Pat LaFrieda's Favorite Cut Of Steak And His Pro-Tip For Cooking It

If you call yourself a carnivore in the kitchen but you don't know Pat LaFrieda, you need to familiarize yourself, stat. Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors has been serving well-known restaurants and other hospitality venues with some of the country's best products for years. For example, if you've ever had a Shake Shack burger that was from his company. The business got its start more than a century ago, as just a butcher shop in Brooklyn, and now the third-generation Pat is at the helm. 


In an exclusive Chowhound interview, we spoke with LaFrieda III about Thermador's induction cooktops and also got his insight and tips for the best ways to cook one of the foods he knows best — steak. As far as LaFrieda's personal favorite cut of beef goes, he's a fan of a somewhat underutilized variety. 

"When it comes to an outside skirt steak, it has the most unique flavor of any cut of beef," he described. "It was my grandfather's favorite steak. It was my dad's. It's mine. It's not the most tender piece. It has striations in the muscle that are pretty pronounced. But it's the flavor and the fat; the intramuscular fat is something that just resembles nothing else in cattle."

His top tip for cooking a skirt steak

So how does Pat LaFrieda cook his outside skirt steak? First, he said, you have to remove the beef's membrane on both sides of the meat, as well as trim the cut's corners. You can marinate the steak, but he clarifies that it's not a piece of meat that's going to require hours of sitting in the fridge. Then, before LaFrieda cooks it to his preference of medium rare, he pulls out one special and secret ingredient — confectionary brown sugar.


"Just a dusting, not even enough for you to taste that the meat is any sweeter," he explained. This technique lends an extra-special element to the steak's sear since you'll be cooking and reducing the sugar. This is similar to how the Maillard reaction works, which is responsible for a great sear on any type of food and interacts with its natural sugar to create an incredible-tasting flavor. 

Learn more about Thermador's induction cooktops at the company's website. You can have premium cuts of meat shipped to your house directly from Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors.