Essay About Grilled Flank Steak 1
There’s the grilling of the flank steak itself. And there’s the marinade, which together with the juices of the meat when carved, combine to make an absolutely delicious sauce to spoon over the slices of meat you serve on the plate.
The grilling is simple and produces a fantastic flank steak.
The marinade is simple and produces a fantastic sauce.
A little about the meat we are grilling here. Sometimes called belly steak, flank steak is perhaps a bit tougher than some other cuts — but there’s a great way to deal with this so that you would never know. It has to do with how you cut pieces from the grilled flank steak to serve on the plate. See “How to carve a flank steak,” below. Almost all Asian “stir-fry” is made with flank steak cut into small pieces. The cut is popular throughout the world, and particularly so in North America (which includes Mexico, where arrachera is famous), Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and France (“bistro steak” is flank steak).
By the way, there’s a second marinade in addition to the one demonstrated here.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), soy sauce, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, hot sauce.
Not shown: vegetable stock or broth.
Combine these in just about any proportion that seems flavorful — the magic is easy when the components are right. For proportions, you can try this: coat the bottom of the roasting pan with EVOO, sprinkle in soy sauce, ream out half a lemon, add hot sauce (or some red pepper flakes) and some vegetable broth.
In the Marinade
Mix the ingredients of the marinade together — just shaking the roasting pan back and forth will work.
Add one flank steak.
Turn it over so that both sides are coated.
Grill the tomatoes on the top shelf and the corn on the grill itself.
The tomatoes will take about half the time the corn takes, even though they are further away from the flames.
Turn the corn three or four times.
Set these aside and clear the grill when done.
On the Grill at Last
Note that the roasting pan goes on the top shelf. Close the lid and leave it there for enough time to hear the sizzling sounds as the marinade starts to boil and blend. Don’t leave it too long, or the marinade will burn.
It takes less time for the marinade to finish than it does to cook even one side of the flank steak. About five minutes per side for the flank steak is something to shoot for — make adjustments for a) how rare you want the meat you serve to be, b) the size of the flank steak (this one serves four), and how hot the grill is.
Cook with the lid closed, if this is a backyard grill rather than a cookout fire.
Done and Ready to Carve
A carving board like this is best. It has carved-out channels that carry the juices to a well at one end (though you may have to tip the board up a bit to get the flow going.
The juices are added to the now blended marinade in the roasting pan — for further blending. You can pour all of this into a serving bowl if you like, or you can spoon the sauce directly from the pan.
How to Carve
A large carving knife is needed. The bigger the better.
Slice through the flank steak against the grain to produce the thin rectangular slices you see here in this photograph. The result will be serving size, flat pieces.
The pieces are actually rarer than this photo makes them appear. At any rate, if the flank steak is thicker at one end than the other you can accommodate people with different tastes: the thinner end will have pieces that are more well done, while the thicker end will have rarer pieces for those who favor rare meat.
Final Flank, on the Plate
Here it is at last ready for the consumer — any of us, all of us with the good fortune to be sitting in front of this plate.
The marinade has been heated to a boiling sizzle on the top shelf of the grill, in the roasting pan, just long enough to get the flavor to blend, but not too long so that it burns away. The grill-blended marinade has also been combined with the juices of the meat when it was sliced into scrumptious, flat pieces. The addition of these juices completes the transition of the marinade into a true sauce for the meat. And this sauce has been spooned over the meat, in order to delight the person who is fortunate enough to be eating this delicious meal.
The tomatoes have been grilled to perfection and are the perfect accompaniment to the steak. Don’t worry, the grilled corn is there, too — on a side plate.
Flank steak is similar to but different from skirt steak. The latter has a bit more fat and is considered more tender by some. Skirt steak is a good choice for something like fajitas. Chinese stir-fry also works best with something like skirt steak.
Flank is best treated in the fashion we have shown here and will stand its own against any other meat.
Real Meal. Unlike fancy food mags, where images are hyped and food itself is secondary, all pix shown here are from a real meal, prepared and eaten by me and my friends. No throwing anything away till perfection is achieved. This is the real deal — a Real Meal.