Flank steak, often referred to as a London Broil, is a very lean cut of beef. Known to deliver great beef flavor at a low price make flank steak a very popular beef cut. However, it can be a little tricky to grill, because it is easy to overcook. Due to its low fat content and prominent grain, it becomes tough and nearly inedible if cooked past medium rare. Here's a quick guide on how to do it right!
The key to keeping flank steak tender is to first marinate the steak, (be certain to allow plenty for time for this) and once marinated sear it quickly over high heat, so you must start with a hot grill or grill pan.
Here is a simple marinade that you can mix using common kitchen ingredients:
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all of the above in a shallow bowl and place your flank steak in the marinade for and place that in your refrigerator for between four to six hours. After marinating, the flank steak is grilled to perfection.
Take your flank steak out of refrigeration one hour before you plan to grill it. You want the steak to get close to room temperature. Throwing cold meat on a hot grill will make it seize up, toughening it. Also, it will be more difficult to get the steak to cook evenly if the meat is cold or frozen in the center. Also, make sure the grill is hot - very hot.
|Whether you're cutting flank steak when it's raw or after it's been cooked, the best way to do it is across the grain. Slice across the width of the flank rather than the length. "Across the grain" means to cut across the fibers of the meat, rather than with them. Cutting across the fibers makes them shorter so the meat is easier to chew. For most flank steaks, this means slicing across the width of the steak rather than its length.|
The next step is seasoning. All steaks need to be seasoned generously with salt and pepper. Some chefs recommend rubbing flank steaks with a little olive oil, then salt and pepper both sides heavily. The salt will bring some of the meat's juices to the surface and help to form the brown crust that is the hallmark of good grilling.
Flank steak is a relatively thin cut, usually about 3/4" to 1" thick in the center and slightly thinner on the ends. The natural shape of the meat makes it possible to cook the ends to a medium doneness while the thickest part stays rare, so you can please various palates with one steak. Place the meat on the grill and do not touch it for 3 minutes. Use a kitchen timer if you must, to keep from moving the meat. If you move the meat at all, it will not form that delicious brown crust. After 3 minutes are up, turn the meat over and cook for an additional 3 minutes on the second side, again without moving the meat. Provided that your grill was hot enough, this should give you medium rare on the ends and rare in the middle. If you prefer it a little more done, increase the cooking time on each side to 4 minutes. Do not cook past medium rare, or the steak will be tough.
The last step is actually the most critical. When the meat is done, remove it from the grill and place it on a cutting board. Allow the meat to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing. Cutting your steak when it’s hot off the grill will allow all the juices to flow out onto your board and you'll be left with a very dry piece of meat. Allowing the meat to rest enables the juices to redistribute themselves through the meat, resulting in a juicy and succulent steak. When the meat has rested, determine the direction of the grain - in flank steak, the fibers run along the length of the steak, and you will want to cut across the grain, in thin slices. Cutting thinly across the grain gives you short fibers in each slice, resulting in more tender meat.