Flank Steak With Red Wine Marinade
- Servings: 4 to 6.
Flank steaks are one of the more affordable cuts of beef that can be cooked and served as a steak. Along with skirt and hanger steaks, flank steaks come from the part of the cow that has less fat. This means that they are more affordable than a rib eye or New York strip -- about half the price -- but it also means they must be cooked and sliced to maximize tenderness.
A marinade is always a help when you're looking to tenderize meat. Some time spent in a flavorful but acidic marinade -- made acidic from wine or vinegar -- will prepare the meat for cooking by slightly breaking down some of the muscle's fibers. Slicing the cooked steak against the grain will also counter any toughness.
I recently discovered tomato vinegar and it makes a nice addition to a flank steak marinade, as an alternative to the more familiar red wine or balsamic vinegar.
It's important to select a flank steak that is uniform in thickness. Because it's cooked as a single piece, you may otherwise end up with a steak that is half overcooked and half rare, which has happened to me.
Sliced flank steak can be served as you would any steak but its flat, thin shape makes it a perfect centerpiece for fajitas, salads, or added to pastas or sandwiches. Its wonderful flavor also makes it good enough for company. I've successfully served it as a summer dinner after a first course of gazpacho and alongside a room temperature farro salad.
- The Marinade:
- 1 1/2 pound flank steak
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife
- 3 tablespoons red wine
- 1 tablespoon red wine or tomato vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- several grinds of black pepper
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- The Steak:
- The marinaded steak
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
- Combine together in a small mixing bowl the olive oil, garlic, red wine, vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk with a fork to combine.
- Place the flank steak and the rosemary in a large, sealable plastic storage bag. Pour the marinade mixture into the bag, and seal the bag, pressing out any extra air. Squish the bag around so that the entire steak is covered and place it in a baking dish in case there are any errant leaks. Refrigerate for about 4 hours but overnight is even better. Turn the bag over several times during the marinating.
- About 45 minutes before cooking, remove the steak from the refrigerator and its bag, discarding the rest of the contents. Wipe the steak dry with a paper towel. This is so that the steak sears and not steams when it hits the hot pan.
- Season both sides with a pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper.
- Place the olive or canola oil into a large skillet and put over high heat until the oil is very hot and shimmers. Add the steak to the pan, lower the heat to medium high, and let cook, undisturbed, for 4 minutes.
- Using tongs so as to not piece the steak's surface, turn the steak over and cook for another 4 minutes.
- Either by touching (medium rare will be slightly firm to the touch) or with an instant meat thermometer (about 135° F interior temperature is medium rare), check for doneness.
- Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting and cut into thin slices, on the bias (against the grain) for the best tenderness.