Delicious and Juicy Cuban Skirt Steak Recipe

Cuba is known for its vibrant culture, music, and cuisine. Cuban food is a fusion of Spanish, African, and Caribbean cooking techniques and flavors, which makes it unique and delicious. One of the most popular dishes in Cuba is the Cuban Skirt Steak, also known as Bistec de Palomilla or Churrasco Steak. This dish is perfect for those who love the flavor of grilled steak with a citrusy kick.

At first glance, this recipe may seem ordinary, but it’s anything but that. It combines tender skirt steak seasoned with garlic and spices, marinated with sour orange juice, and grilled to perfection. The dish is served with a bright and flavorful chimichurri sauce made from fresh herbs, garlic, and olive oil.

This recipe offers a burst of flavors that will transport you to the streets of Havana in every bite. Whether you’re entertaining friends or family on a warm summer evening or preparing a weeknight dinner for your loved ones, this Cuban Skirt Steak is an impressive meal that everyone will love.

So let’s get started! In the following sections, I will guide you through the steps of preparing this authentic Cuban style steak recipe, along with helpful tips and variations to make this dish your own.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Cuban Skirt Steak
Cuban Skirt Steak

If you’re a meat lover, then you’re in for a treat because this Cuban Skirt Steak Recipe is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings. Not only is it delicious and bursting with flavor, but it’s also versatile and easy to make.

What sets this recipe apart is the combination of tangy and spicy flavors from the marinade made with sour orange, garlic, chipotle chiles in adobo, and other savory ingredients. Plus, the skirt steak cut lends itself perfectly to marinating, making every bite tender and juicy.

Additionally, this recipe isn’t just limited to grilling; you can also use a slow cooker to achieve those melt-in-your-mouth results. And if you’re looking for a gluten-free option, you can substitute soy sauce with tamari sauce.

The dish is fantastic on its own or served with vegetables, rice or even alongside a cuban sandwich. The toppings are almost limitless. In fact, try serving it with fresh avocado salsa and chimichurri sauce made from freshly minced herbs such as oregano and parsley.

So why should you love this Cuban Skirt Steak recipe? Not only will it satisfy your inner carnivore, but it’s also easy to make and versatile enough for any occasion. Whether it’s grilled or slow-cooked or served alone avoid other ingredients the choice is yours. Give this recipe a try today – your taste buds will thank you!

Ingredient List

 Sizzle, sear, and soak in the sun with this Cuban skirt steak recipe!
Sizzle, sear, and soak in the sun with this Cuban skirt steak recipe!

Get ready to cook with the freshest of ingredients!

To make this Cuban Skirt Steak Recipe, you will need the following:

  • Skirt steak or flank steak (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • For The Marinade:
  • Olive oil (1/3 cup)
  • Orange juice (1/3 cup fresh)
  • Lime juice (1/4 cup fresh)
  • Garlic cloves, minced (4 to 6)
  • Kosher salt (2 teaspoons)
  • Ground cumin (1 teaspoon)
  • Chipotle chiles in adobo (1 to 2 tablespoons)
  • For The Chimichurri Sauce:
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • Fresh cilantro, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • Garlic clove, minced (1)
  • Red onion, minced (1/4 cup)
  • Serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped (1)
  • Kosher salt (1 teaspoon)
  • Dried oregano leaves (1 teaspoon)
  • Smoked paprika (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Olive oil (1/4 cup)
  • Red wine vinegar or freshly-squeezed lemon juice (2 tablespoons)

You can find most of the ingredients for this gluten-free recipe at your local grocery store. Some of the items that might be tricky to find include chipotle chiles in adobo and Serrano pepper. If you cannot find chipotle chiles in adobo, feel free to substitute with smoked paprika, a popular spice used in Spanish cuisine that provides a smoky flavor. As for Serrano pepper, you can use any hot pepper of your liking.

Pro tip: Choosing good quality meat is the key to making a flavorful dish. Buy skirt steak that is nicely marbled with fat so it stays juicy and tender throughout the grilling process.

The Recipe How-To

Grilling the Cuban Skirt Steak
Step 1: Marinate the steak

The first step in making this delicious Cuban skirt steak recipe is to prepare the meat by marinating it. Combine 1/3 cup of olive oil with 1/3 cup of orange juice, 1/4 cup of lime juice, 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon of ground cumin in a large resealable bag. Add a skirt steak to the bag, making sure it is fully coated with the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours before cooking.

Step 2: Prepare the grill

Preheat your grill to high heat. For best results, use sour orange wood chips when grilling.

Step 3: Grill the steak

Remove the skirt steak from the marinade and discard any excess marinade. Sprinkle both sides generously with kosher salt and black pepper. Place the steak on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until it develops a nice char on the outside and reaches your desired level of doneness.

