Chile Marinated Skirt Steak

The Guajillo (wha-hee-oh) chile is the most common dried chile in Mexico after the Ancho. The flavor of the Guajillo is distinct, slightly fruity with a strong piney, berry under taste. Guajillo flavors dished easily so a little goes a long way. This chile is between a 2-4 on the heat scale of 1-10. Guajillo, combined with the Passilla and Ancho, form the holy trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces.

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Yields 8 Servings


  • 4 large dried guajillo or ancho chiles
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 medium clove garlic, peeled
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 pounds skirt steak or flank steak, halved crosswise


  1. Remove stems, seeds and membranes from chiles. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles and toast, using tongs to turn and press down on them frequently, until very fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add enough cold water to cover. Place a plate on top to keep them submerged and soak until very soft, about 30 minutes. Drain. Transfer the chiles to a blender and add ½ cup fresh water, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, vinegar, sugar and cumin. Blend until very smooth, gradually adding a little more water, if necessary, to make a smooth sauce.
  2. Place steak in a large shallow glass dish and season with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Add the marinade and turn to coat well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
  3. To grill: Preheat grill to medium-high.
  4. Lightly oil the grill rack. Grill the steak, turning once, 6 to 7 minutes total for medium-rare skirt steak or 9 to 12 minutes for medium-rare flank steak. Transfer to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before thinly slicing.

Recipe from Eating Well, 2015