Flank comes from the underside of the cow in an area called the drop loin. This unsung cut is a steak lover’s prize: deeply meaty and tender if cooked right.
Although the cut does have some fat, it’s relatively lean compared with, say, a rib eye. Flanks take well to marinating and quick cooking, especially on the grill.
Most prepackaged grocery-bin flank steaks weigh between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 pounds and come trimmed of most of their fat, gristle, and silver skin. Look for a cut with nicely marbled intramuscular streaks of white. That fat will help flavor the meat as it cooks.
Cook It: Seared Flank Steak with Green Lightning Sauce
You’ll want to grill this cut of beef to rosy, juicy medium-rare. That’s because overcooking flank steak will turn your meal into a jaw-endurance challenge. Flash-sear the flank fast and then smother thin slices with a simple fresh-from-the-herb-garden sauce.
What You’ll Need:
2 lb flank steak
1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh chives, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Juice and zest from 1 lime
Big pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
How to Make It:
1. Remove the flank steak from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature as you preheat your grill to high. In a medium bowl, combine the parsley, cilantro, chives, oregano, garlic, lime juice and zest, red-pepper flakes, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
2. Brush the steak with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper on both sides. Transfer the steak to the grill and sear, about 8 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and rest at least 5 minutes before slicing against the grain and serving with the sauce. Feeds 6
Nutrition per serving: 341 calories, 32g protein, 2g carbohydrates (0g fiber), 22g fat
You can make this meal even more delicious with any one of the steps that follow. You can even do all three (show-off).
If you have 5 minutes…
Halve 1 or 2 fresh lemons, flick out any exposed seeds, and pop the citrus halves on your grill grates while your steak cooks. High heat takes a bit of the bite out of the lemon yet preserves its bright flavors. Squeeze the slightly smoky juice over the sliced steak.
If you have 10 minutes…
Before you slap the grilled steak on the cutting board, dress the board itself. Add a squiggle of good olive oil and some more fresh herbs. Scatter some flaky sea salt. Then let the steak rest in this mélange of goodness.
If you have 4 hours…
Flank steaks do well with marinades, but don’t feel like you have to go all out. Some olive oil, smashed garlic cloves, and a few sprigs of fresh herbs—plus salt and pepper—are all you need. Marinate in a zip-top bag for at least 4 hours, but if you have 8, even better.
Round It Out
These simple sides deliver on flavor and fiber.
Kale, Cherry Tomato, and Chickpea Salad
In a large bowl, combine 1 (29 oz) can rinsed and drained chickpeas, 1 medium minced shallot, 1 1/2 cups halved mixed-colored cherry tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups packed baby kale, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to sit 30 minutes before serving. Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 257 calories, 11g protein, 43g carbs (11g fiber), 5g fat
Berry and Wheat Berry Salad
Cook 1 cup of wheat berries according to package instructions. Drain and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a large bowl and mix with 1 cup raspberries, 1 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup mint (finely chopped), 2 Tbsp roasted sunflower kernels, 1 Tbsp good balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings
Per Serving: 266 calories, 9g protein, 44g carbs (10g fiber), 8g fat
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