Step 4: Rest and slice the steak

Remove the grilled skirt steak from the heat and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. This will allow its juices to redistribute, making it more tender and flavorful. After resting, slice against-the-grain into thin pieces.

Making Chimichurri Sauce

No Cuban skirt steak is complete without a delicious chimichurri sauce! Here is how you can make it:

Step 1: Mix all ingredients

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh oregano leaves, 2 tablespoons of chopped scallions, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped bell pepper, 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.

Step 2: Let flavors meld

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes prior to serving. This will allow all flavors to meld together beautifully.

Now that you have your grilled Cuban skirt steak and chimichurri sauce ready, all you need now are some tortillas, cheese, lettuce, salsa, avocado… wait! The delicious possibilities are endless! Try pairing it with a refreshing mojito or an ice cold beer for an authentic Caribbean experience. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 Take a trip to Havana without leaving your backyard with this delicious grilled steak.
Take a trip to Havana without leaving your backyard with this delicious grilled steak.

Cuban skirt steak recipe can be tailored to meet specific tastes and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a healthier version or want to experiment with different flavors, here are some suggestions to modify this recipe.

If you prefer a milder taste, reduce the number of chipotle chiles in adobo, or leave them out altogether. You can also use red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper as an alternative.

For vegetarians, you can swap the skirt steak with portobello mushrooms, eggplants or tofu, sliced into thin strips. Marinate them using the same ingredients as the steak and grill for a smoky flavor.

Cheese and lettuce are not commonly used in Cuban dishes. However, you can add avocado salsa, grilled bell peppers or scallions to top your steak tacos.

You can also switch up the chimichurri sauce by adding minced garlic, grated ginger or chopped parsley. Some people prefer to make it spicy by adding jalapeno peppers. If you want a creamier texture, melt some cheese on top of your steak and spoon some sour cream over it.

If you are planning to serve this dish at a party, consider assembling a DIY taco station with tortillas and a variety of toppings such as diced onions and fresh cilantro. You can also pair your grilled skirt steak with rice and black beans to make it more filling.

Overall, this recipe offers plenty of room for experimentation and creativity. Don’t be afraid to try new combinations until you find the perfect match for your taste buds!

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect marinade + the perfect cut = the perfect Cuban skirt steak.
The perfect marinade + the perfect cut = the perfect Cuban skirt steak.

Once you’ve grilled up this delicious Cuban skirt steak recipe, it’s time to get creative with your plating and pairing. This dish is already packed with flavor, but there are a few things you can do to take it to the next level.

First off, consider serving it up with some sliced avocado and a mild salsa. The cool creaminess of the avocado will perfectly counterbalance the spice in the meat and salsa.

If you’re going for more of a full meal, try serving it up with some tortillas and a variety of toppings like cheese, lettuce, bell pepper, and scallion. This way your guests can make their own tacos or fajitas and customize them to their liking.

For an even simpler option, just serve it up on a bed of rice or alongside some vegetables like grilled asparagus or roasted bell peppers.

And if you’re looking for something to wash it all down with, I recommend a classic Cuban café con leche. The sweet milky coffee pairs perfectly with the savory meat.

Overall, there are endless possibilities when it comes to serving and pairing this Cuban-style steak recipe. Just think about what flavors will complement its spicy citrus marinade and let your creativity run wild!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Steak lovers rejoice! This one will have you feeling like a true grill master.
Steak lovers rejoice! This one will have you feeling like a true grill master.

One of the great things about this Cuban Skirt Steak recipe is that it can easily be made ahead of time, making meal prep a breeze. You could marinate the skirt steak in advance and keep it refrigerated for up to 24 hours before grilling. This will allow the spices and flavors to further penetrate the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender steak.

If you have any leftovers, make sure to store them properly to maintain their taste, texture and juiciness. I recommend wrapping the cooked skirt steak tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerating it for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to reheat the steak, preheat your oven to 325°F, then unwrap the steak and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

Another option is to store the cooked Cuban Skirt Steak in freezer-safe storage containers or bags and freeze it for up to 2 months. To thaw frozen leftovers, simply move them from the freezer to the fridge and let them defrost overnight. Reheat the steak using the aforementioned oven method.

When serving reheated skirt steak, consider adding some fresh toppings like sliced avocado, salsa, lettuce or cheese. You can also pair it with rice, tortilla or grilled vegetables like bell pepper and onion for a complete meal.

Remember that when it comes to reheating meat, quality is key. Use high-quality ingredients and cook your steak properly to achieve delicious results every time.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Don't settle for boring beef; give your taste buds a trip to the tropics.
Don’t settle for boring beef; give your taste buds a trip to the tropics.

When it comes to grilling the perfect Cuban skirt steak, there are a few tips that can make all the difference in achieving juicy and flavorful results. Here are some expert tips to help you perfect your grilled skirt steak recipe:

1. Marinate for maximum flavor: Marinating the skirt steak for at least 2 hours, or overnight, will infuse the meat with intense flavor and tenderize it before grilling.

