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Marinated Flank Steak

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After a day of traveling, gathering, laughing, and eating, we just wanted a quiet evening with our friend. Luckily, she felt the same. Good food doesn’t have to be complicated, especially when there are ingredients as fresh as those we found in Sacramento. We roasted up some potatoes, made a big green salad, and marinated flank steak to go with the chimichurri Danny threw together with Elise’s recipe.

The only secret to this flank steak is letting go of fear of burning down the house. When you sear the steak, you’re going to create smoke. Turn the fan on its highest setting. Or, you can do as Elise and I did and run around the house, opening all the windows. Don’t worry. It’s just the sugars in the marinade burning off in that hot oil. Oh, and it’s worth it.

This steak goes so well with chimichurri. (And any leftover chimichurri goes well with roasted chicken, over white rice, or stirred into a potato salad.) But you could also use it to make a great steak salad. After a few days of eating food on the road, I started craving this steak. We made it again as soon as we reached home.

Ingredients

Feeds 4
Marinade for the flank steak
2 tablespoons apple cider
2 tablespoons balsamic (use the grocery-store balsamic, not the aged balsamic)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
salt and pepper
For the flank steak
1 pound flank
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. To make the marinade, put the apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic powder, mustard, and rosemary into a blender. Blend until everything has emulsified, about 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Put the flank steak into a large bowl. Pour the marinade over the steak. Let it marinade for at least 30 minutes but no more than an hour. (After an hour, the vinegars will begin to “cook” the meat.)
  3. Heat the oven to 450°.
  4. Take the flank steak out of the marinade and pat it dry. Season it with salt and pepper. Cut the flank steak in half, vertically. (Make sure each piece is the right size to fit into the skillet you are using. You might cut the steak into three pieces.)
  5. Set a large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over high heat. Turn on all the fans and open the windows. Get the skillet scorching hot. Add the olive oil. As soon as it is hot (that will be immediate), put one piece of the flank steak into the hot oil. Sear the steak until it is dark brown but not burnt, about 3 to 4 minutes. Be careful and watch the steak carefully. You don’t want the sugars from the apple cider vinegar and balsamic to burn. Flip the steak and sear the other side the same way.
  6. Put the skillet in the oven. Repeat the searing process with another skillet, the remaining oil, and the remaining piece of steak. Put that piece of steak in the oven.
  7. If you want your steak rare, take it out of the oven when it has reached an internal temperature of 135°. If you want your steak medium-rare, take it out of the oven when it has reached an internal temperature of 145°. Medium is 155° and well-done is 165 and over. (Danny and I both prefer our flank steak at rare to medium-rare.)
  8. Turn a saucer upside down on a larger plate. Take the steaks out of the oven and drape them over the saucer. Let them rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
  9. Slice the steaks against the grain into the thinnest slices you can make.
  10. Serve.

NOTES

You can use another oil, such as avocado oil, if you don’t want to use olive oil here. Coconut oil or butter would both burn too fast, so be careful of that.

Be sure to discard the marinade, since it has all the remnants of raw meat.