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 quite cheap too (at least here and directly from the producer), which is very good 🙂 in my case I used a flank steak from an Angus beef grown on Hungarian fields, which is definitely one of the best available here.
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, 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 😀 ):
- 500-600 g of beef flank steak
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 big clove of garlic
- 1 chili
- 2 bunches of parsley
- dried oregano
- 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 (if you want you can 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).
- With a paper dry the steak, and heat the pan at quite high heat, just with a thin layer of oil spread on the steak surface, to help Maillard reaction. 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 about 2:30 minutes on each side (but it could be some seconds more depending on how thick it is and how you want it), and turn it.
- After that, take the steak and put it in an aluminium foil, close it and let it rest for about 10-15 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, 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 over 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”