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The most perfect Flank Steak please


nonblonde007
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I have just bought a lovely flank steak with the hopes of re-creating a succulent dish I once was served. Simply, perfectly grilled rare, pepper rubbed, thinly sliced, melt in your mouth beefiness. MMMMMmmmmmmmm, getting chills just thinking of it! I can't seem to find a foolproof recipe for this. Some say to marinate, some say never, just rub. I have read grilling at different temps, and resting for different times. Has anyone mastered grilling a flank steak? I would love some suggestions from you all, whom I have come to regard as The Cooking and more important....Tasting Masters. Thank you

Brenda

Brenda

I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

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Hi Brenda,

I prefer marinades for my flank steak. I have an Asian style marinade that I'm rather fond of that has lots of soy, ginger, sesame oil, cilantro etc. I don't usually marinate the meat more than a couple of hours.

So far as grilling goes, being a city boy, I still struggle with this. I grill on a medium hot grill and it usually averages about 7 minutes per side for a rare steak. But, as you know, this will vary wildly from grill to grill. Recently, I've resorted to an instant read thermometer and this has been very helpful. I pull the meat off at about 125 degrees and I let the meat rest for about 5 or 10 minutes. The meat continues to cook somewhat while it's resting and my target temp is about 128 to 130.

Be careful with the thermometer, though. Because flank steaks are rarely of uniform thickness, you want to take the temperature in the thickest part of the steak. I also try to go in from the side (I simply hold it up off the grill with a pair of tongs). This way, I am getting the temp from the middle of the steak and not the bottom, which would be closer to the grill and hotter.

I hope this is helpful. Enjoy!

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7 minutes a side sounds a little long to me...it's a relatively thin piece of meat. I guess you must do it on a considerably lower heat than me. I wish I could give you a number, but I do it by feel.

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Thank you. Seven sounds a little long to me as well, but at a lower heat it must be adjusted accordingly I guess. I have read that marinating the meat tends to pull out the beefy flavor, has this been the case for you? Do you prefer the taste of the ingredients infused into your steak? How long do you marinate it? As far as rubs, What does this do for it, aside from flavoring the exterior? Sooooooooo many questions! Sorry all. :rolleyes:

Brenda

I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

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I would prefer to not even marinate it. If you don't overcook it and you cut perpindicular to the grain in somewhat thin (I like going on a diagonal about 1" cm thick) it will not be too tough. Top with a pat of herb butter and it will melt into an absolutely delicious post-cooking baste.

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I also do not marinate. I prefer beef (I use local grass-fed beef almost exclusively) to taste like, well, beef, with any enhancement coming from the sauce, herb butter, etc. I also judge degree of doneness primarily by feel (the ol' fleshy-part-of-the-hand-near-the-thumb test). As WiscoNole said, I always slice thinly across the grain, with the knife at about a 45-degree angle.

Edited by Alex (log)

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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I'm casting my recommendation for marinating but it has to be this recipe from a Waterfall Beef Thai recipe I found. I made this same flank steak twice last week it's so good. Flank steak is damn near close to my favorite steak to grill and is the only beef product I will marinate. Matter of fact it's pretty much the only thing I'll marinate. Why? Because the flavor the marindae imparts is absolutely incredible. I've had friends tell me it's the best steak they've ever had...ever. Even my wife who's lived on steak all her life said this is the best she's ever eaten. You can easily double the recipe for large cuts.

Juice of three limes

2 TBL Tamarind concentrate with 6 TBL of water

2 TBL fish sauce

3 Thai chili peppers chopped

Marinate in ziplock bag for 3-4 hours

Turn the grill on, close lid and let it heat up for 15 minutes getting it super hot. Put the steak on the grill and cook away. The size of the steak dictates how long it cooks per side so I won't tell you times. After it cooks for about 5 minutes (I know) lift up one side to see if there are good grill and sear marks. If so, turn it over. Cook for a while and check the thick part for doneness (firm or loose). Depending on your desire for doneness leave it on longer or take it off. IMHO, it's better to take it off BEFORE you think it's done as you can always cook longer. If after slicing you find it too rare, stick in microwave for a minute or back on the grill.

Slice the meat against the grain and slice it thin. Arrange on plate fanning it out. Sprinkle a little toasted sesame seeds on it and prepare to eat the tastiest steak on earth. Serve with rice and stirfried baby bok choy.

Edited by Octaveman (log)

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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Marinating is for flavor, not for tenderizing. If you want tender a tender flank steak, cook it to medium rare and slice against the grain.

A marinade can be a great way to add flavor. Here is one that I particularly like:

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 honey

Some crushed garlic cloves and chopped rosemary

Cracked pepper

Mix the above together and marinate the steak for 1-2 hours. I like to do it in a ziplock bag, if the steak will fit.

Wipe off marinade. Grill over direct heat for about 4 minutes per side. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing against the grain.

I also like to top the steak with blue cheese (or a mixture of blue cheese, butter, and herbs) when it comes off the grill. A different topping is a Chimichurri, which is chopped garlic, parsely, salt and pepper with olive oil. You can add other things also, like vinegar, paprika, etc.

