Flank steak is a lean, but flavorful cut of beef that benefits from the tenderizing effects of a marinade. It is best cooked medium rare and thinly sliced at an angle across the grain of the meat. Prepared this way, marinated, cooked quickly at high heat, thinly sliced, flank steak practically melts in your mouth. For this week’s “4PM Panic” post I’m sharing a way to quickly serve up a steak dinner that is packed with flavor. With a bit of planning (start the marinade the day before), it can be ready in a matter of minutes.
This recipe calls for grilling the steak, but if you don’t have a grill, you can prepare the steak on a large cast iron frying pan as well.
Marinated Flank Steak with Chimichurri
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 pounds flank steak
Combine the marinade ingredients in a large non-reactive bowl.
- Place steak in the bowl and turn so that it is completely coated with the marinade. (You can also place the steak and marinade in a freezer bag and place it in a bowl.) Chill and marinate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. I think flank steak tenderizes best when marinaded for 24 hours.
- Prepare your grill for high, direct heat. Remove the steak from the marinade and gently shake off the excess marinade from the steak.
- Place steak on the grill set on high direct heat. Grill for a minute or two on each side to get a good sear.
- Then lower the temperature to medium indirect heat. About 325° Cover and cook a few minutes more until done to your liking. It is my opinion that flank steak is best served medium rare.
- Pull the steak off the grill at 125 to 130°F for rare, 140°F for medium rare, and 150°F for medium.
- When the steak has cooked to your preferred level of doneness, remove from the grill and place on a cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil to hold in the heat while the steak rests for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Notice the direction of the muscle fibers of the steak; this is called the grain of the meat. Flank steak is a very lean cut that will be tough and chewy unless you cut it in a way that breaks up the muscle fibers. So, cut the steak across the grain of the meat, at a steep diagonal, so that the slices are wide. I find it easiest to use a long serrated bread knife for this, but any long sharp knife will do.
Have you ever made a Chimichurri sauce? It’s an Argentinean sauce or condiment, similar to pesto, that is popular throughout South America. This basic version uses fresh parsley, oregano, garlic, oil and vinegar and a little bit of chili pepper, though the variations on this theme are endless. What I love about it is the fresh flavor it adds and the bright green color. In Argentina it is used both as a marinade and a sauce for grilled steak, but you can use it also with fish, chicken, or even pasta.
Chimichurri Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, trimmed of thick stems
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves or you can sub 2 teaspoons dried oregano.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Finely chop all ingredients in a food processor with several pulses.
- Place in a small bowl. Serve immediately or refrigerate. If chilled, return to room temperature before serving. Can keep for a day or two.
Today I served the Chimichurri sauce over the warm grilled steak. It is not only beautiful but absolutely delicious.
You can choose from a myriad of side dishes to accompany steak. Today I served pan seared Brussels sprouts. It’s simple! I clean and cut them in half then steam them in the microwave for 5 minutes to par cook them then sear them in a hot pan with a bit of olive oil. When lightly browned I add a splash of soy sauce and crushed garlic. Toss and serve. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.
I also served roasted carrots which are simply roasted in a 400° oven with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. BUT the “oh my goodness this is amazing” sauce that sets them apart is my Smoked Shallot Aioli Sauce.
Smoked Shallot Aioli Sauce
- 2 large shallots chopped
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked sea salt
Slowly sauté above ingredients until the shallots are dark caramel in color and translucent. Do not rush this process. If you burn the shallots they will be bitter. If you are patient the pay off will be sweet and delectable.
In a small bowl mix all the tasty bits in your pan with
- 1/4 cup of Hellman’s mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup of Crème Fraîche
It will be lovely on your carrots but you will have to fight the urge to spread this goodness on everything. Try it on your next cheeseburger. Yum!!
I hope you’ll give it a try! It really is easy! Enjoy!