Recipe: Barbecued Skirt Steak with Tomato, Gherkin & Red Onion Salsa

Skirt steak — cut from the flank of the animal — is underrated. It can be chewy, but it also has a great flavour. 

Words & recipes: Lucy Corry  Styling & photos: Carolyn Robertson

Skirt steak — cut from the flank of the animal — is underrated. It can be chewy, but it also has a great flavour. To barbecue it successfully, treat it with care and make sure it has time to rest after cooking. Skirt steak is best served medium-rare.


800-1kg piece skirt steak
2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper


Rub the meat all over with oil and black pepper. Let it come to room temperature before cooking.

Heat a barbecue hotplate (or grill pan) to very hot. Place the steak on the hotplate and cook without poking, prodding or turning for 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook the other side for the same time. Remove to a platter and tent with foil. Let it rest for 10 minutes (this allows the juices to disperse throughout the meat after cooking). Carve thinly across the grain and serve.

Tomato, Gherkin & Red Onion Salsa

Eat this the day it’s made.


1 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste with a pinch of salt
½ teaspoon caster sugar
½ teaspoon flaky sea salt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon fennel seeds, roughly crushed
½ cup finely diced gherkins
½ small red chilli, finely chopped (discard the seeds
unless you like things very fiery)
250g ripe tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

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Put the onion, garlic, sugar, salt and vinegar in a bowl. Stir well and set aside for 10 minutes. Add the fennel seeds, gherkins, chilli, tomatoes and olive oil. Fold together gently and taste for seasoning. Leave for 20 minutes before serving if you can to allow the flavours to meld. Serves 6

Vegetarian or vegan? Try this:

Serve the salsa with barbecued eggplant steaks instead. To cook the eggplant, slice 2 medium eggplants lengthwise into 1.5 cm “steaks”. Brush generously on both sides with olive oil (you’ll need about ¼ cup). Heat a barbecue or grill pan until hot. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side until they’re brown and soft. Serve with the salsa. Serves 6

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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