Originally Posted by k_young221
The recipe was for a skirt steak. I followed the directions but the steak was VERY rare. I wanted to get it to maybe a medium or medium rare, but it took a lot longer than the recipe stated. And then the steak was tough and stringy. A question: If less-expensive cuts should be cooked slower than more expensive, then why should my $4 steak cooked on high heat? (Sorry, I'm sure it's obvious, but I know right around nothing about steak. I don't even like steak.
I looked up that recipe in his book last night and it's spot on. He also explains why it's cooked that way and also explains why you need to cut it on the bias.
His book focus on technique (in this case, searing) and uses recipes as examples for the techniques he explains. That's why its a very good book for a beginner cook. It's important to read the prose and not just make the recipe.
In your case, I suspect that your pan wasn't hot enough. Also, like others have said, cutting it properly is absolutely key.
The only thing I would take issue with is that IMO skirt steak and flank steak are great cuts to marinate before cooking. If you make that recipe again, try marinating the meat for 8 hours or so in a teriyake or fajita marinade or something. Dry it well before you sear it, though.
Steaks of all types should be cooked via high heat.