2. Bring to room temperature: Take the marinated steak out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before grilling. This helps ensure that the meat cooks evenly.

3. Preheat your grill: Skirt steaks require high heat for quick cooking, so it’s important to preheat your grill for at least 10 minutes to get it hot enough.

4. Keep it dry: Pat the steak dry with paper towels before grilling. This will prevent any excess moisture from interfering with a good sear.

5. Use direct heat: Skirt steak is best cooked using direct heat, which means placing it directly over the flames or coals.

6. Don’t overcook: To maximize juiciness and tenderness, cook skirt steak quickly over high heat until medium rare or medium. Overcooking can result in a tough and dry finish.

7. Let it rest: After cooking, let the skirt steak rest for at least 5-10 minutes before slicing against the grain to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.

By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to achieving perfectly grilled Cuban skirt steaks every time – just don’t forget that delicious chimichurri sauce!


As a BBQ chef, I have had many questions about this Cuban Skirt Steak Recipe. Here are the most frequent ones that I encounter when I share this recipe with my clients.

How is skirt steak best cooked?

When preparing Skirt steak, it’s vital to maintain a high heat and a short cooking time to achieve optimal results. This thin cut of meat lends itself exceptionally well to grilling, skillet searing, oven broiling, and even smoking. Careful temperature monitoring is necessary to prevent overcooking and keep the Skirt steak tender and juicy.

How do you make skirt steak tender?

When preparing meat for grilling, it’s important to tenderize it by pounding it with a mallet to break down the fibers and make it easier to chew. Additionally, this flattens the meat, allowing for even cooking. While grilling, it’s important to cook the meat quickly over high heat to avoid overcooking it. Overcooked meat tends to become dry and tough. Once it’s removed from the grill, let it rest for a few minutes, tented with foil to allow the juices to redistribute. When ready to slice, ensure that you cut against the grain to make the meat tender and flavorful. Aim for thin slices, roughly around a quarter of an inch thick.

Does skirt steak need to be soaked before cooking?

To ensure the steak is at its peak, there are two critical stages that need to be followed: soaking and pounding. Soaking serves to remove some of the saltiness, while pounding results in a steak that is extra tender.

Is skirt steak the same as asada?

Skirt steak and flank steak are commonly used for making carne asada and can be used in place of each other.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Cuban Skirt Steak recipe is the perfect choice for anyone craving a delicious and flavorful steak dish. With its unique blend of flavors and textures, this dish provides an incredible taste explosion that is sure to please both meat lovers and foodies alike. The recipe is easy to follow and uses simple ingredients, making it perfect for any home cook. Whether you use flank steak or skirt steak, you are guaranteed to end up with a mouth-watering meal that will have your dinner guests begging for seconds.

So why not try this Cuban-style steak recipe tonight? Impress your family and friends with your culinary skills, and discover a new favorite meal that will leave everyone satisfied. Serve it with some tortilla chips, avocado salsa, and fresh lettuce from your garden for an even more impressive spread. I know you’ll love this recipe as much as I do – give it a try today!

Cuban Skirt Steak

Cuban Skirt Steak Recipe

Yum! Served with Recipe #121300, Recipe #70375, fresh avocado slices, sliced lettuce, grilled scallions, or grilled onions, roasted peppers wrapped in tortillas. If you can’t find the sour orange juice squeeze the juice of a lime into one cup and then top with OJ to equal 1 cup of the mixture.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cuban
Calories 600.8 kcal



  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, minced
  • 1 cup sour orange juice (Mixed OJ and lime juice can be subbed)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 1/4 lbs skirt steaks, each halved crosswise (2 steaks)

Optional additions

  • grilled scallion
  • grilled bell pepper
  • lettuce
  • cheese
  • tortilla
  • salsa
  • avocado, slices


  • Mix marinade ingredients together. Pour into a a large zip-lock bag. Place steak in the bad and seal bag, chilled, at least 6 hours.
  • Bring steak to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  • While steak comes to room temperature, prepare grill for cooking. If using a charcoal grill, open vents on bottom of grill, then light charcoal. Charcoal fire is hot when you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 1 to 2 seconds. If using a gas grill, preheat burners on high, covered, 10 minutes, then reduce heat to moderately high.
  • Grill steak on lightly oiled grill rack, uncovered, turning over once, 6-8 minutes total for medium-rare.
  • Cut steak diagonally across grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices.



Serving: 446gCalories: 600.8kcalCarbohydrates: 10.7gProtein: 69.5gFat: 29.6gSaturated Fat: 9.7gCholesterol: 150.4mgSodium: 636.1mgFiber: 1.4gSugar: 6.1g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Caribbean, Cuban, Meat, Savory, Steak, Summer
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Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.