What is Skirt Steak Called in the Grocery Store? Alternative Names to Know

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Last Updated on July 23, 2021
Annabelle

Annabelle Watson

Annabelle is an experienced food writer and editor. She focuses on common sense, easy to replicate recipes formulated to help keep things fresh and exciting while fitting into her day to day life as a wife and mother.

red meat

Image courtesy to H. Alexander Talbot

Whether you’re cooking fajitas for your friends or preparing a steak salad for your family’s lunch, you’ll find that a cut of skirt steak does the job nicely, with its beefy flavor and high nutritional value. 

However, you may have difficulty finding a skirt steak in your local grocery store. There are several popular alternative names for this cut of beef, and different shops may list the skirt steak under a different label

Here, you’ll find a list of the alternate names for this type of meat and a rundown of the key reasons why you should give the skirt steak a try in your next meal.

1. What is a Skirt Steak and Why Should You Try It?

Before answering the question “what is skirt steak called in the grocery store?” let’s find out more about the cut. A skirt steak is a long piece of meat that comes from the diaphragm of the cow. This cut is relatively tough and coarse, with a robust, beefy flavor. There are several compelling reasons to cook a skirt steak cut in your next homemade meal.

Excellent cut for marinating

Skirt steak is a uniquely thin cut of beef with a particularly large surface area, so it’s ideal for marinating. That’s because there’s more exterior surface space available for your juicy and flavorful marinade. These steak cuts also tend to have holes and crannies, which means your sauce will seep through into the center of the meat as it cooks.

Great source of protein and vitamins

If you eat a standard serving (3 oz.) of skirt steak, you’ll consume between 18-22g of healthy protein. This type of cut is high in vitamin B6, which helps you conserve energy from lean protein and healthy carbohydrate sources and produces the hemoglobin that helps circulate oxygen around your body.

Bang for your buck

Skirt steak may now be one of the more expensive cuts on the market, but it’s also a long, fibrous piece of beef that will give you a lot for your money. The average skirt steak cut is between 20-25’ long, so you’ll have plenty of meat when you’re cooking fajitas or preparing a fresh steak salad.

Easy to store

This meat will last for 2-5 days in the fridge and up to a year in the freezer. You’ll find that this cut’s narrow width and malleable surface area make it easy to fit into your freezer drawer. The skirt steak freezes well, so you won’t have to worry about losing any flavor when you defrost this meat and marinate it for dinner.

2. Popular Alternative Names for Skirt Steak

You may have asked yourself, “what is skirt steak called in the grocery store?” You should be aware of the main alternative names for this piece of beef, so you can easily identify it in shops that sell this cut under different names.

Romanian tenderloin

This is the traditional Jewish name for the skirt steak, so look out for a Romanian tenderloin if you’re in a Jewish delicatessen or a Hasidic part of town. If you want to try cooking your Romanian tenderloin, make a marinade that includes 3 tablespoons of paprika, ¼ cup of olive oil, 4 chopped garlic cloves, and a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary. Cut your steak into several smaller pieces, then mix the meat in with your homemade sauce.

After marinating the beef for several hours, season and sear in a hot skillet. Serve with homemade stock and wine reduction with scallions.

Arrachera

The Mexican name for skirt steak is Arrachera, so look out for this alternative title if you’re shopping in a Hispanic neighborhood or ordering fresh tacos in a Mexican restaurant.

Arrachera is the ideal steak cut for making fajitas or Carne Asada tacos. For the tacos, just marinade the beef in a citrusy, fragrant sauce for a couple of hours, then grill the steak on a high heat. Once you’re satisfied with the color and internal temperature of the Arrachera, remove it from the heat and slice it up to add to your tacos.

Philadelphia steak

The Philly cheesesteak sub is one of the tastiest sandwiches around, and a skirt steak is an excellent choice of cut if you want to try making it on your own. A lot of restaurants use skirt steak to make this popular sandwich. 

If you want to prepare the meat for the iconic cheesesteak sandwich yourself, slice the cut into thin, fine pieces, then cook the beef on a hot griddle. Finish by seasoning it with Worcester sauce and black pepper.

3. Tasty Substitutes for Skirt Steak

If you can’t find a skirt steak cut in your local grocery store, you could try one of these delicious substitutes.

Flank steak

This cut is from the lower abdominal section of a cow, and like skirt steak, it’s fibrous and lean. However, the flank steak is thicker and wider than its skirt counterpart, and its flavor isn’t quite as intense or characterful. This cut is simple to broil, fry and grill, making it a versatile option.

Flat iron

The flat iron steak comes from the chuck section of the cow, just below its neck. This beef cut is a breeze to grill and cook with marbled fat that tenderizes the meat as it cooks. If you’re looking for a steak cut that’s high in protein and iron, opt for the delicious flat iron that tastes delicious when chopped into bite-size pieces and slow-cooked in a stew.

Hanger steak

If you want a steak that’s also from the plate of the cow, try the hanger cut. This piece of beef has a bold, beefy flavor and is particularly tender without being too pricey. It’s also relatively easy to cook. The top of the hanger steak lies near the cow’s main organs, so it tends to be a juicy, flavorful, and marbled cut.

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THE TAKEAWAY

The skirt steak is a versatile and nutritious cut of beef that is ideal for marinating, grilling, and using in fajitas, tacos, and steak salads. There are several alternative names for skirt steak, so if you can’t find what you’re looking for in a Mexican shop or a Jewish deli, you could ask about an Arrachera or Romanian tenderloin cut instead or if you have the tool to do it yourself at home.