Easy Recipes for Stay-at-Home-Dads: Flank Steak and Mushrooms
As I wrote in a previous article, when I shop at our local grocery store and find a sale item I usually yank out my iPhone and check recipe sites to see what I can do with it. This keeps the family budget in order and my wife happy.
This past weekend’s special was flank steak.
In the past, I have had spotty success grilling this particular cut. The meat, unless cooked and cut appropriately, results in a less than optimal meal. Marinating may work to tenderize the meat to some degree (as does use of a slow cooker) but grilling presents problems. The thinness of the cut may cause one to keep popping up the grille cover to ensure the steak does not become overcooked or charred.
What I have found, through trail and error, is letting the meat come to room temperature before cooking; cooking with high heat for a relatively short time; allowing the meat to rest before slicing it; and thinly cutting the meat, provide a good result.
This week’s price seemed a bit too good to give up on so I bought a three pound package (2 1½ pound cuts) and cooked one and froze the other.
Flank Steak with Mushrooms
1 1½ to 2 pound flank steak
¼ ounce of dried shitake mushrooms (found in the produce section in plastic wrap)
1 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of soy sauce (again, we use the low sodium variety)
2 teaspoons of granulated sugar
2 teaspoons of white vinegar
1. Place the flank steak on a plate and allow it to come to room temperature.
2. Using a spice mill (or in our case, an old coffee bean grinder) grind the pepper and mushrooms into a powder. Place the powder in a small bowl and slowly stir in the oil to form a paste. The latter is then evenly spread on both sides of the steak.
3. Preheat the grille to 450 degrees.
4. Place the meat on the grille for about four minutes per side.
5. Remove the meat from the grille and allow it to rest for about five minutes.
6. While the meat is resting, mix the soy sauce, sugar and vinegar together.
7. Thinly slice the meat and place in a large bowl. Add the sauce over the top.
As I said above, the tricks with flank steak are: 1) letting the meat reach room temperature before cooking; 2) use of high heat for a short period; 3) thinly cutting the meat and 4) letting the steak to rest for five minutes before you slice it. The last trick allows the juices return to the center of the meat preventing it from drying out. In this particular recipe resting the meat also provides better absorption of the soy/sugar/vinegar sauce.