Saturday, January 27, 2018

Thai Flank Steak (Winter Version)

Flank steak is one of my favorite cuts of beef. It's a really lean steak with a huge, beefy flavor. And it's cheap! It always tastes best grilled over a charcoal fire...just 5 minutes per side nets you a perfectly grilled medium-rare steak.

But alas, it's winter in Minnesota and my grill is hidden under 14 inches of snow. And despite 65 winters in this climate, I hate the cold. I am not going outside to cook under any circumstance. But I still lust for flank steak and I will not be denied.

I have a trick I learned from Cook's Illustrated. It fits the bill perfectly for enjoying flank steak in January. It's called reverse searing and it guarantees a perfect medium-rare steak with a crisp pan-sear every single time.

The first step is to slice the steak in half at the middle. This gives you two, additional, vertical surfaces to better absorb the marinade and to heat the meat better in the thickest part of the steak. From there, the rest is simple. You marinate the steak. Then you heat the meat to medium-rare in a low-temperature oven. After that, it's a quick sear in a cast iron pan....and you are enjoying a magnificent Thai Flank Steak in the middle of January. Add a little Basmati rice and Asian cole slaw and life is perfect!

1 flank steak, 1-1/2 to 2 pounds
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon hot chili oil
10 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons olive oil for searing


  1. Cut flank steak in half in the middle (against the grain).
  2. Put flank steak pieces in a Ziplock bag. Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl, mix well. Pour marinade over steak, seal bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 6 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 225ยบ. Line a sheet pan with foil and place steak pieces on sheet pan. Slide pan into the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat a cast iron pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When steak is done cooking in the oven, sear steaks in pan for 1-1/2 minutes per side.
  5. Tent steak pieces with foil and let steak rest for 5 minutes. Then slice against the grain in thin slices and serve.

Wine pairing: Only Zinfandel will do here. If you just rented your house for the Super Bowl and have the big bucks to burn, get a Rombauer or Turley. If you are just leasing the Airbnb bedroom above the garage to some stupid Philadelphian, buy a Bogle Zinfandel.

Me and Goldie, 1956

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