Sweet Ancho-Rubbed Skirt Steak is a Chef Created, Family Favorite


Many years ago, Cate O’Malley of Sweetnicks shared this recipe for sweet ancho-rubbed skirt steak with us. She adapted it every-so-slightly from a beloved recipe by Chef Art Smith. Today, we’re giving this post a big update, and adding some more information. It’s a fabulous, naturally gluten-free and top allergen-free entrée, that can take center stage in Mexican or Spanish-inspired meals.

Sweet Ancho-Rubbed Skirt Steak Recipe - Chef Created Kid Favorite! naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and top food allergy-friendly

Sweet Ancho-Rubbed Skirt Steak is a Chef Created, Family Favorite

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.  Several years ago, he created a nonprofit to help teach low-income kids all about healthy eating.  As he told People, “You have to teach children to make good choices.”

Art and his team visited 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 attended his free classes, and in one year, 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 Recipe - Chef Created Kid Favorite! naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and top food allergy-friendly

Special Diet Notes: Sweet Ancho-Rubbed Skirt Steak

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and soy-free.

Sweet Ancho-Rubbed Skirt Steak
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This flavorful, family-friendly steak is fabulous in fajitas, tacos, or rice bowls.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 tablespoons oil, plus additional for the meat
  • 2 dried ancho chiles
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Mexican chocolate (or good dairy-free dark chocolate)
  • Salt (about ¾ teaspoon, divided, or as desired)
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 1 pound skirt steak
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat the 2 tablespoons oil in a deep sauté pan. Add chiles and fry for 30 seconds each. Remove and place on paper towels to drain.
  3. When the chiles are slightly cooled, place them in your blender. With the blender running, slowly pour in the oil used for frying in a steady stream. Add the brown sugar, chocolate, and salt (about ¼ teaspoon). The mixture should be fairly coarse.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, shallots, salt (about ½ teaspoon), pepper, and just enough olive oil to barely cover meat. Rub the mixture over skirt steak.
  5. In a heavy skillet or saucepan over high heat, sear or grill the skirt steak for 10 minutes, turning frequently. Let cool.
  6. Cover the steak with the chile mixture.
  7. Place the steak in oven and finish cooking for 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. Remove the steak from the oven, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice 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.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ recipe Calories: 404 Fat: 23.1g Saturated fat: 6.5g Carbohydrates: 18.2g Sugar: 14g Sodium: 523mg Fiber: .4g Protein: 31.1g

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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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