The Flank Steak is one that sits between a Grilling Steak and Marinating Steak – it can really go either way. We generally marinade to maximize the tenderness, but this is not a ‘must do’ as long as you carve and serve the steak properly.
What is Flank Steak:
- Flank is a flat, long steak that varies in thickness from about ¼ inch on one end to 1-1/2 inches on the other.
- Flank has strong graining of the muscle fibres that are easy to see.
- The steak can be sold whole (usually folded over in the meat tray so you can’t see its full size), or it can be cut into smaller sized pieces. A full Flank Steak will be well over 2 lb (1 kg).
Where Flank Comes From:
Why Flank Steak?
- Simplified Grilling: With Flank Steak, you have only 1 steak to manage on the grill to serve 4 to 6 people. That means easier grill management.
- Flank Steak is for socializing. Flank is the perfect steak to serve family style, carved into slices and passed at the table. That means less waste (or gorging) – everyone serves themselves and they don’t feel the pressure to finish a whole steak on their own. Serving meals this way is perfect for a casual summer sit-down and it encourages more veggies on the plate.
- Lean Machine: Flank is one of the leanest steaks there is and there is no trimming necessary.
- Options Open: Flank can be stuffed and rolled, marinated, sauced, cedar-planked or just rubbed down with a simple coarse salt & pepper or Montreal Steak Spice. It can cover the gambit of just about any cuisine you can imagine.
- Steak Stretch: Since Flank is not in the Premium steak category, it is priced at less of a premium too. And served with a grain or green salad (or both), you can make your steak go further – bonus: this is a ‘healthy plate’ approach to eating well.
Steps for Success:
- Pierce all over on both sides prior to seasoning or marinating. Our cooking trials demonstrated that the piercing does more to tenderize than the marinating. OR you can cross-hatch it with a knife, cutting with a knife in a criss-cross fashion to allow more penetration of the marinade and to maximize tenderness.
- Marinate in something as simple as a salad dressing, beer (e.g. Guinness) or wine if you like – or check out our many options (see below). Marinate in plastic-zipper bag for complete coverage, or to cut down on plastics, use a glass dish and turn or baste occasionally. Marinate for 1 to 4 hours or up to 24 hours. OR if stocking up on Flank, place in the marinade and freeze in the marinade. When you thaw the steak, it marinates while it thaws.
- Cook to just to medium-rare at the most over medium-high heat. Must be medium-rare and sliced properly in order to be tender. Just click here for more tips.
- Resting is best. Take the flank off the heat and let is stand for at least 5 to 15 minutes. Steak is not like pasta – relax and don’t rush it.
- Carving is key – carve across the grain in order to shorten the muscle fibres – this makes steak more tender to eat.
OPEN FOR OPTIONS
Season, Stuff & Roll – this way, you cook like a roast with a cool pinwheel type of steak to carve off and serve. Ask the butcher to butterfly the flank to have it ready to fill with grated Parmesan or crumbled blue cheese, spinach or arugula, grain pilaf, roasted crumbled pecans, roasted peppers or blanched asparagus, or spicy sausage (out of the casings) – whatever!!
Stick it – slice into strips for satay strips or even beef lollipops – either before or after marinating. Serve as bites before your main course or make many and serve as part of a buffet spread. Great for camping!