Grilled Skirt Steak with Garlic-Lime-Cilantro Marinade

Sorry for the rather light posting lately, real world has been pretty busy which is a good thing.  Anyway, on my way back from the office the other day I stopped at Trader Joe’s to pick up a couple of items and saw a bag of limes.  I was planning on grilling some skirt steak for dinner and I really like using limes in my marinades so I grabbed them.  For me there’s just something about limes that seems to say “sunshine.”  Limes (and lime juice) give some really good citrusy flavor to cocktails, salsas, ceviche, Thai food, etc.  See?  Don’t you think of warm sun and sand when I mention those?  Good thoughts for springtime in Chicago.

Marinating your steak, pork, or chicken adds flavor and can help tenderize some of the tougher cuts if you use some acid (vinegar, citrus) to start breaking down the muscle.  I think citrus juice forms a good base for most marinades.  There are many different spices and herbs you can add to create all sorts of great combos.  It’s something you should experiment with, which makes grilling all the more fun.  For example, you know what goes well with limes?  Rum.  So I added a little bit to this creation.

The longer you let the meat marinade the more flavor will be absorbed.  Sure it’s always good to let it sit overnight in the refrigerator but that requires some planning doesn’t it?  I normally don’t remember to start marinating the day before so I usually give it a few hours before grilling.  Especially when busy!

Try to reserve a few ounces of the marinade for drizzling onto the finished meat.  (Remember my chimichurri post about adding acid?  No, well go back and read it then!)  If you double the size of this marinade you could also make an easy warm sauce to go with the steak.  Just take the excess marinade and simmer it in a pan, reducing by half.  Add any juices from the resting meat.  Once you have a blueprint for your own marinade you can mix and match to your tastes.  Add some olive oil and you’ll have a sort of vinaigrette you can also use for dressing the finished product.  As always, experiment and enjoy!

Garlic-Lime-Cilantro Marinade

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 limes (for zest and juice)
  • 1 Tbs cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds (toasted, then pulverized in your mortar & pestle)
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ C Goslings rum (or any dark rum)
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Taste, and adjust seasonings.  Marinade meat for at least 2 hours.

Fire up the grill and cook to your desired tenderness.



  1. That looks SO delicious. everyone gets busy from time to time – though it does pain me to take time off from blogging!

    1. Thanks! Same here, I like to write (and cook and eat obviously)

  2. Bill Bokus says:

    I have never thought about using rum in a marinade… I am up for any excuse to drink a dark and stormy. Have fun with the rest of those limes!

    1. A lot of marinades and braises use wine so why not? I think you’d need to find something that’s got some sweetness and complex flavors to make it work. Hmmm bourbon? Maybe try that next time. And yes I did mix up a dark and stormy last night while the steak was soaking.

  3. Alli says:

    What I wouldn’t do for a grill… or a kitchen larger than 2.5 x 5… sigh…

    1. Chicago’s a big grilling city! Every back deck/balcony has a grill!

      1. Alli says:

        I’m sure New York would be too if anyone could afford an apartment with a balcony. Luckily when I go to my parent’s house in the burbs they grill all the time in the spring/summer/fall. Do you ever do grilled Ceaser Salad? It’s one of my fave’s.

      2. Never did a grilled Caesar salad before!

      3. Alli says:

        Oh try it, it’s sooo delish. Cut a heart of romaine in half lengthwise, brush with a little olive oil and grill until it’s a little wilted and has a bit of char and serve topped with caeser dressing (a creamier caeser seems to work best for this, my mom has a great recipe that I’ll have to get from her). If you try it let me know how it turns out.

      4. i am definitely going to have to give that try this summer!

  4. This sound delish! This will be on the menu at my house soon.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s