Grilled Flank Steak with Sesame Sauce

While there’s nothing better than a filet mignon cooked in a cast iron skillet, the price makes it somewhat unappetizing for entertaining. Let’s just keep the finer cuts for a romantic rendezvous, shall we? As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m a big fan of flank steak; an affordable cut of beef that can make a big impression when having friends over. You’ll find other recipes I’ve posted here and here. This recipe comes from a 2007 issue of Fine Cooking I had. Serve with sticky rice.

Grilled Flank Steak with Sesame Sauce

1-1/2 lb. flank steak
1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. soy sauce
1/4 cup canola oil; more for the grill
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
1-1/2 Tbs. minced garlic
3 Tbs. rice vinegar
2 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
1-1/2 Tbs. light or dark brown sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
20 scallions (preferably thick ones), roots trimmed
1 Tbs. sesame seeds, toasted

Season the flank steak with 1 tsp. of the salt and the pepper. Mix 1 Tbs. of the soy sauce, 1 Tbs. of the canola oil, 2 Tbs. of the ginger, and 1 Tbs. of the garlic in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add the steak and turn and massage it in the bag to cover it with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight.

Heat 1-1/2 Tbs. of the canola oil and the remaining 2 Tbs. ginger and 1/2 Tbs. garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat until the ginger and garlic sizzle steadily and just begin to brown around the edges, about 3 min. Add 1/3 cup water, the remaining 1/4 cup soy sauce, and the rice vinegar, sesame oil, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with 2 tsp. of water and stir it into the soy mixture. Cook until it returns to a boil and thickens slightly, about 1 min. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Heat a gas grill to medium high or prepare a fire on a charcoal grill with a medium-hot and a low zone. Rinse the scallions but do not dry them. Toss the scallions with the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. canola oil and 1/2 tsp. salt.

Clean and oil the grill grates. Grill the steak (over the hotter zone if using charcoal), covered, until it has good grill marks, 5 to 6 min. Flip and reduce the heat to medium if using a gas grill or transfer the steak to the cooler part of the charcoal fire. Cook, covered, until the steak is done to your liking, 4 to 5 min. for medium rare (cut into the steak to check). Transfer to a large cutting board, brush with about a third of the sesame sauce, and let rest for 5 to 10 min.

While the steak rests, clean and oil the grill grates, set the scallions on the grill (over the cooler zone if using charcoal), and cook until they have good grill marks, 2 to 4 min. Flip and cook until they’re tender, 2 to 4 min. Transfer to a large platter and drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of the sesame sauce.

Slice the steak thinly and serve with the scallions, a drizzle of the remaining sesame sauce, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Serves 4.

Pleasantville Note: Flank steak is best served rare to medium-rare. If you like your steak well done, you many find flank too tough.

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Seared Flank Steak with Shallot-Mustard Sauce

I keep every copy of my Fine Cooking magazines because each issue is loaded with amazing recipes. This is one of my all time favorites. Just a couple of quick notes. We always double the sauce, because I’m a saucy girl. Second I don’t know what kind of super powered oven they use but the timing is a little off on this unless you want your steak rare. For best results use a meat thermometer. Medium rare is 130 – 135 F and medium is 140 -145 F. For flank steak I wouldn’t recommend anything over medium.

Seared Flank Steak with Shallot-Mustard Sauce

1 flank steak, about 1-1/2 lb.
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs. corn oil
6 Tbs. cold unsalted butter (4 Tbs. cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
3 Tbs. finely minced shallot
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry red wine
3/4 cup low-salt beef broth
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon

Set a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Season the steak generously with salt and pepper. Heat an ovenproof 12-inch sauté pan over high heat until very hot. Add the oil to coat the pan and sear the steak on one side until well browned, about 1-1/2 minutes. Flip with tongs and cook until the second side is well browned, about another 2 minutes. Put the pan in the oven and roast until the steak is cooked to your liking, 5 to 7 minutes for medium rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest, lightly covered with foil, while you make the sauce.

Set the same skillet over medium heat and add 2 Tbs. of the butter. When the butter melts, add the shallot and garlic and cook until soft and translucent but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat to medium high, and boil until syrupy, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the broth and thyme and boil until about 1/3 cup of liquid remains, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the mustard. (Don’t let the sauce boil after the mustard is added.) Stir in the 4 Tbs. butter cubes, a few at a time. Stir in half the tarragon and season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

With a sharp knife, slice the steak thinly across the grain on the diagonal, drizzle with the sauce, and sprinkle with remaining tarragon.

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Vietnamese Steak Sandwiches

I found this recipe a few years ago in one of my Everyday Food mags. It’s become a family favorite. When we can’t get to the BBQ, we cook the flank steak in a very hot iron skillet. Always delicious

Vietnamese Steak Sandwiches

1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon water
2 carrots, grated
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
4 hero rolls
1 pound sliced Flank Steak with Lime Marinade

In a small bowl, stir together garlic, sugar, red-pepper flakes, vinegar and water. In another bowl, toss together carrots, scallions, and cilantro leaves. Toss with the vinegar mixture. Split and lightly toast hero rolls; dividing evenly, layer with carrot mixture and sliced flank steak. Drizzle with remaining vinegar mixture, if desired.

Lime Marinade

1/3 cup (about 4 limes) freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 scallions (about 1/3 cup) thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced, peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 to 1 1/2 pound flank steak
Vegetable oil, for grates
Coarse salt and ground black pepper

In a resealable plastic bag, combine lime juice, soy sauce, scallions, ginger, and red-pepper flakes. Add steak, and seal bag (place in a dish to catch any leaks); marinate in the refrigerator, turning occasionally, up to 1 hour.

Heat grill to high; lightly oil grates. Remove steak from marinade, letting excess drip off (discard marinade); season with salt and black pepper. Place on grill; cover. Cook, turning once, until meat reaches desired doneness, 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing thinly.

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