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Covering your flank

Steak doesn’t have to be a pricey cut to be delicious

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 5:00 p.m. CST

(Continued from Page 2)

There is not always a need to put hours of preparation into a delicious dinner. Hours of thought maybe, but not preparation. Some meals are delicious just because they are prepared correctly.

A superb dinner does not need to cost a lot of money, either. Who of us is not looking to cut down on expenses when we can?

Flank steak is a delicious, not-too-expensive cut of meat. The problem with flank steak is that we (me included) do not always know how to prepare it.

This super easy recipe takes the guesswork out of ensuring a delicious flank steak.

A meat thermometer is important with flank steak. All ovens tend to be a bit different, so one may cook faster than another. No matter what, the flank steak should be ready is less than 30 minutes. Just watch that meat thermometer.

Of course, if you want the meat cooked longer, you can always do that. Just be sure to not get the meat too done. It should have a pink center. How pink depends on you.

With a few simple ingredients, you will have a tasty flank steak that will rival the attention of an expensive cut of meat.

Searing the meat on both sides before putting it in the oven will help hold all the juices from the meat in the flank steak. When done, be sure to let the steak rest before slicing, otherwise all those delicious juices will be left sitting on your cutting board.

This flank steak recipe is prepared in the oven. Flank steak can also be prepared on your outdoor grill.

The key to a delicious flank steak on the grill is marinating time. It seems that the longer this meat marinates, the tastier it is. Twenty-four to 36 hours is optimal. I have to admit that I have marinated flank steak for just a few hours and thought it wonderful. You can be your own judge.

Use three-quarters of the marinade to let the meat marinate in and save the rest for basting when the meat is on the grill. Discard the original marinade when you are ready to put the meat on your oiled grill grates.

Of course, let the grilled flank steak rest before slicing.

To be totally honest, I usually think of serving flank steak when I am at the grocery store and see flank steak that is “reduced for quick sale.” That usually means that the meat must be eaten or will go bad. I will either cook the meat the night that I buy it or put it in my freezer for later use. Either way, you will be enjoying meat that is fresh.

Lets face it, we are not born knowing how to slice meat. When slicing a flank steak, you will want to slice against the grain.

First, look for little white ridges that run from one side to the other on top of the flank steak. Slice “across” these ridges, not “along” them.

Slicing across (or against) the grain ensures that the meat is more tender and easier to chew. Slicing with the grain results in meat that is tough and stringy.

Hmmm ... potatoes.

How about some lemon parsleyed potatoes? It is such an easy and delicious dish to prepare. Since the potatoes are small, it is quick dish to make also.

I like to buy the fingerlings or very small potatoes. If those are unavailable, or you have something else in mind, use the size B potatoes and just cut them in half. Problem solved.

To make these, just boil the potatoes, drain and toss with the butter mixture. Super simple and it will appeal to everyone. While you are preparing the potatoes, be sure to start a pot of vegetables to serve alongside to round out this delicious meal.

Of course, a delicious green salad is a welcome addition to almost any meal.

Enjoy this quick cooking, elegant meal. Look for a bargain, but don’t let on that this is not an expensive cut of meat.

And remember ... a good cook always cleans up!

———

FLANK STEAK

•  1 flank steak (1-3 lbs.)

•  Salt and pepper

•  1 TB olive oil   

•  1 TB unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and place oven rack in the middle position. Sprinkle steak, on both sides, with salt and pepper. Rub into steak.

Heat oil and butter in a large ovenproof sauté pan over high heat. Once butter’s foam has subsided, add steak and let it develop a rich brown crust on the first side, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn over and brown the other side for 2 minutes.

Put the pan and the steak in the oven and cook until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees for rare.

Let steak rest, loosely cover it with foil for 5 minutes before slicing. To slice, hold knife at a 45-degree angle and cut very thin strips against the grain.

———

MARINADE FOR THE GRILL

•  1 TB brown sugar

•  2 TB lemon juice

•  1 green onion, chopped   

•  1/2 cup soy sauce

•  1 cup beef broth

•  1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Mix all marinade ingredients together. Pour 3/4 of marinade over flank steak and marinate for 24 hours (reserve ¼ of marinade for basting).

Place flank steak on the oiled grate of medium-high grill. Grill 5 minutes per side. Let rest, loosely covered with foil, before slicing.

———

LEMON PARSLEYED BABY POTATOES

•  1 1/2 lbs. small potatoes

•  1/4 cup butter

•  1/4 cup fresh minced parsley   

•  2 tsp. lemon juice

Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat; stir in parsley and lemon juice. Pour over drained potatoes and gently toss. Serve immediately.

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