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I'm casting my recommendation for marinating but it has to be this recipe from a Waterfall Beef Thai recipe I found.  I made this same flank steak twice last week it's so good.  Flank steak is damn near close to my favorite steak to grill and is the only beef product I will marinate.  Matter of fact it's pretty much the only thing I'll marinate.  Why?  Because the flavor the marindae imparts is absolutely incredible.  I've had friends tell me it's the best steak they've ever had...ever.  Even my wife who's lived on steak all her life said this is the best she's ever eaten.  You can easily double the recipe for large cuts.

Juice of three limes

2 TBL Tamarind concentrate with 6 TBL of water

2 TBL fish sauce

3 Thai chili peppers chopped

Marinate in ziplock bag for 3-4 hours

Turn the grill on, close lid and let it heat up for 15 minutes getting it super hot.  Put the steak on the grill and cook away.  The size of the steak dictates how long it cooks per side so I won't tell you times.  After it cooks for about 5 minutes (I know) lift up one side to see if there are good grill and sear marks.  If so, turn it over.  Cook for a while and check the thick part for doneness (firm or loose).  Depending on your desire for doneness leave it on longer or take it off.  IMHO, it's better to take it off BEFORE you think it's done as you can always cook longer.  If after slicing you find it too rare, stick in microwave for a minute or back on the grill.

Slice the meat against the grain and slice it thin.  Arrange on plate fanning it out.  Sprinkle a little toasted sesame seeds on it and prepare to eat the tastiest steak on earth.  Serve with rice and stirfried baby bok choy.

Oooh -- Octaveman, that sounds fantastic, and so easy -- will be sure to try it soon!

Thanks for posting!

Emily

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My pleasure. Be sure to get it good and crusty on the surface. I can't begin to describe the flavor.

Also, what is originally the salad dressing for the Waterfall Beef recipe (from www.importfoods.com) it makes for a FANTASTIC dipping sauce for the beef. The beef will have plenty of flavor so it's not needed but it's awesome. Very flexible ingredients so adjust all you want to taste. Just combine all and serve cold.

1/3 cup fish sauce

1/3 cup lime juice

3-4 tablespoons minced shallots

3-4 tablespoons chopped coriander/cilantro (including the roots if possible)

3-4 tablespoons chopped mint leaves

1 tablespoon freshly roasted/fried sesame seeds

1 teaspoon freshly ground dried red chilis (I just chopped 1 chili de arbol finely)

Enjoy,

Bob

Edited by Octaveman (log)

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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I'm casting my recommendation for marinating but it has to be this recipe from a Waterfall Beef Thai recipe I found.  I made this same flank steak twice last week it's so good.  Flank steak is damn near close to my favorite steak to grill and is the only beef product I will marinate.  Matter of fact it's pretty much the only thing I'll marinate.  Why?  Because the flavor the marindae imparts is absolutely incredible.  I've had friends tell me it's the best steak they've ever had...ever.  Even my wife who's lived on steak all her life said this is the best she's ever eaten.  You can easily double the recipe for large cuts.

Juice of three limes

2 TBL Tamarind concentrate with 6 TBL of water

2 TBL fish sauce

3 Thai chili peppers chopped

Marinate in ziplock bag for 3-4 hours

Turn the grill on, close lid and let it heat up for 15 minutes getting it super hot.  Put the steak on the grill and cook away.  The size of the steak dictates how long it cooks per side so I won't tell you times.  After it cooks for about 5 minutes (I know) lift up one side to see if there are good grill and sear marks.  If so, turn it over.  Cook for a while and check the thick part for doneness (firm or loose).  Depending on your desire for doneness leave it on longer or take it off.  IMHO, it's better to take it off BEFORE you think it's done as you can always cook longer.  If after slicing you find it too rare, stick in microwave for a minute or back on the grill.

Slice the meat against the grain and slice it thin.  Arrange on plate fanning it out.  Sprinkle a little toasted sesame seeds on it and prepare to eat the tastiest steak on earth.  Serve with rice and stirfried baby bok choy.

This looks wonderful. But how large a cut do you marinate in this much marinade?

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You're talking a pretty strong half-cup to 3/4 cup of liquids there, you could easily marinate the biggest flank steak the market has to offer in a Ziploc with that much liquid.

This whole love/hate thing would be a lot easier if it was just hate.

Bring me your finest food, stuffed with your second finest!

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Those marinades sound good.

I think one of the keys to a good flank steak (besides all the usual steak stuff, good brown crust etc. etc.) is that you need to cook flank steak a little bit more than you would cook another cut. If you like a medium rare steak, you should go just a touch beyond that with a flank steak. Rarish flank steak is VERY CHEWY!!

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Yes, get a big flank steak. It's better to have too much of a good thing than not enough. I don't think it really matters how big the steak is in relation to the amount of marinade. Isn't skirt steak much thinner than flank? I would reduce the marinde time in half for that. Basically, you just wanna make sure the whole steak is covered by it and since it's as thick as water, there is not much adhearing going on so the more the better. Just make it, stick it all in a zip lock bag (suck out the air) and grill it three hours later. Also wanna make sure when you grill it that the grill is uber hot and you get a good sear/crust going. I always dry it off with paper towels first and cover it with thin layer of veggie oil for the deep sear marks.

