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Vaca Frita Skirt Steak Recipe

Braised with an exotic blend of spices and then fried to a perfect crisp, this delicious shaved skirt steak is perfect for that special weekend dinner with friends or family.


For the braising liquid

  • 3 tablespoons pickling spice
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 2 bunchs cilantro
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup oregano, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1/2 cup curly parsley, minced
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 2 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 quarts hot water

For the steaks

  • Six 8-ounce skirt steaks, trimmed
  • 2 red onions, julienned
  • 2 red bell peppers, julienned
  • Juice of 10 limes
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


For the braising liquid

Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Set aside.

For the steaks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the steaks in a single layer in large nonreactive roasting pan. Mix well, then pour the braising liquid over the meat. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Carefully place in the oven and bake for 2 hours.

Uncover the pan and allow the meat to cool in the cooking liquid for 1 hour in the refrigerator. When ready to proceed, pull meat into ½-inch strands with 2 forks.

Combine the onion and bell pepper in a bowl. Pour the lime juice on top and season with salt, to taste. Mix well and set aside.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over high heat until blazing hot. Add the vegetable oil and ½ of the meat. The objective is to make the meat crispy, so let it sit and sizzle until a crust forms, 5-7 minutes per side, taking care to avoid splatters. Repeat with remaining meat.

Toss the meat with the onion-pepper mixture, and serve immediately.