Sweet Ancho-Rubbed Skirt Steak


Cate O’Malley, Kids Cuisine – If you recognize the name Art Smith, you probably best know him as Oprah Winfrey’s former personal chef.   But, believe it or not, the cookbook author has a few other achievements under his belt as well.  Four years ago, he created a nonprofit to help teach low-income kids all about healthy eating.  As he recently told People magazine, “You have to teach children to make good choices.”

Art and his team visit various schools and community centers in the Chicago area four afternoons a week giving kids cooking lessons, teaching them how to read recipes, how to properly measure, and more.  Over 1,500 kids have attended his free classes so far, and last year alone, he and the kids made 6,000 meals.

Follow-up surveys he’s conducted reveal that the kids have been eating more vegetables, cutting down on their sugar and fat intake, and are even doing more cooking at home.  Sounds like a great end result to me.

Below is one of the kids’ favorite recipes from Art, his Sweet Ancho-Rubbed Skirt Steak:

Sweet Ancho-Rubbed Skirt Steak
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
  • 1-2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 dried ancho chiles
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Mexican chocolate (or good dark chocolate)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • olive oil for coating
  • 1-lb skirt steak
  • 4-6 tortillas (Gluten-Free: try the brown rice tortillas from Trader Joe's or Food for Life)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Heat canola oil in a deep saute pan.  Add chiles and fry for 30 seconds each.  Remove, drain on paper towels.  When slightly cooled, place chiles in a blender.  In a slow, steady stream, pour oil used for frying to blender.  Add brown sugar, chocolate, and salt.  The mixture should be fairly coarse.  Set aside.
  3. Combine garlic, shallots, salt, pepper, and just enough olive oil to barely cover meat.  Rub over skirt steak.
  4. In heavy skillet or saucepan over high heat, sear or grill skirt steak for 10 minutes, turning frequently.  Let cool.
  5. Cover steak with chile mixture.
  6. Place steak in oven and finish cooking for 5-7 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven; leave for 10 minutes before slicing and serve with fresh, seasonal vegetables and tortillas.
Be sure to use the appropriate processed ingredients to suit your special diet.  Soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate is available

Option: Substitute 4-6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts.  Grill 6-8 minutes per side or bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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