Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Orange Flank Steak

I love flank steak! It's a great cut for quick grilling or even slow braising. My Mother cooks a terrific stuffed flank steak. It's one of my go-to meats. You know, you have 30 minutes before having to run out and take the kids to softball practice or marching band and you need to throw something together in a hurry. Here is a favorite recipe that you start marinating before you leave for work and it can be quickly grilled or broiled in 15 minutes after work.

  • Zest of one orange
  • Juice of one orange
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice concentrate
  • 1/2 tsp of crushed oregano
  • 1/8 cup of a mild vinegar, like rice wine or white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • Several turns of black pepper
Whisk together all the ingredients and pour over a 1 1/2 lb flank steak in a Ziploc bag, try and remove as much air as possible. A vacuum system, like FoodSaver also works well for marinating. Place it in the fridge and head out for the day. If you are home, turn the bag over a couple of times. Once you get home from work, turn it over while it's still in the fridge, since it might be a while until you prepare it anyway.

  • Preheat the oven to 275F.
  • Remove the flank steak from the marinade and rinse the surface marinade off, especially if you are grilling. The marinade will burn on a high heat. Pat dry.
  • Set it in the oven for 15-20 minutes. This is to raise the temperature of the meat from the fridge. I know many folks just let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes or so, but a suggestion from America's Test Kitchen had me try this. After 30 minutes on the counter a flank steak goes from about 40F to 50F, not really enough to help avoid overcooking the outside while the inside is still cold. In the 275F oven the steak quickly goes from 40 to about nearer to room temperature and you get a much better sear.
  • While the meat is in the oven, reduce the marinade to about 1/2 it's original volume, simmering over medium heat.
  • Preheat a grill pan, preferably one with raised lines for good frill marks. I like a cast iron one for heat retention.
  • Remove the steak from the oven and lay it on the hot grill. Cook for about 7 minutes on each side. Check the internal temp and you should be about 130F.
  • Remove and let rest for several minutes under some aluminum foil.
  • Add a tablespoon of butter to the marinade and whisk in. This gives it a creaminess and helps to thicken it.
  • Get the side dishes ready, I usually like some mashed potatoes or basmati rice and a veg.
  • Once everything is ready, slice the meat into no more than 1/4 inch slices going against the grain. You should also slice it on the bias to give each piece more of the seared exterior.
  • Arrange the slices on a platter and either top with some of the reduced marinade or serve the marinade on the side.

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