I LOVE churrasco. It’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy steak. I also love palomilla steaks but that’s a story for another day.
My uncle used to make this grilled marinated skirt steak for our family often.
You would often find him, on hot summer nights, on the grill, making churrasco for us until they were just right (not too charred but not too rare either).
We’d then enjoy them, sliced, as an appetizer, snack, or as a meal with chimichurri sauce and a side of white rice, sweet plantains, or tostones.
It’s one of my favorite childhood memories.
What is Churrasco?
The word churrasco is actually a Latin American term used to describe grilled skirt steak under an open flame.
Churrasco is typically made with a long flat cut of skirt steak that is marinated until tender and grilled to juicy perfection.
This recipe takes about 40 minutes to make, from start to finish, and comes together quite easily.
Let me show you how to make it!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Skirt steak. There are different variations of this recipe depending on where you’re from however the common denominator is that skirt steak is the best cut of meat for churrasco.
- Mojo marinade. Skirt steak is pretty flexible in terms of marinades. While you can even omit marinades altogether, there is nothing more delicious than a citrus-garlicky marinade like Cuban mojo criollo. That’s what we’re working with today!
- Salt + pepper. When it comes to churrasco, I like to keep it simple with just salt and pepper since it already has an intense beef flavor. It doesn’t need much else!
Common Questions about Churrasco
Churrasco is made from skirt steak which is a thin, long cut of beef that has tough fibers. This is why it’s recommended to marinate skirt steak for up to 2 hours.
Although they are similar cuts, they are not the same.
Skirt steak comes from the diaphragm muscles of the cow while flank steak comes from the bottom abdominal area of the cow.
Flank steak is also a bit thicker than skirt steak which is why I prefer braising with it, like when I make my ropa vieja recipe. Yum!
The best way to tenderize skirt steak is by marinating it in acid, like lime juice or vinegar, which is why I love using Cuban mojo for this recipe. Mojo marinade has all types of citrus in it!
How To Make Churrasco Steak
- Marinate the steaks. Place the steaks in a large baking dish. Pour the mojo marinade on top then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and marinate the steaks for 20 minutes or up to 2 hours. The longer, the better!
- Time to grill! Grill the steaks on the stove in a cast-iron skillet or on a grill, at medium-high heat, for 5-6 minutes or until desired doneness.
- Let the steaks rest. Transfer steaks to a plate to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. This allows all those delicious juices to stay intact before slicing.
- While you let the steaks rest, you can make my easy chimichurri sauce! I also have a basil chimichurri sauce if you want to shake things up.
You can’t go wrong with serving churrasco with chimichurri sauce, an oil-based sauce made with fresh herbs, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and spices.
You can also serve churrasco with mashed potatoes, twice-fried plantains (tostones), white rice, or even a fresh avocado cucumber salad.
Churrasco Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
- 2 lbs skirt steak cut in 4 steaks
- 1 cup mojo marinade
- Salt + pepper to taste
- Chimichurri Sauce
- Place the steaks in a large baking dish. Pour the mojo marinade on top then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and marinate the steaks for 20 minutes or up to 2 hours in the fridge. The longer, the better!
- Grill or cook the steaks on the stove in a cast-iron skillet, on medium-high heat, for 5-6 minutes or until desired doneness. Transfer steaks to a plate to rest for 5 minutes. Serve with chimichurri sauce. Enjoy!
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