I may have mentioned that I cook for a couple of people once or twice a week (an elderly couple and a hectic younger family). The other night one person requested flank steak. I love this cut of meat – prepared properly it is tender and very flavourful.
I first put on a rub I use for many things (see recipe below) that has a slight smokey but mostly mediterranean style flavour (fabulous on ribs). I rub this onto both sides of the meat and let it sit in the fridge for several hours up to overnight. When getting ready to cook it remember it is important take the meat out at least an hour before cooking so the meat can come to room temperature. That way the fibres relax and the meat becomes less tough. Last addition is a thin brush of maple syrup over each side before searing. This gives a slightly caramelized outer edge.
I always sear the steak in a cast iron frying pan – any heavy pan will do though. I sear it until each side is browned and then put it in the oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Once cooked, take the meat out of the pan and put it on a plate or cutting board and let it sit for at about 10 minutes to again relax and re-absorb the juices.
Always cut against the grain and with this cut of meat you should cut thin slices. It makes a great meal or a really good sandwich.
I like to make a thin gravy using the pan I cooked the steak in and adding any kind of broth – for this recipe either beef or vegetable broth works well. I add about 2/3 to 1 cup (depending on how much I want) of broth. 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of butter and about ½ cup of sherry or port. Whisk all of this together and let it reduce by about half (about 10 – 15 minutes).
Pour some of the gravy over the meat when serving and put the rest in a cup for adding as you go. I served this with boiled baby red potatoes.
Spice Rub ingredients
2 tbsp group cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp dry mustard
1 tbsp coarse salt
1.5 tsp cayenne pepper
1.5 tsp ground cardamom
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon