Today one of the most amazing but maybe underrated beef cuts: the flank steak.
The flank steak is a cut from the belly, it’s a cut with a lot of muscular fibers and if you want to cook it as a steak you have to cook it fast and at high heat, otherwise it will be tough and dry.
For example in Italy this is one of the best cuts to make the famous “ragù alla bolognese”, so there we usually mince it (and I also use it for ragù, of course!).
But this is also an amazing cut for steaks, and one of the most tasty, it’s usually even much more “beefy” than a tenderloin or other more valuable cuts.
And it’s cheap too, which is very good 🙂 in my case I used a flank steak from an Angus beef grown on Hungarian fields, grass-fed, which is definitely one of the best available here, and I paid it only 2500 Ft/Kg (about 8 euros/kg), to understand a tenderloin from the same animal here costs around 40 euros/kg, over 4 times more. It’s different of course, but in any case it’s very favorable, also because here in Hungary not many people look for it (maybe I should say “luckily” 😀 ).
So, with about only 4 euros we had a great lunch in 2 people 🙂
As I said, you have to cook it fast, and if you have an iron/cast iron pan that’s great for it.
Of course you can grill it too, but now we are going to make it in the pan 🙂
Next to it I used what I called “kind of” Chimichurri sauce 🙂 why? Because I didn’t read any recipes but I did it by my own with flavors I like 🙂
Chimichurri has more vinegar usually, has oregano, and it’s often made with some seeds oils, but I prefer to use a good extra virgin olive oil. Moreover I didn’t use a regular wine vinegar but a balsamic vinegar (Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP, not the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, maybe I will explain the differences in a future post). And it was very good! 🙂
Let’s see how to make it.
INGREDIENTS (2 people, or 1 very hungry 😀 ):
- 500 g of beef flank steak
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 big clove of garlic
- 1 chili
- 2 bunches of parsley
- freshly ground black pepper
- balsamic vinegar, few, 1 spoon about
- First of all prepare the sauce, I suggest to make it at least a couple of hours before, in that time all the flavors will mix together nicely. So chop the parsley, mince or squeeze the garlic, cut the chili and put them in a small bowl/cup. Then add the extra virgin olive oil, enough to cover all the ingredients, then add some black pepper and salt, and the balsamic vinegar, then mix everything together and let it rest.
- Now the steak: leave it at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then prepare a marinade spreading some extra virgin olive oil on the meat, and season with salt and black pepper, and let it rest for another 20/30 minutes before cooking it. I also made some thin cuts on the surface, not too deep, so the marinade penetrates better.
- Then with a paper dry the steak, and heat the pan at quite high heat, with any fat. When you see the pan smoking, that’s the right time to put the steak on it. But before cooking the flank steak switch on the oven at about 70/80 °C, we will need later.
- Once you put the steak on the pan don’t move it. Cook the steak fast, in my case exactly 2:00 minutes on each side, and turn it with kitchen pliers (the time can vary of some seconds depending on how big and thick is the steak).
- After the 4 minutes, take the steak and put it in an aluminium foil, close it and let it rest in the oven for about 5/6 minutes. During this time the liquids inside the steak will get thicker, avoiding to have unpleasant bloody lakes in your dish 😉
- After that time cut the steak into slices, slicing against the grain, this will make it more tender to chew. The perfect flank steak has to be pink or even more on the red in the middle (so the doneness of the meat should be rare or medium-rare), has to be tender and not overcooked as a shoe sole 😀
- Then serve it, maybe next to some potatoes or other vegetables, and pour the sauce on the meat.
- That’s all, easy, fast, cheap and very very good 😉
PS: in the same way you can prepare also a skirt steak.
Beef: Angus from “Terra Pannonia”