Friday, March 18, 2011

Fastest, bestest flank steak

Despite what some might think about my mother, she does in fact cook, and cook well, when the occasion calls for it.  Like, for instance, when she was raising two hungry tween twins under one roof.  I recall there being a brief period, around the age of 13, when I passed my brother in height, and we together ate enough in one meal sitting to feed a family of 8.  Ah, those were the days.

My favorite hunger-curing (and, as it turns out, super-easy) dish that my mom prepared was flank steak, done to rosy perfection on the grill, then sliced across the grain and served with all that yummy, salty juice.  There are approximately a gazillion different ways you can marinate flank steak, but here's a way to prepare it that takes minimal time and effort, for which you are rewarded magnificently in satiety. 

Grilled or Broiled Flank Steak with Chimichurri (printable version)

(serves 3-4, unless anyone in the party happens to be a ravenous young adult)

Note: When checking your steak for doneness, be sure you allow for some carry-over cooking to happen after you remove the steak from the heat.  You could end up taking it off at perfectly rare and cutting into it at medium (*sad face*).

1 flank steak, about 1.5 pounds
salt and pepper

1 cup parsley leaves
1 medium shallot, quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat your grill or broiler and make it very hot.  Generously shower salt all over both sides of the steak, and season with pepper too.  Grill or broil the steak for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until nicely browned.  Move the steak to a cooler part of the grill, or lower the broiling rack, and cook for another 2 minutes per side.  Check for doneness by making a small cut in the middle or using an instant-read thermometer - it should read 125°F for rare.  Remove to a large cutting board.

While you let the meat rest for 5 minutes, combine all the remaining ingredients in the bowl of a small food processor (or use a mortar and pestle, if you're feeling particularly hardcore) and combine into a rough paste.  Transfer to a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Slice the flank steak across the grain and serve with the chimichurri sauce.

(Please excuse the absence of photos - it was late, we were starving, and thus we inhaled the fruits of our labor before convening to document the evidence.)

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