I’m not really a steak person. You would think I would be, being from Texas. (It is likely they will revoke my Texas heritage just for saying something as blasphemous as that.) However, I’m just not really a steak person. I’m not the kind of person who would just throw a big, thick T-bone on the grill and then eat it with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. (I would take a few bites though!)
I do love the tougher flat cuts though—like flank, skirt, hanger, and even flatiron—that are seared on the outside, medium-rare on the inside, sliced really thinly, and served with some kind of fresh salad or earthy sauté. Yes, I realize these are steaks, but just not what I initially think of when someone says, “Let’s eat steak!”
Unlike NY strips, filets, etc, these aren’t cut from the loin or the rib. They come as is, they are tough, they like to be marinated, and they require that you grill them properly (anything over medium-rare and they get chewy-tough). But they are full of robust beefy flavor, they tend to be less expensive, and because they are great sliced (excellent for tacos) you can extend their reach...in other words, you don’t have to buy as much to feed your people.
This is my favorite, all-purpose marinade that I use for just about any way I might serve flank steak (you can swap out skirt or hanger for this recipe). The peppery arugula salad that I serve on top can be gussied up as you see fit. Add cherry tomatoes, grilled corn kernels, sliced cucumbers, fresh herbs, and/or any kind of shaved aged cheese, such as Parmesan, to customize it.
Recipe: Grilled Marinated Flank Steak with Arugula Salad
- One 2 lb flank steak
- 3 cups baby arugula
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- In a shallow baking dish, whisk together the orange juice and zest, tamari, mustard, olive oil, onion, and garlic. Prick the flank steak all over with a fork on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and a few grinds of pepper. Place in the marinade, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
- About 1 hour before grilling, remove the steak from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct high-heat grilling. Brush and oil the grill grate. Remove the steak from the marinade and place over the hot coals. Grill, turning occasionally, until browned but still pink in the middle (flank steak is best at medium-rare and if not grilled no more than medium). Remove the steak from the grill and transfer to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, toss the arugula with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic and a pinch of salt. Slice the steak thinly on the bias. Serve with a mound of the arugula on top or on the side.