Grilled steak skewers are one of my favorite ways to feed a crowd. They are charred and crispy on the outside, and tender and juicy on the inside. To keep everyone happy, I serve them with a dipping sauce trio of chimichurri, minty yogurt, and sundried tomato pesto.
It’s no secret that I love to entertain, but the full-on dinner party is both exhausting and taxing on my tiny kitchen. Thank goodness outdoor grilling season has arrived! Grilled meats and veggies are my favorite way to cook for a crowd, and hands down my favorite entree is grilled steak skewers. Steak skewers are easy to prep and cook up quickly. I like to serve them with a bunch of different dipping sauces to keep things interesting, and today I’m sharing three of my favorites – chimichurri, minty yogurt, and sundried tomato pesto. One spicy, one sweet, one savory. Perfection. All three keep well in the fridge for a few hours, which means more time socializing with friends and less time prepping in the kitchen while guests arrive.
Grilled Steak Skewers Recipe Notes
There is no better cut for steak skewers than skirt steak. First of all, it’s economical as far as cuts of steak go. I can source local, grass-fed skirt steak for around $16/pound. While that may sound pricier than, say, ground beef, the flavor is incomparable. Plus, a little goes a long way. For steak skewers, I use roughly two-ounce portions and plan on about a skewer and a half per person. That’s about $3 a person – not too shabby.
Skirt steak is delicious because it’s loaded with buttery ribbons of fat. Fat = flavor. I skip any kind of marinade and go with a simple dusting of good kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
Because skirt is a slender cut of meat, you want to cook it quickly over a smoking (literally) hot grill to prevent it from getting leathery. If skirt steak were cooked low and slow, the fat would leach out leaving you with very dull, tough cuts of meat. No bueno. Fast and hot is the ticket, and pretty convenient for party food if I do say so myself.
For steak skewers, I take the full skirt steak and divide it into three equal portions, and then cut each section across the grain (very important!) into 1″ ribbons. I thread the ribbons onto skewers and season with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Then I slap those bad boys onto a hot, hot grill and cook them 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare. The result will be a crispy charred exterior and tender, velvety interior.
Grilled Steak Skewers with Dipping Sauce Trio
- 1.5 - 2 lb skirt steak
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 c. fresh parsley
- 1/2 c. fresh cilantro
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh oregano
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 shallot
- 1 jalapeno optional
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup unfiltered extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice from a fresh lemon
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- kosher salt to taste
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 c. full fat greek yogurt
- 1 c. fresh mint leaves minced
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
Sundried Tomato Pesto
- 8 oz. sundried tomatoes in oil strained
- 1/3 c. chopped walnuts toasted
- 1 c. fresh basil
- 1/3 c. parmesan cheese
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 - 1/3 c. olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
Chimichurri Toss all ingredients into a food processor or blender. Pulse 8-10 times until herbs and alliums are finely diced and all ingredients are incorporated. Alternatively, finely mince the parsley, cilantro, oregano, garlic, shallot, and jalapeño. Place minced ingredients into a lidded jar and add the vinegar, oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Shake vigorously until combined. Keeps chilled for about a day.
Mint Yogurt Combine the yogurt, mint leaves, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk until combined and chill. Keeps chilled for up to two days.
Sundried Tomato Pesto Strain the oil from the sundried tomatoes. Heat a small sauté pan over high heat. Place the chopped walnuts in the pan and dry toast, stirring continuously, until the walnuts are lightly browned and fragrant, 8-10 minutes. Place the strained sundried tomatoes, walnuts, basil, parmesan cheese, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 8-10 times until ingredients are incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Turn the motor on continuous processing, and slowly pour the olive oil through the feed tube until a paste forms. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to preference. Keeps chilled for up to a week.
Steak Skewers Heat the grill on high and then cover. Meanwhile, bring the steak to room temperature (you can leave it on the counter for about 30 minutes). Trim any excessive fat and sinew, then pat the steak dry with paper towels. Slice the skirt steak into three equal portions, and then cut each section across the grain (very important!) into 1" ribbons. Thread the ribbons onto skewers and season each liberally with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Grill each skewer over high heat, turning once, 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from heat, rest for a few minutes, and serve immediately.