Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Flank Steak Recipes for the Grill

Picnic Planning
Just a quick note before I start on this week's subject.  The blog is currently under construction.  It should be
complete by the end of the week.  If you have any comments on it or suggestions, please let me know.  My blog assistant is busy too as you can see in the photo.  She's taking a break from our discussions on a picnic blog coming up in a few weeks.  Well, let's start on this week's subject of "Flank Steak."

Top Sirloin, Ribeye, Strip and fillet are the quality cuts of steak most think of for grilling.  Those looking for an inexpensive cut will try chuck steak, round steak, items marketed as charcoal or grill steaks but these needed to be marinated to tender them up for a good meal.  In recent years, they started marketing Flat Iron steaks.  These are somewhere in between the quality steaks and inexpensive ones already mentioned above. They're alright but many times are hard to find.

There is another steak out there that you need to consider and try.  Most people, when they think of steaks and grilling, don't think of "Flank Steak."  These steaks are easy to work with, versatile and quite tasty. They are considered a tougher piece of meat but if handled right will melt in your mouth.  You don't have to use marinates or rubs with this cut of meat but that adds to the diversity of the flavors you can serve up at a meal.

There is only two of these steaks on each critter (cow) so they are not inexpensive.  They are a long flat piece of meat.  A little thicker on one end than the other and the grain of the meat runs basically right to left. It is a long meat grain and because of it, needs to be cut in a special way.  Flank steak needs to be sliced very thin and across the grain.  The best way to serve up a flank steak is to cut on the bias (at an angle) across the grain.  I usually will start slicing at the thicker end cutting on about a 45 degree angle and just work my way through the whole piece of meat.

Because this steak is thicker on one end and tapers down at the other, you can have both medium-rare and well-done slices for the pickier people.  These steaks average between 1 1/2 and 2 pounds each.  But they go further than the same amount of other steak cuts.  It is mainly because of the way you serve or use this flank steak.

This steak is great for fajitas or sandwiches of all types.  It works well as just sliced steak to serve as a simple entree too.

Now not every grocery store carries this steak all the time.  But just ask your butcher for it.  If they don't have it, they may bring it in or tell you which stores do carry it in your area.  Give it a try because you won't be disappointed.

This week I have two recipes using the flank steak.  The first is called "Balsamic Grilled Flank Steak" and uses a marinade.  The second one on Thursday is called "Grilled Cumin/Chili Powder Flank Steak" and is more of a rub.  Both have great flavor and do melt in your mouth.  The second, of course, is a little spicier.

Again, if you have never tried flank steak before it's time you do.  "Happy Cooking" until next week.

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