Ingredients

Beef flank steak

Other Names: Bifteck de flanc or bavette de flanchet (French), jiffy steak, London broil, pancia or bavetta (Italian), redondo or filete de falda (Spanish).

General Description: The small, thin, tasty, and quick-cooking flank steak is cut from the flank primal. It is ideal for marinating and outdoor grilling over aromatic woods. Marinade can penetrate flank steak thoroughly without the meat losing its firm texture because it is relatively thin and porous. The original London broil, a name used since the 1930s and now applied to many cuts, was a tangy, marinated grilled flank steak.

Part of Animal: The flank is a single muscle from the flank region beneath the loin and in front of the back legs.

Characteristics: Flank steak is boneless and weighs 1 to 2 pounds. It is about 14 inches long, less than 1 inch thick at the thin, pointy end, and up to 2 inches thick at the thicker flat end. The muscle grain is quite coarse and runs lengthwise. There is a moderate amount of fat, though little to no connective tissue.

How to Choose: Choose a relatively large flank steak so that when cooked it is thick enough to be crusty on the outside and still rare to medium-rare. However, a smaller steak will be milder and taste less like liver.

Amount to Buy: One large flank steak will feed about four people. Allow 4 to 8 ounces per person.

Storage: Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or up to 4 days if marinated or rubbed with oil.

Preparation:

  1. Trim off any excess surface fat and silverskin; marinate or dry-rub with spices, and refrigerate for up to 2 days, if desired.
  2. Make shallow crisscross cuts on both sides of the meat to keep it from curling up.
  3. Grill, broil, or pan-sear over high heat while the meat is still cold so it doesn’t overcook before forming a crust, 4 to 5 minutes a side for rare to medium-rare. Like other coarse-textured meats, flank should be cooked to no more than medium-rare.
  4. Remove the meat from the heat, drape with foil, and allow to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
  5. It is important to cut flank steak into thin slices against the grain or it will be tough and stringy.

Flavor Affinities: Chile peppers, cumin, garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, molasses, oregano, salsa, sesame oil, soy sauce.

from Quirk Books: www.quirkbooks.com