Here’s one of those meals that just screams Summer! Flank steak is a lean, somewhat tough but flavorful cut of beef that benefits from the tenderizing effects of a marinade. It is best cooked medium rare and thinly sliced at an angle, against the grain, to maximize tenderness. Prepared this way, marinated, grilled quickly at high heat, thinly sliced, flank steak practically melts in your mouth.
This recipe calls for grilling the steak, but if you don’t have a grill, you can prepare the steak on a large cast iron frying pan as well. The steak gets a wet rub before grilling; the oil helps the other flavors spread.
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh aromatic herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary, marjoram, or a mix)
- 1 Tbs. kosher salt
- 1 Tbs. ground black pepper
- 1-1/2- to 2-lb. flank steak, trimmed of any excess fat and membrane
- Mix the oil, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub all over the steak and let sit for about 20 min. at room temperature. (Ours marinated at room temp for an hour.)
- Meanwhile, heat a gas grill to medium-high (you should be able to hold your hand 2 inches above the grate for 3 to 4 seconds) or prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire. If your grill has a hot spot, position the thicker end of the flank steak nearer the hottest part of the fire.
- Grill until medium rare, 12 to 15 min., turning the steak every 3 to 4 min. to ensure even cooking. The thickest part of the steak will register 135°F to 140°F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 3 to 5 min. Slice across the grain, portion onto dinner plates, spoon on the vinaigrette, and serve.
Chunky Tomato-Basil Vinaigrette
This is more of a relish topping than a salad dressing.
- 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lb. fresh ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 cups) I used a combination of plum and homegrown heirloom tomatoes
- 1 large or 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup lightly packed chopped fresh basil
- 1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Toss all the ingredients together in a medium bowl, taking care not to rough up the tomatoes too much. You’ll need to use a fair amount of salt to bring out the flavor of the tomatoes. The vinaigrette should have a slightly peppery bite. Set aside at room temperature until serving time.
In total, our meal consisted of just-harvested butter and sugar corn with miso butter, newly-picked steamed green beans from our garden with fresh thyme and a light drizzle of cobrancosa olive oil, the steak, and a relish with straight-from-the-garden tomatoes and basil.
Can’t get much more Summer than that!