With the weather getting nicer 'round these parts, it gets me hankerin' for the smell of that smoky deliciousness that is barbecue* (By the way: is it barbeque? BBQ? Bar-b-cue? Oh right, I don't care). Anyway, I said I'd occasionally post about other things that interest me and I am glad to share one of my favourite eats - Flank Steak.
*Note: Yes, I realize that true BBQ is low and slow smoking and what I'm talking about is actually grilling. It is those sorts of technicalities that make you SUPER un-fun at parties. I like to say BBQ better than I do grill, and my feelings matter dammit!
Anyway, flank steak is great because you can get it relatively cheap, it can function as an appetizer or a main dish, and you can scale it up or down depending on how many people you're feeding. It also makes for some good next-day cooking (thinly sliced into tacos or salads, for example). The key, though, is to marinade it for several hours because it is a tough cut otherwise.
Enough chit chat. On to the 'recipe'!
* I use this term loosely as I am not a measurer in my recipes.
- 1 big ol' flank steak
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 apple cider vinegar
- A couple generous tablespoons of honey
- Between 2 and 300 cloves of garlic, depending on your fondness for garlic
- Pepper. Grind some out until the mix looks sufficiently peppery.
* I don't add salt here because of all the soy sauce. You can add a bit before grilling if you're worried that your blood pressure is getting too low.
- Salt (otional)
- Your favorite dry rub ([Char Crust](http://www.charcrust.com/) is great. A simple alternative is a couple tablespoons each of brown sugar, sweet paprika, mustard powder, and a dash of garlic and onion powder (or whatever other favourite spices you prefer).
1. Place big ol' steak in a plastic container or, better yet, a large re-sealable freezer bag.
2. Mix all marinade ingredients together in a bowl and then pour into bag over steak. Tightly seal bag, squeezing air out as you do.
3. Ensure the marinate is generously introducing itself to all parts of the steak. The scientific, culinary term is "gettin' all up in it".
4. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for AT LEAST a few hours. Usually the easiest is to do it the night before.
...several hours later...
5. Take steak out of fridge about 30 minutes before it goes on the grill. Take steak out of marinade. (OPTIONAL: pour remaining marinade into a small sauce pot, add a bit of apple juice, and a chunk of butter. Bring to a boil and let it simmer down to a thick-ish sauce to drizzle on the steak later. Or just pour it down the drain, you wasteful monster).
6. Season steak with a bit of salt and pepper and a light dusting of your favourite dry rub. It doesn't _really_ need the extra seasoning but it will help give it a hint of a crust when it cooks. Your steak should be sufficiently oiled from the marinade but feel free to give it another spritz of oil for non-stickiness.
7. Fire up your grill and let it pre-heat sufficiently. This will be a quick cook so you'll want the grill nice and hot. Grab a beer and think about life.
8. Once nice and hot, grab a nice big BBQ fork or a strong pair of tongs and get that meat on the grill. A rough guide is about 7 minutes per side on a hot grill - this should give a nice outside char and and stay plenty pink on the inside - but a good thermometer is always the best to know when it is done.
- Note that flank steaks can have thin ends. You can fold these in to try and even it out, or just know that you'll have some well done ends.
9. Slice steak into 1/2" thick strips and finish with a drizzle of the reduced sauce you made earlier (or didn't).
Please **ALWAYS CUT AGAINST THE GRAIN**, especially on a flank steak. It makes a _significant_ difference in how tender if feels when you chew it. And I don't say this in the same way that some jerk will tell you how one wine has a hint of lavendar, oak, and playfulness. Seriously, try it both ways and you'll notice the difference.