Balsamic marinade gives flank steak a tangy surprise
The other day, the grocery store had flank steak on sale. Flank steak is a flavorful cut of beef. If cooked and sliced properly, it is one of the best pieces of meat you can eat.
The flank steak comes from the rear belly portion of the cow. The grain of the meat is pronounced, looking like fibers. Flank steak should be thinly cut against the grain on a bias for the most tender eating.
Flank steak is used for fajitas, tacos, braciola, and other recipes. It takes well to marinades, especially tenderizing ones like this balsamic vinegar marinade.
I found the marinade recipe on Kitchn. The marinade is a balsamic dressing. It lends a flavorful tangy punch to the beef.
The longer you marinade the flank steak, the better it will taste. 16-24 hours should do it.
I stuffed mine with tapenade, a blend of olives, capers, anchovy. Sliced provolone was added. Those directions are below.
A 2-3 pound steak should serve four people.
For the marinade:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (2- to 3-pound) flank steak
Place the steak in a plastic zip type bag and cover with the marinade. Marinate in the fridge for 8-24 hours, turning it several times. The longer, the better.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wipe off the marinade and pat dry. Flank steak is long. You may have to cut it half to fit in the pan or griddle. Let it sit on the counter for one half hour to bring it up to room temperature.
Season with kosher salt and pepper.
In a hot pan or griddle add some neutral oil, like canola, and brown 4-6 minutes on each side. Place in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness, until medium rare. Let it rest 15-20 minutes before slicing.
For grilling, put over the hottest part of the coals and your choice of wood for smoke. Grill 3-4 minutes on each side, making sure it is evenly browned. Transfer to indirect heat and cook, turning a few times, another 5-7 minutes for medium rare. Let it rest under foil before slicing.
For stuffed flank steak:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove steak from marinade, as described above.
For the tapenade:
1 cup Kalamata, Sicilian green, or oil brined olives pitted- you could combine two or all of them.
2 large cloves garlic chopped
3 Tbsp. capers
1 2 oz. can anchovies in olive oil and the oil.
1/2 cup grated parmesan or pecorino-romano
Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse two or three times. It should be on the chunky side.
Butterfly or have your butcher butterfly the steak. Place the steak between two sheets of plastic. Lightly pound it, moving the pounder in up, right, left, and down motions. Try to get the steak to an even thickness.
Place the steak so the grain of the meat is running left to right- east to west on your surface.
Spread the tapenade on the steak, leaving about one-half space inch around the sides.
Top with 4-6 slices of provolone. (If using)
Roll the steak and tie it in intervals.
If the steak is still cold, let sit on the counter about one half hour.
Season the outside liberally with salt and pepper.
In a hot pan, sear the steak on all sides until nicely browned. 2-3 minutes per side. Note, my steak was on the long side, so I used a heavy bottomed roasting pan to sear it.
Place in a preheated 350-degree oven for 10-15 minutes for medium rare. The internal temp should be 120 F. The cheese should be melted.
You can do this on the grill but use a pan or griddle if you use cheese. Melting cheese creates a mess and can cause flare ups.
Let rest under foil tent for 15-20 minutes before serving.