Flank steak is a lean, flavorful cut that is often ignored because it can be a little tough. But this can be overcome with the tenderizing effects of a marinade. It is best grilled or barbecued to medium rare over high heat and than thinly sliced at an angle across the grain of the meat. Done this way flank steak is tender and delicious. Flank steak is relatively inexpensive, is very lean, and has a uniform thickness which makes it easy to cook. Once you have perfected the marinating, grilled or brazing and slicing you will become a dedicated devotee of flank steak. Below is a guide for preparing, marinading, grilling and barbecuing flank steak. There are many fabulous recipes to try.
For the marinade
Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large non-reactive bowl. Add the steak and mix so that completely coated with the marinade. Set aside for 2-4 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat your grill or barbecue on a high setting with one half set up for direct heating. Make sure the grill is very hot before cooking the steak. Take the steak out of the marinade and wipe off any excess liquid. Brush very lightly with olive oil to stop it sticking to the grill. Put the steak on the hot side of the grill and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side to sear both sides of the steak. Move the steak to the cooler part of the grill and cook for 2-4 minutes extra until the steak is down to your liking. Test for doneness by poking the steak with your fingers. It should be firm and springy. Alternatively make a small cut into the steak and check the color inside. Finally. you can use a meat thermometer. The temperature to aim for are 130 degrees F (55 degrees C) for rare, 140 degrees F (60 degrees C) for medium rare and 150 degrees F (65 degrees C) for medium.
When the steak is cooked, remove it from teh grill and place it on a cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil and let the steak rest for 10-15 minutes. Make a small cut in the end of the meat and take note of the direction of the grain of the meat. Cut the steak across the grain at a diagonal to make fairly thick slices. This method of slicing helps to overcome the inherent toughness of the meat when served. Add your favorite side dishes and sauce and serve hot.
For the marinade
Combine the marinade ingredients and pour the marinade over the steak in a non-reactive bowl. Mix to ensure marinade coats all surfaces. Make sure each piece is well coated. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours or overnight. Preheat your grill or barbecue for high direct cooking, with an area of lower heat. Remove the steak from the marinade and wipe off any pieces of garlic or cilantro that could burn. Leave a thin layer of oil from the marinade on the steak. Place the steak on the hot part of the grill over the flames or coals. Grill or barbecue the steak quickly over a hot flame until well seared and starting to brown on one side. Then, turn the steak over and sear on the other side. Only turn once for searing. Then, transfer the steak to the cooler part of the grill. Cook until done to your liking. Use a meat thermometer and aim for a minimum internal temperature of 130 degrees F (55 degrees C) for rare, 140 degrees F (60 degrees C) for medium rare, and 150 degrees F (65 degrees C) for medium. Place the cooked steak on a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes, to develop the flavors and keep moisture within the steak. Then, cut the meat into medium thick slices by slicing across the grain in the meat. Serve with fresh tomato salsa) and chopped avocados.
Chimichurri is Argentinean sauce, similar to pesto, that uses oregano, garlic, oil, fresh parsley, chili and vinegar. It can be used as a marinade for flank steak or as a sauce
Place the chopped parsley, garlic and fresh oregano in a small bowl. Add the olive oil, red pepper flakes, vinegar and season with salt and freshly grated black pepper. Serving immediately or refrigerate. Always return to room temperature before serving. Add some sauce to your marinade and reserve the rest to be used as a sauce. But discard the marinade itself as it can be contaminated by the raw meat.
Prepare the Chimichurri Sauce using the recipe. Add half of it to a ceramic casserole dish. Insert the steam and mix to coat all surfaces. Cover with plastic film and set aside for 4-8 hours in the refrigerator to tenderize and deepen the flavor. Preheat you grill or barbecue to very high. Remove steak from the marinade and wipe clean leaving only oil on the surface. Discard the marinade. Grill and sear the steaks turning once. Then, move the steaks to a cooler part of the grill and cook to desired doneness stage over moderate heat. Allow to rest for 5-15 minutes before slicing across the grain. Serve topped with some of the reserved chimichurri sauce.
For the black bean, corn and tomatoes
Season the steak by rubbing all surfaces with the garlic, cumin, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside for 10-15 minutes. Combine the red onions, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and set aside for 5-10 minutes. Then, add the corn, cilantro, tomatoes, black beans, and set aside. Heat your grill or barbecue over high heat. Sear the steak on high heat for 5-8 minutes on each side to your desired degree of doneness. Let the meat rest on a chopping board covered with foil for about 5-10 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain. Place the sliced steak on a serving platter and top with the corn, black bean and tomato salad mixture.
For the Steak
For the Avocado Cilantro Sauce
Rub salt and freshly ground pepper into the steak on all sides, place in a resealable plastic bag. Whisk together the Worcestershire sauce, soy, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, beer, garlic and lemon juice. Pour over the steak in the bag, seal the bag well and mix to coat all surfaces of the steak. Set aside in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours or over night. Preheat your grill or barbecue over high heat. When ready to cook, remove the steak from marinade, drain and pat dry. Sear both sides for 2-3 minutes turning once. Then, move the steak to a cooler part of the grill and cook for about another 4-6 minutes depending on how you want it done (rare to medium). Allow the steak to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain.
Grill on a preheated grill until medium rare, about 6-8 minutes per side. Remove from grill, allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Make the sauce by adding all the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse on high until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the steak topped with fresh herbs and the avocado sauce.
Preheat your grill or barbecue over high heat. Rub the flank steak all over with Dijon mustard. Place in zip-lock bag and set aside in the refrigerator to marinate for 4-8 hours. Sprinkle liberally with freshly ground pepper on both sides. Grill or barbecue to the desired level of doneness. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain. Serve topped with fresh herbs.
Preheat your grill to moderate-high. Combine the rub ingredients in a cup and rub all over the steak. Transfer to a zip-lock plastic bag and marinate for 2-8 hours in the refrigerator. Sear the steak on both sides for 2-3 minutes, and then transfer to a cooler part of the grill. Cook to the desired level of doneness. Remove the steak from grill when done and let it rest covered with foil for 5-10 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain and serve with fresh herbs and your favorite sauce.
Preheat your barbecue or grill to high. Prepare the marinade by combining 1 tablespoon of the jalapenos in a large shallow dish, garlic, the yellow onion, 1/4 cup of the cilantro, soy sauce, 1/2 cup of lime juice and the oil in a large shallow dish. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove the flank steak from the marinade, drain and wipe off any excess. Grill the steak for 5-7 minutes on each side, depending on desired doneness. Set aside for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the guacamole by combine the remaining tablespoon jalapenos, the remaining two tablespoons lime juice, tomatoes, avocados and green onions in a small bowl and mixing gently. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. To serve, slice the flank steak across the grain into thin strips. Garnish with sour cream and serve with the guacamole.