Best use for a nice piece of flank steak
April 13, 2016 9:13 AM   Subscribe

I have a beautiful piece of flank steak, and I'm looking for something delicious and interesting to do with it.

I have acquired a nice, 2-lb piece of flank steak from a great butcher that uses only local, organic meats. So I want to do right by it. I've cooked plenty of flank steaks, with the traditional method (salt the day before, roast then rest then slice on the bias). But I wonder if there's anything more special I could use this cut for. It's not for dinner tonight - it's either tomorrow or Friday night, so I have time for marinade if that's what's called for. So what would you do to properly respect and utilize this beautiful cut of meat? Is there any sort of crust that would be appropriate? Or should I keep it simple?
posted by jbickers to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I like flank steak with a nice chimicurri sauce.
posted by Frank Grimes at 9:19 AM on April 13, 2016 [9 favorites]

When I have great beef, I think the most special thing I can do with it is let it stand on its own. If I had that, I'd apply some salt and pepper, grill it medium rare with some char on the outside, and eat it unadorned. Maybe some guac and warm tortillas, but that's optional. Chimichurri is good too, though.

I will say, the most special thing you could do is invite me over and let me eat half.
posted by primethyme at 9:26 AM on April 13, 2016 [7 favorites]

Flank steak is one of my preferred cuts for Chinese stir-fries involving beef (something like this cumin beef comes to mind) if you are looking for something a bit off the beaten path. If you do do this be sure to slice the beef against the grain as otherwise it will be unpleasantly chewy.
posted by andrewesque at 9:36 AM on April 13, 2016

Echoing andrewesque, this is my favorite stir-fried beef recipe. Works equally well with flank as with skirt.
posted by zeee at 9:44 AM on April 13, 2016

I've had great luck doing flank steak (especially large pieces) sous vide - but with even more ghetto equipment.

My hot water gets up to about 55'C so I fill a large styrofoam box, toss the steak into a large ziplock bag with marinade, submerge to get the air out, then seal the ziplock bag. Change the water every half hour or so/supplement it with boiling water from an electric kettle to maintain a temperature of about 65'C. Do that for about 6 hours.

Sear briefly at very high temperature prior to serving.

Intense flavour of flank steak but very tender.
posted by porpoise at 9:45 AM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by jpeacock at 9:45 AM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

I am partial to a soy, vinegar, sesame oil and garlic marinade - even the best flank steak can be a bit tough. I don't have a recipe, just some of each in a zip lock for a few hours. And I usually grill or pan fry very hot to get the outside a bit charred and leaving the inside rare to medium-rare. I don't think you can get there with roasting.
posted by rtimmel at 9:47 AM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

I like porpoise's suggestion.

That, or I'd sear it really hard on each side, leaving it rare--med rare is fine too I suppose. Make a big batch of Bearnaise (essentially Hollandaise + tarragon), dip slices in with my bare hands.

(Shamelessly cribbed from Nigella Lawson)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:57 AM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I do an overnight marinade in soy sauce and lime juice in a sealed container, then cook it the next day to rare or medium-rare. It needs a good sear, good salt-and-pepper seasoning, and a little rest after cooking.
posted by bedhead at 9:58 AM on April 13, 2016

Yeah flank is like the poster child for sous vide. It's a very flavorful cut of meat that is hard to keep tender via other cooking methods. There's no real gain for doing a sous vide filet mignon, but it changes everything for something like flank.
posted by danny the boy at 10:10 AM on April 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

Soy sauce, lemon juice, sliced scallions, whole celery seed, ground pepper, and a little oil. Marinade overnight. Grill, slice on bias. Best I've ever tasted.
posted by cecic at 10:12 AM on April 13, 2016

Flank steak sliced quite thinly and ribboned on skewers as yakitori, grilled on the barbecue. Consume with friends and spouse along with beer and good conversation.

You don't have to sauce it so heavily if you're not interested... a brushing of miso butter would be lovely, letting the beef flavor come through, but enhanced with the miso umami. If you have a charcoal barbecue, using really nice charcoal to lightly smoke the meat as it cooks will make for a delicate flavor.
posted by lizbunny at 10:18 AM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Carne Asada:

Equal parts orange, lemon, and lime juices, enough to cover the steak
Salt and Pepper
Thinly sliced onion

Spice mix-
3 parts Kosher salt
1 part Cayenne
1 part Cumin
1 part Mexican Oregano

Marinate for about 2 or 3 hours, but not longer because the citrus will start breaking down the steak after that.

Put the flank steak on a medium-hot grill and sprinkle seasoning across the top of the steak. Cook until the salt liquefies, about 5-6 minutes. Flip the steak, apply seasoning to this side. Cook to Medium.

Slice thinly or chop into bite sized bits, serve on tortillas with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa*.

* I make pumpkin seed salsa for this, which has insane synergy with the beef. Just sayin.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:23 AM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

This is my *only* recipe for flank steak, as none other could possibly compare.

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 T honey
2 T minced fresh ginger (this is not a typo; the ginger is what breaks down the meat fiber and 2T does the job)
2 cloves garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients and pour into a plastic ziploc bag with the flank steak. (Scoring a diamond pattern onto the flank steak is optional, but it helps it stay flat when cooking.) Marinate at least six hours before cooking.
posted by DrGail at 10:25 AM on April 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh yeah, is it already butchered or do you know how to butcher it down? There's a big fat nasty sinew down the middle of a flank steak that really needs to be removed.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:29 AM on April 13, 2016

My favorite flank steak recipe ever (from a 1946 Good Housekeeping magazine)

Marinate steak overnight with:
1/2 c beer
1/3 c oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Broil steak 5 minutes on each side for rare, 6 minutes for medium. Rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice thinly on the diagonal. While that's happening, prepare:

4 onions, sliced thin
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp paprika

Caramelize onions over med-low heat in butter until golden brown, stir in paprika

1 c sour cream
1-2 tbsp horseradish

Combine in a small pot over low heat until warmed.


1 loaf Italian bread

Slice thickly on the diagonal, toast to golden brown

To serve:

Pile strips of steak on toast, top with onions and sour cream sauce.

posted by ananci at 11:18 AM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have a recipe very similar to DrGail that has never failed to disappoint.
posted by Silvertree at 11:25 AM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Do you have a grill? This recipe for skewers in a soy sauce marinade uses skirt steak, but it's amazing.
posted by snickerdoodle at 1:52 PM on April 13, 2016

Bavette is the best for this. Nom nom nom shallots.
posted by scruss at 2:12 PM on April 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I used DrGail's marinade last night on some skirt steak and it was delicious.
posted by mmascolino at 5:38 AM on April 20, 2016

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