Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dinner adventure: Flank steak

As promised, my next cooking adventure is the flank steak I found in the freezer. I don't know why I bought it; when I was in the seminary, flank steak was one of the most-served/least-favorite items. I guess I'm over that. It was probably cheap.

For the recipe, I found this. First step? Produce some lemon juice. I had two-thirds of a lemon from last night; that didn't quite make enough, so I cut half of a second. That did it.

Here is the food processor with the rosemary leaves, garlic, salt and pepper, red pepper, olive oil and the aforementioned lemon juice. If you want your home to smell good, fresh rosemary is pretty awesome.

I blended that as called for (you'll see the result shortly). Then I got out the flank steak, and as directed, stuck it with a fork "twenty or thirty times." I thought about people who've been mean to me.

Here's the marinade (which tasted pretty good). Does this look "smooth"? I was wondering if I should have kept blending it. We'll see.

And here's the steak, ready for the fridge. I'm supposed to let it sit "four to eight hours" but it will be a lot more than that. Is that bad?

So what's for dinner tonight? Something pretty simple; something I think my ancestors would have eaten. I had some smoked sausage in the fridge, which I heated up in a skillet with a little water, and meanwhile, I cooked a potato in the oven. Here it is with some butter, salt and pepper. All washed down with a Bud Light:

Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the Flank Steak Saga.


So, last night I prepared the flank steak. The only thing that was complicated was making the "dressing" or marinade, whatever you want to call it. It was more lemon juice, plus more rosemary, plus more olive oil and assorted spices. The tricky part was lemon zest. I have never "zested" a lemon, but however you do it, I'm sure it's easier if you haven't already cut the lemon to juice half of it. I was scraping the skin with the jagged edge of a potato peeler, but that method was going to take all night. So I turned the peeler around and sort of struck glancing blows against the lemon, yielding little scrapes off the skin. "That'll have to do," I decided, after I'd scraped my knuckles the second time.

Then I tried to chop it, but that was kind of a pain, too. Add to this that the recipe called for "mincing" the rosemary leaves. That's when I decided to try the food processor again. It worked pretty well, I think, although the rosemary never really got "minced." "Good enough," I decided. Here's the result:

And here's the meat, with the old marinade scraped off, and seasoned with pepper and salt:

The flank steak went on the grill for about six minutes a side; and I brushed it with the aforementioned marinade, which was also intended as a sauce after it was cooked. Here's the steak right off the grill:

And, about seven minutes later, during which I prepared the broccoli (I heated it in the microwave oven, then added butter, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice). Here's the resulting dish:


I had seconds!

The steak was good (although it was still a little chewy, but that's flank steak); I tried it first without the sauce, then with; a little better with, I think. Despite all the garlic in the marinade, and how long the meat was soaking in it, I'd have liked more garlic, and more red pepper too. I wonder if a marinade made with something like A-1 or another conventional steak sauce would work?


Sevesteen said...

If you ever get a chance, try flank steak cooked sous vide. Very rich flavor, but tender enough to cut with a fork. Meat cooked sealed in a Foodsaver bag in a precisely controlled water bath. The temperature of the water bath controls doneness, time controls tenderness without overcooking--so for something like flank steak you can cook for 24 hours at 134 and get extremely tender but still medium rare. Once done, finish in an extremely hot pan or with a torch barely long enough to brown the outside. Restaurants have quietly used sous vide for years, only the last few has the circulator come down in price enough for home use.

If you were still in Piqua, I'd offer a loan of my circulator.

Will said...

This is my go-to recipe for flank steak. Very tasty.
As a matter of fact, that might be dinner later this week....

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

I am not a fan of flank steak for obvious reasons, but the sausage and potatoes are a quick and tasty meal.

rcg said...

This sounds delicious. How could not turn out well with those ingredients? Similar to sevesteen's recommendation you can braise the flank steak wrapped in foil on low heat for a couple of hours.

Fr Martin Fox said...


We'll find out before long. In a bit, I'm going to bring this to it's telos.

Faith said...

You turned on the oven for one potato? You can cook it in your microwave for 5 min. Stab the potato with a fork and put it in the microwave.

Fr Martin Fox said...


When I said I cooked the potato in the oven, I meant the microwave oven. I did exactly as you described.

rcg said...

It looks delicious. I love rosemary and wish it would survive in my garden, but we are too cold.

Hoser said...

Next time you serve the steak, cut it into really thin slices: 1/4" max. That seems to make it easier to chew.

Jenny said...

You can grow a pot o' Rosemary in the house! We've done it many winters. Walmart and Costco, and specialty food and garden stores even sell little potted Rosemary "Christmas" trees come Thanksgiving. They make the house smell wonderful... Go for it!! I'll send you one if you can't find them locally. Let me know here, ok? Same for you, Father!

rcg said...

Jenny, thank you for the kind offer. My wife grows it on the kitchen window sill as you describe. I like outside gardening and the large herb beds I can grow there. I am sort of lazy and like the idea of putting the plant out to fend for itself until I need a few leaves.

FWIW, I had visitors this week and they cooked ribs in a crockpot in a sort of braising maneuver that was pretty good. We left them in the entire day then placed them under a broiler for a few minutes to tan them while reducing the sauce they left in the pot. That would be an excellent idea for a busy priest.