Steak and Sauce: An Iconic Duo Sure to Impress

We are all familiar with iconic pairings such as peanut butter and jelly, gin and tonic, movies and popcorn, football and beer, to suggest just a sampling. But few duos impress like steak and sauce, am I right? Well this Seared Skirt Steak with Garlicky Tequila-Lime Salsa Verde recipe will surely win you over if you harbor any doubt at all.


No grill required. Here, a sautéed steak is drizzled with an elegant pan sauce made from basic pantry ingredients that comes together in about a half hour or less. The dressy preparation demands remarkably little effort on your part.

The warm butter sauce riffs on both a familiar marinade and the ubiquitous Central American green salsa. It is a lot of butter, I agree, so if that bothers you, just be judicious on the amount you allow yourself—because it is sooo worth it; and your steak is a sponge for the intense flavors of the sauce.

Skirt steak—cherished in cuisines around the globe—is a long, thin cut from the beef plate between the brisket and flank. It is best prepared with high heat and quick cooking to preserve the chewy texture and ensure it stays as tender as possible. To maximize tenderness, slice the steak against its clearly defined grain.

If you liked this recipe, Fine Cooking has several more to pair with skirt steak. Chances are, I will be posting some of these in the near future:


Seared Skirt Steak with Garlicky Tequila-Lime Salsa Verde

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1-1/2 lb. skirt steak, trimmed of excess fatty patches, cut into 4 even pieces, at room temperature
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium jalapeño, cored, seeded, and finely diced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white tequila
  • 4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, soaked, thoroughly dried, and coarsely chopped (about 2 lightly packed cups); more chopped for garnish


  1. Pat the steak dry, and season with 1-1/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
  2. Put a large, heavy-based stainless-steel skillet over medium-high heat for 1-1/2 minutes (it’s ready when a droplet of water instantly evaporates upon hitting the surface). Add 2 Tbs. of the oil. Once it’s shimmering hot, about 30 seconds, carefully add the steaks, evenly spaced. (We needed to do this in 2 batches because all 4 steaks would not fit in the pan at once.)
  3. Cook the steaks, undisturbed, until brown around the edges and a corner easily pulls up when lifted with tongs, about 3 minutes.
  4. Flip and cook the other side until medium rare, 2 to 3 minutes more; if checked with an instant-read thermometer, a thicker piece will register 130°F to 140°F and the steak will be bright pink when sliced.
  5. Transfer to a cutting board, and tent with foil. Rest for at least 10 minutes while you make the sauce.
  6. Return the skillet to the stovetop, and lower the heat to medium. Add the bell pepper, jalapeño, and remaining 1 Tbs. of the oil, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring, until the peppers soften, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  8. Raise the heat to high, and carefully add the tequila. Using a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, cook until the tequila almost completely evaporates, about 2 minutes.
  9. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter, accumulated meat juices, then the lime juice, and then the cilantro, and whisk until the butter melts. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper.


  10. Spoon the sauce over the steak, garnish with more chopped cilantro, and serve immediately.

By Tony Rosenfeld from Fine Cooking

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