Skewered Southwest Steak 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Dec 19, 2017

Flat-iron beef steak, cut from the shoulder muscle of the animal, provides a nice alternative to flank steak in this quick-marinade recipe (see the NOTE, below). Strips of the meat threaded onto skewers stay tender even with fast, high-heat cooking.

You’ll need 8 to 10 mid-length metal skewers or you’ll need to soak that same number of wooden skewers in water for 10 minutes; it’s easy to do while the meat marinates. We tested this under the broiler but feel free to cook the skewers on a gas grill, if you’d like.

Serve with a mix of smashed/roasted small potatoes and roasted red peppers, or with baked sweet potato fries.

To read the accompanying story, see: How to cook steak in 4 minutes — and keep it tender.

Where to Buy: Look for rectangular cuts of flat-iron steak (already trimmed of sinew) that weigh about 12 ounces each.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1 lime
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 stems cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (regular or jalapeno-flavored)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 pounds flat-iron steaks (may substitute flank steak; see headnote and NOTE)


Position an oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler element; preheat the broiler.

Peel the cloves and put them in a mini (or regular-size) food processor; pulse until finely chopped, then cut the lime into 8 wedges and squeeze half of them into the food processor bowl. Add a two-fingered pinch of the salt, leaves from 6 of the cilantro stems, the hot sauce, oil, soy sauce and cumin. Puree to form a smooth marinade.

Starting at one of the short ends of the rectangular pieces of steak, cut crosswise (against the long grain) into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Lay them in a baking dish or place them in a gallon-size zip-top bag. Pour the marinade over the meat and toss to coat. Let sit for 10 minutes, then thread the strips, weaving them in a wavy in-and-out style to fill each skewer. (Think: Loch Ness Monster humps.) Place on a broiler pan or grill pan; broil (top rack) for about 4 minutes for medium-rare, or longer for the degree of doneness you like.

Divide the skewers among individual plates; season lightly with salt. Garnish with sprigs from the remaining cilantro stems and serve with the remaining lime wedges.

NOTE: If you use flank steak instead, trim any excess fat and cut it on the diagonal, against the grain, into long strips.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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