view sourceprint? 01 Ramblings from a Ranch Wife: Flank Steak

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"The darkest nights produce the brightest stars"

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Flank Steak

The flank steak is a beef steak cut from the abdominal muscles or lower chest of the cow.  The cut is common in South America.  A relatively long and flat cut, flank steak is used in a variety of dishes including London broil and as an alternative to the traditional skirt steak in fajitas. It can be grilled, pan-fried, broiled, or braised for increased tenderness. Grain (meat fiber) is very apparent in flank steaks, and many chefs cut across the grain to make the meat more tender.  Flank steak is popular because it is affordable, flavorful, and works in a wide range of dishes.

Flank steak gets its flavor and satisfying chew from its location on the animal’s body.  It lays across the belly of the cow, in between the ribs and hind legs in an area that is very well exercised.  Because these muscles are stronger, they are also chewier.  Because they get more blood flow, they are also more flavorful.

Flank steak is best when it has a bright red color. Because it comes from a strong, well-exercised part of the cow, it is best sliced against the grain before serving, to maximize tenderness. It is frequently used in Asian cuisine, often sold in Chinese markets as "stir-fry beef".

In the heat of July, cooking a dinner for family inside isn’t very appealing.  Cooking outside is relaxing, and keeps your house cooler.  Grilled Fajita Steak Salad with Avocado Cilantro Dressing makes delicious and healthy dinner for any night of the week. Spicy marinated flank steak on a bed of greens and loaded with the perfect dressing; it’s sure to be a hit around the dinner table!  This recipe is best prepared will all fresh ingredients.

Flank steak can be tough if it isn’t prepared properly.  To avoid toughness, try marinating.  The acid and salt in a marinade will help break up muscle fibers.  Marinate for at least 2 hours, never more than 24 hours as they acid will begin to “cook” the meat.  You can also ask our butcher to tenderize your steak, or do it yourself.  Cook it quickly at high heat to a nice medium rare.  Let your steak rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting to seal in its juices.  Always slice it against the grain!
Grilled Fajita Steak Salad with Avocado Cilantro Dressing


For the steak:

  • 2lb flank steak
  • 1.5 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce

For the salad:

  • 6 cups loose greens
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 medium white onion
  • ½ pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • chopped fresh tomatoes

For the dressing:

  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ pepitas
  • ½ cup water


1.      The day before, make the marinade for the steak. Mix together spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together lime juice, vinegar, oil, and soy sauce. Add spices to create a sauce. Place steak in large dish or ziploc bag, and pour marinade over the steak. Marinate for at least 24 hours for best results.

2.      The next day, heat up your grill. Grill steak for 5-10 minutes per side depending on thickness and preference for doneness. Brush peppers and onions with oil, and grill 5 minutes per side.

3.      While steak and vegetables are grilling, prepare your salad dressing. Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth adding additional water if needed.

4.      Prepare your salad. Line individual bowls or one large bowl with greens. Top with vegetables, steak, tomatoes, steak, extra pepitas, and dressing. Toss to combine.

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