carbohydrate

0 g

Dietary Fiber

0 g

Total Sugars

0 g


32 g



20 minutes

active time

35 minutes

total time
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