Sunday Supper: Marinated Flank Steak
Whether it's a succulent pot roast, cheesy casserole, or warming, savory stew, we love Sunday supper. It's a dinner party without the formality, where family and friends gather for easy conversation and good food – lots of it!
Formerly an overlooked cut of meat that butchers would often save for themselves, flank steak is juicy, flavorful, and absolutely delicious. Much leaner than rib eye, fast-cooking, and relatively inexpensive, flank steak has become one of the most popular cuts of meat in recent years (even Lady Gaga agrees). Thinly sliced, flank steak is great wrapped up in a tortilla, tossed into a stir fry or topped with a red wine sauce and paired with roasted potatoes.
Flank steak comes from the underbelly of the cow towards the hind legs. Think about it this way – when a cow moves, it is primarily using the muscles near its legs. As a result, meat from this area has very little fat and can be quite tough without a marinade. On the other hand, beef tenderloin comes from the loin, a less worked area of the cow. Cuts from this part of the cow are extremely tender, no matter how they are cooked.
In addition to marinating, it's also important to slice flank steak across the grain (Check out Cooking Light's article). The long lines that run parallel to each other on a slice of meat are muscle fibers. Slicing meat across the grain helps to break up these fibers so the meat is tender. Slice it the wrong way and you'll have tough, chewy meat.
So, now that you've acquainted yourself with this crave-worthy cut of meat, it's time to get cooking. We've chosen our best flank steak recipes for your next feast, with marinades from classic rosemary and red wine to Korean Bolgogi-style soy, ginger, and garlic. Steak Tacos with Charred Salsa, from our February 2014 issue, make for a fun, pass-around-the-table kind of meal that the entire family will love.
Classic: Rosemary Grilled Flank Steak
Korean-Inspired: Bulgogi Flank Steak
Mexican Fiesta: Steak Tacos with Charred Salsa
For more ideas, check out our Sizzling Flank Steak recipe collection.