Friday, November 9, 2012

Herbs, citrus add zest to flank steak

When I composed my last post, the day was gray and chilly and all I could think about was soup. Today is sunny and warm. Such is November.
Fortunately, this recipe will work whatever the weather. I tossed this flank steak and accompanying sweet potatoes on the grill, but the broiler or a cast-iron pan on the stove also are good options for cooking the steak.
I used fresh thyme and rosemary from my garden for flavor and garnish. If all you have is dried, use them in the marinade instead. Just remember that you'll need to reduce the amount by about two-thirds if you're using dried herbs instead fresh. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, for example, use about 1 teaspoon dried. And if you don't have those herbs on hand, use whatever you like. This recipe is easy to make your own. Use soy sauce and ginger for Asian flair, for instance, or look to Latin America and flavor the marinade with a pinch of cumin and hot sauce or ground chiles.
The potatoes are so easy that you don't need a recipe. Slice medium sweet potatoes about half an inch thick, brush lightly with olive oil, and grill over a medium fire until tender. Sprinkle lightly with salt just before serving.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Juice of 1 tangerine or 1/2 orange
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons grated onion 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
Ground black pepper
2 to 4 rosemary sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
6 thyme sprigs or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1 1/2 pounds beef flank steak

In a large self-sealing plastic bag, combine juices, onion, garlic, oil, salt and pepper to taste, rosemary and thyme. Mix well. Add steak, rubbing the marinade into all surfaces and distributing the herb sprigs evenly. Seal and refrigerate up to 2 hours or let sit at room temperature while you prepare a medium-hot fire in the grill.
When ready to cook, remove meat from marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Discard marinade. If using a grill, lightly oil the grate. If cooking in a cast-iron skillet, heat until very hot. If using a broiler, place pan under broiler until hot.
Cook steak on grill, in pan or under broiler until done, turning as needed, about 10 minutes total for medium-rare. (For the most tender, tastiest steak, don't cook past medium-rare.)
Transfer to a cutting board; tent loosely with foil and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, then slice thinly against the grain and serve.

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