Monday, July 15, 2013

Grilled Coffee & Cola Skirt Steak – Two Great Drinks = One Fantastic Marinade

I’ve made hundreds of different marinades over the years, but for some reason, cola had not appeared in any of them. One reason is that I never drink soda, so it’s simply not around, but above and beyond that, it always sounded more like a gimmick to me, invented by some marketing guru at Coke. Boy, was I wrong.

This coffee and cola marinated skirt steak was the most delicious thing I’ve grilled all year. The cola provides a unique sweetness, which is balanced beautifully by the bitterness from the coffee and dark grill marks. The marinade (probably technically a brine) made the already uber-juicy skirt steak even more so, as well as absolutely fork tender.  There wasn’t anything I didn’t love about this recipe.

Speaking of fork tender, this is dependent on two key things – that you slice the meat against the grain, and you don’t cook it too rare. As you’ll see in the video, it will be very obvious which direction you need to slice, so that shouldn’t be an issue. As far as doneness goes, I really think that somewhere around medium produces the ultimate skirt steak texture.

I have no problem with rare meat, but rare skirt steak can be chewy, and you also want enough heat to melt the marvelously marbled meat’s fat. In fact, I’d take a medium-well piece over a rare piece any day, and I can’t think of another cut of beef where I’d say the same thing.

So, if you’re looking for something a little different at your next backyard barbecue, I really hope you give this grilled coffee and cola marinated skirt steak a try. It was amazing. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions:
1 whole beef skirt steak, about 1 1/4 pounds (no need to trim, except for any obvious large chunks of fat)
salt and cayenne to taste
For the marinade:
2-3 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp ketchup
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried rosemary (or 1 tbsp freshly minced)
1/4 tsp hot sauce, or to taste
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup strong, freshly brewed coffee
1 (12-oz) bottle cola

View the complete recipe

42 comments:

Me, Myself and I said...

Magnificent!!!! Need to try!!!! Never thought of that combination!!!

cookinmom said...

This will be next on my list with flap steak that I always get at Costco. I'm sure it would be great with it. Right chef??? Question...does chocolate serve the same thing as coffee?

Chase Saunders said...

Too bad they quit making this stuff - http://www.food.com/recipe/coca-cola-blak-copycat-recipe-288875

Chef John said...

Should be great with flap! Not sure coffee and chocolate would work the same, but I've used cocoa in bbq sauces and liked it, so go for it!

Michael Jarvis said...

Apparently letting the meat rest does nothing to keep the juices within the meat. I can't remember where I learned this, but it was from one of those food science guys.

According to this gentleman the best way to keep your meat juicy is by boiling it in one of those bag things.

Now, whether or not this is the reason you let yours rest is another matter. :)

But I digress. This recipe looked great regardless! And I don't even like coffee, like, at all! lol.

Cheers!

Chef John said...

Sorry, but that's not true! If you poke a steak on the grill, juices pour out. If you poke a steak 5 minutes off the grill they don't. I rest my case.

Thomas S said...

Chef, I love all these steak videos. But my wife likes her steak hot and it seems that slicing it after letting it rest makes it cold and the microwave makes it chewy.

:(

Jeremy Hale said...

^ Just don't slice it before you serve it. Give it to her whole and let her cut it herself. Problem solved.

Sarahfax said...

This sounds awesome and I can't wait to try it. How much of a cardinal sin would it be to use instant coffee? My other half and I are tea drinkers, and the only coffee we have in the house are those instant packets made by that ever present company with the green and white logo named after the dude (or chick!) from Battlestar Galactica. Will instant be acceptable or would it be better to procure a fresh cup from our local barista?

Chef John said...

yes, instant will work!

Dasha Kopulsky said...

Creative! Would a non coffee drinker such as myself like something like this or is there a dominating coffee taste?

Jeremy Hale said...

^ I found the dominating taste to be cola, and it was very off-putting for me. I'm generally a fan of strange recipes and I'm one of the least picky eaters you'll meet, but I felt like I ruined a good piece of meat on this one. Just that sweet, cola taste dominating the meat was not at all appetizing. My roommate liked it, so I guess there's that.

Chef John said...

Yes, there's no accounting for personal taste, which is why there's no such thing as a recipe everyone loves. Btw, high-five your roommate for me. ;)

Jeremy Hale said...

Yep, I agree, no regrets as your recipes have turned out 99% of the time for me, so no harm in trying the unknown. Thanks again, chef

Sarahfax said...

