Spanish herbed flank steak is easy to make, full flavored, and a family favorite dinner!
You guys, I have been feeling very overwhelmed lately. Like life and I aren’t on the same page. Because I frequently find myself feeling this way I like to have an arsenal of meals that are easy to put together, but fancy enough to feed company. You know what I am talking about…like you could eat it on a Wednesday night, but you would feel equally happy about serving it at a dinner party.
I find that to be a rare combination, possibly even mythical, like a unicorn! But at our house, one of those “unicorn” foods is the herb rub flank steak. We make them ALL the time, and have tried dozens of different flavor combinations. This one rates really high!
So before we go any further I want to talk to you about flank steaks. They are very tasty, but if they are not cooked right, and cut right, they are not very good. I find them to be one of the pricier cuts as well, so I would hate to have you waste a perfectly amazing flank steak because you made some mistakes. So let’s talk flank for a minute.
Where does it come from on the cow? And what does that mean to you?
The flank steak is not actually found on the cow’s flank (is that even a place, I keep thinking it means hind side? What word am I thinking?), it is located across the belly between the ribs and the back legs. Because of the location, it is a very well exercised part of the body. This means a chewier cut of meat with a LOT of flavor. The chewiness comes from the strong muscle fibers, and the flavor from the increased blood flow. Good stuff.
So what does this mean to you? It means you have to cook it right, or it will be too tough and chewy.
How to cook flank steak “right”
While I am no expert, I have found, through research and trial and error), some methods for cooking flank are more successful than others. For example, a marinade is always a good idea with flank. Marinades contain salts and acids which can help break down muscle, and make the meat less tough. So when cooking flank marinate for 1-24 hours, but not longer.
Tenderize your meat. Did you know you can ask your butcher to do this for you? It sure saves time in the kitchen, especially if you don’t have that handy Jaccard knife butchers usually have and use for tenderizing. If you are planning to tenderize yourself, simple take a knife and run it across the grain all along the flank steak, cutting about a quarter of an inch deep and an inch apart.
Cook quickly, on a high heat. Broiling or grilling is best. The longer it cooks, the chewier it gets. So cook quickly to the desired temperature. I love a good medium rare, but here are the temperatures and approximate cooking times you will need:
- Rare: 125°F or 4-7 minutes per side
- Medium Rare: 135°F or about 5-8 minutes per side
- Medium; 145°F or about 6-9 minutes per side
- Medium Well: (Not recommended) 155°F or about 7-10 minutes per side
Rest your steak when it is done cooking. It will continue to cook and raise a few degrees in temperature. Letting it rest will help to seal in juices and let the muscles relax for a steak that is tender and moist.
Cut against the grain at an angle. Look for the muscle grain, which is very obvious on a flank steak, and cut going the other direction, or perpendicular to that grain, and on a 45 degree angle. This will give you flavorful, melt in your mouth slices that are not too tough to chew. Slice thin.
Don’t let the long-ish recipe fool you, it is very easy to make. Throw together a marinade, throw together an herb rub, and broil! And remember, you can make this in advance, freeze, and simply thaw, rub, and cook to prepare the day you want to serve. It is that easy, and that yummy!