Don’t you just love one-pan meals? Here’s one from Milk Street that borrowed some of the flavors of Greek moussaka. Although a traditional Greek Moussaka recipe has luscious layers of juicy ground beef or lamb cooked in a tomato based sauce, layered with sweet eggplants and potatoes, topped off with a creamy béchamel sauce and baked until perfectly golden, this a fantastic riff.
Here, seared flank steak is finished with a rustic sauce-like side of eggplant, tomatoes, garlic and herbs. Crumbled feta cheese adds briny notes that contrast nicely with the sweetness of the vegetables and the richness of the beef. Crusty bread, rice or potatoes are good side dish choices if you’re not counting carbs.
We had both flank steak and flap meat in our freezer, and, you guessed it, I did’t realize until after the meat had thawed that I removed flap steaks. Both started with “fla” and that is all that I saw on the package so I’m giving myself an out that it was an easy mistake. In fact, since we prefer the beefy taste of flap meat, it was serendipitous! Please note that flap meat needs an extra couple of minutes in the pan to reach temperature.
Keep in mind, you don’t want to drain the juices from the tomatoes. The liquid helps form the sauce and prevents the eggplant from drying out so that the pieces become silky-soft. When slicing the flank steak for serving, make sure to slice it against the grain for the tenderest texture.
Absolutely delicious! We could wax poetic for days on what a wonderful dish it was!
recipe title=”Flank Steak with Tomato-Eggplant Ragu” servings=”4″ time=”35 min” difficulty=”easy”]
1½ lbs. flank steak or flap meat, trimmed, halved lengthwise, then crosswise
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1b. eggplant, cut into 1-inch chunks
14½ oz. can diced tomatoes
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ cup lightly packed fresh mint, chopped
1½ oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about ⅓ cup)
Season the steak with salt and pepper. In a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the steak and brown on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes total (8-10 minutes for flap meat), flipping the pieces once. An instant-read thermometer should show 125° for medium-rare. Transfer to a moated cutting board and cover with foil.
In the same pan over medium-high, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the eggplant and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and softened, 5 to 6 minutes.
Reduce to medium and add the tomatoes with juices, the garlic, oregano and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the eggplant has begun to break down, about 5 minutes.
Off heat, stir in any accumulated beef juices and half the mint. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Thinly slice the steak against the grain and place on a platter. Spoon the eggplant mixture on and around the steak, then sprinkle with feta and the remaining mint.
I‘ve posted several blogs on flap meat. The only place we ever find it is at Costco, so we load up on it when we go there. Flap steak is cut from the bottom sirloin and is sometimes call beef loin tip. It is less tender than more expensive steaks, but has a great beefy flavor. It is ideal for marinating and needs to be cooked quickly on high heat for medium rare.
Although it has the reputation for not being very tender, we don’t seem to have that experience. It is well-marbled and flavorful and sometimes called bavette, but bavette can also refer to flank steak, which is a different cut altogether.
Our steak marinated for the full eight hours, and then we grilled it for about 12 minutes total for medium-rare at 125°. The original recipe indicated to cook the meat for 20-25 minutes, that would be well-done, a no-no in our house!
Some of our strips had thick and thinner ends. You may want to cut the thinner portions off and add them to the grill a few minutes after the thick pieces have cooked. This will ensure the meat is all cooked to the same temperature, if that is your desired outcome. (Discard any leftover marinade.)
The sizzling arrival of cast-iron plates of marinated steakhouse steak tips is often the most exciting part about them, so says Cook’s Country. In this version of Grilled Steakhouse Steak Tips, they replace the typical sickly sweet marinade culprits—ketchup, barbeque sauce, and cola—with a mixture of soy sauce, oil, dark brown sugar, and tomato paste for enhanced meaty flavor and maximum char. WOW, great results!
Typically, if you can even find it (hello Costco), flap meat is sold as whole steaks, strips, and pieces. For even pieces, buy a whole steak of uniform size and cut it up yourself. We’ve only found it at Costco sold in thick strips, but that is perfect for this method. And instead of cutting it down into 2 1/2-inch pieces we kept them to about 5 inch lengths.
This is not your grandma’s steak and potatoes recipe. The marinade has a hint of sweetness from the brown sugar but otherwise is a great companion to beefy flap meat. If you get the opportunity, try to marinate for the total 24 hours, but a minimum of 2 hours will provide enough flavor. If, like us, you are medium-rare fans, take the steaks off when they reach 125-130° (they may have to come off at separate times). Cover with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
As an accompaniment, we made these fabulous potatoes which The Hubs found in a video on Tik Tok, thus we named them “Tik Tok Taters”. We made a major alteration to the directions however because after initially boiling the potatoes for the 20-25 minutes as indicated, they were beyond fork tender and falling apart. So we shortened the boiling time in this phase to 12-15 minutes, which is shown in the directions below.