^Jeremy, what kind of cola did you use? I used Coke, and I just finished reducing the sauce and I can't really taste the cola in it. I have had better results with Coke with meat than Pepsi (I use Coke with my pulled pork, I have used Pepsi once before and the end result was unsettlingly cola flavored!)

GaDawgFan said...

Chef John, what kind of grill are you using?

edward said...

Dude, Chef, how in more than 30 years on this earth could I have not thought of putting the thin side of the meat on top of another piece of meat on the grill so it doesn't overcook? You are an inspiration. - And I'm writing you this because like me, you wrote or said once that at least five times a day you see something and ask yourself, "Why didn't I think of that?"

Stuart Wesolik said...

I made this recipe for dinner tonight. And although the flavor was great, it was a little tough. I marinated it for 8 hours. The peach slaw saved me but I'm wondering if next time I should use a more tender cut of meat. Any suggestions?

Chef John said...

Skirt is very tender if cut thin against the grain. You saw me cut mine with a fork. Not sure, maybe you got a bad piece of meat or cut across the wrong way?

Tia Ake said...

Oh. My. Gawd. You are so very awesome! I have used your recipes for a long time, but this is one of my absolute favs...that marinade, yummy! Skirt steak is my favorite cut but I always had problems with the chewiness because I do like me some rare almost mooing red meat. Thank you Chef John the Awesome for sharing all your recipes and mad skills! Keep them coming!

Thanks!
Tia

RaeganMcAdams said...

My husband and I live in an apartment and do not have an outdoor (or indoor) grill.
Could we "grill" this under the broiler?

Jules said...

Ditto GaDawgFan...what type of grill is that, Chef John?

Chef John said...

a "Weber Q"

Unknown said...

Chef John, I live in Japan and don't have a yard, much less a grill. Would it be better to pan sear this steak or stove broil it, being that those are my only two options? Thanks!:)

Chef John said...

I'd broil, but both work! Enjoy!

Unknown said...

Awesome! Thank you!!! :)

Emily Murphy said...

So we marinated this steak in preparation for today, but it turns out we had a last minute change in plans. Is it bad for the steak to marinate for longer than 12 hours?

Stacey said...

Chef John, do you think Dr. Pepper would be ok?

Chef John said...

No way to know unless you try!

Hugo Taljaard said...

Chef John, Is there other names or ways to describe flank and skirt steak, cus here in South Africa the butchers give you that stupid look if I ask for skirt or flank steak.

Chef John said...

No idea what it's called there, but why not just show them the photo? Any butcher will know the cuts by sight.

Chef John said...

No idea what it's called there, but why not just show them the photo? Any butcher will know the cuts by sight.

Scarlet Jones said...

You never disappoint me Chef John! I was a little skeptical about this marinade because lets face it, its weird and it smelled funny ...lol. However, I cannot rave enough how freakin fantastic it really was! The sauce, ohhhh the sauce - it smelled funny while I was reducing it but once it was done and made love to the steak, it was money! Yum, yum, yum!!! Thank you! No really, thank you because with your videos and recipes that I have been trying, I look like a rockstar to my husband.

By the way - I did not have any rosemary on hand so I threw in a litte dried thyme instead.

Chef John said...

Great to hear!! Thanks! :)

Scarlet Jones said...

Question: I did have some left over sauce that would have been a crime to throw a way so I froze it....bad idea? Can it stay refrigerated? If so, for how long?

Chef John said...

Freezing should be fine! No idea how long that sauce would last in fridge, as I've never tried to save. :)

Tom Tison said...

Hi Chef John,

Like many others, I am intrigued by the brand of grill you use as your meat always seems to have the most beautiful color and sear marks.

You mentioned that you use a Weber Q, but when I looked it up, I could not find a model that was a charcoal grill. Every Weber Q model I found was either electric or gas.

So are you still just using charcoal even with a gas grill, or is there an actual Q model out there that is charcoal? Love your site, thanks for the help!

Chef John said...

I've been told they don't make the charcoal version any more!

Tom Tison said...

Ah okay, well that would explain it! What a bummer but glad to hear at least I wasn't losing my mind looking for something that wasn't there! :) Maybe I'll try looking on Craigslist or something for a used charcoal version. Thanks again!

thewanderer said...

I tried this recipe with Dr. Pepper, added another clove of garlic, and upped the hot sauce. It was FANTASTIC. Thanks so much for the recommendation.

Lakota Jones said...

Hey Chef! I bought a skirt steak at the butcher shop a couple weeks ago and had to freeze it. Will this negatively affect the meat?

Chef John said...

it shouldn't!