Serve medium rare sliced thin on the bias so you get plenty of crust with each delectable bite. Cutting against the grain kinda goes without saying so I won't point it out here. :biggrin: Feel free to use the dipping sauce I posted too...awesome.

Edited by Octaveman (log)

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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That marinade does sound good; I'll have to give it a try soon. I usually have a flank steak or two on hand, because they are dirt cheap at Costco. I often use it for Chinese style stir-fried dishes. The dense structure of the meat seems to hold up well to the high heat of the wok.

My favorite grilled preparation for flank steak is a simple one...grilled med-rare, then topped with a dusting of parmigiana reggiano and a squeeze of lemon.

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Ok, feel like I have to report back, even though I'm afraid I can't rave... Somehow, even though I love Thai beef salads... Made a flank steak with Octaveman's marinade and it just... didn't quite pop for me. I'm thinking the dressing might be critical for giving it a really fresh flavor... Flavors just felt a little muddy. Maybe I just don't love the flank steak cut itself... Must say I prefer a london broil, coated with Lawry's Seasoned Salt and grilled...

In reference to the grilling question, we grilled a 1 pound flank steak (I know, pretty small, but its just two of us) on high, got the grill up to around 470, and it was done to medium -- still pink in the middle, but certainly not rare in there -- with 4 minutes per side.

Emily

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Flank steak is one of the cuts that responds incredibly well to complex dry rubs. Dry off the steak, grind up some spices and peppercorns, bit of brown sugar if you're feeling wacky, add some kosher salt, rub it all in, and let the steak come to room temp while you create a massive fire with real wood charcoal. 4-5 min per side on that grill and let it sit.

You want a sauce? Make a sauce and pour it on. But I think marinades detract from the beefy wonder of flank.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Flank steak is one of the cuts that responds incredibly well to complex dry rubs. Dry off the steak, grind up some spices and peppercorns, bit of brown sugar if you're feeling wacky, add some kosher salt, rub it all in, and let the steak come to room temp while you create a massive fire with real wood charcoal. 4-5 min per side on that grill and let it sit.

You want a sauce? Make a sauce and pour it on. But I think marinades detract from the beefy wonder of flank.

This works for me

Mango Chutney Marinade

1/2 cup Major Grey's Mango Chutney

1 tbsp tomato paste

Grated zest and juice from 2 lemons (1/3 cup approx)

1 serrano chile stemed seeded and diced

2 cloves garlic minced or pressed (more is good too)

1 tsp coarse salt

1 tsp coarsely cracked black pepper

1/3 cup olive or peanut oil

Combine everything except oil in a food processor or blender and puree,

With motor running drizzle in the oil a little at a time. Store in a

clean air tight container...keeps about 1 week.

Makes about a cup or so

2-3 hrs for seafood,3 to 4 hrs for chicken or pork tenderloins, beef, lamb

or pork kabobs 4-6 hours

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  • 5 years later...

Flank steak was cut in half (supposed to be butterflied). I spread my dressing leaving about 3/4 in around the edges. Rolled and tied. Dry roasted 400 for 15 minutes then turned the oven down to 350 for 30 minutes.

The roll stretched the string and stuffing and meat was sticking out. The meat was very tough. I cooked this for myself, I will put this back in the oven tomorrow morning for a moist braise hoping to tender up the meat.

Where did I go wrong?

Maybe the meat should have been marinated...

May I should have asked the butcher to run it through a tenderizer...

If I make this for company, do you have any suggestions on how to keep the stuffing in and the meat tender?

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Flank steak is a tough piece of meat. It benefits from a longish slow braise, BBQ, or better yet, sous vide.

Not sure I'd choose it for this sort of preparation. If I did, it would be butterflied really thin.

Edited by gfweb (log)
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I will be interested in other responses. I have only ever cooked flank steak whole after a marinade - broiled and cut across the grain in thin slices. The meat cooked to remain pink inside and is juicy. One of my favorites but the cost has become unreasonable. I thought the roulade types of preps were done with a top round or the like.

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Patricia, running it through the tenderizer might have worked but then it would have been a shame to do so. A sear on both sides leaving it mid-rare would be my preference and not a roulade. I did make a roulade out of flank steak once but pounded the hell out of it first. The meat was dry and still kinda tough and I was not very impressed with my handiwork. High and fast for this particular cut. Doesn't have enough fat to be a good candidate for braising IMO.

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indeed, flank steak has gotten $$$. I use sirloin tips ( on sale ) for all of the things I used to use flank for. when on sale I ask for a larger piece than the cut up 1 " strips, which are very good for 'pin-wheels' SV 130.1 for 6 hours: then room temp for a steak sandwich or back in the SV to heat up for "Steak"

Ive butterflied the larger pieces when I can get them (sale) and stuffed them with this and that, tied, baged and again 130.1 for 6 hours. Sandwich or Rouladen.

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