Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I'm not aging, I'm marinating!

There are few things I enjoy more than a marinated flank steak, cooked to perfection on my husband’s charcoal grill. The following recipe is relatively healthy (honey is one of the few ways I’ll willingly ingest sugar) and so delicious you might want to arm yourself with an extra fork in case you decide to go on the offensive. It is also borrowed from one of my favorite go-to foodie sites, The Pioneer Woman.

I think these ingredients would make dirt taste marvelous. I’ll list the recipe at the bottom of this post, but a few suggestions before you get started. First of all, I don’t often have fresh ginger on hand. Fortunately for lazy me, there is Gourmet Garden. I always have tubes of pre-minced ginger, garlic, lemongrass and cilantro in my fridge. I’m never one to condone buying pre-minced anything – I think it’s crucial for anyone who loves to cook to hone their knife skills – but if you’re a crazy, harried mom like me it’s a must-have on busy nights.

So, before I go into a tirade about getting comfortable with your Wusthof, let’s talk about how to marinate meat. For ease and convenience go to the Ziploc bag! When you’re finished marinating, you can reserve the marinade for another use or just throw out the entire thing. No cleaning necessary – what’s not to love?

Start out by putting all your wet ingredients in the bag, followed by dry. Please, please try to make time to mince your own garlic. It’s easier than it looks. Just slice the cloves thinly and sprinkle with a little sea salt.

This helps keep the garlic from sticking to your knife, your fingers, your hair…you get my point. Then just chop your knife back and forth (cleaning off your knife carefully with your finger occasionally – so much fun to stick that finger under your baby’s nose later!) until you get the consistency desired.

Now you’re in business! Measure out the rest of the ingredients and dump them into your bag. I’m not going to walk you through every step of this process because I don’t think you’re an idiot. If you are feeling a little retarded today, there are many websites that can explain how to properly measure wet and dry ingredients. This is not one of them. Once you’ve gotten your brain situated, toss your flank steak into the bag and marinate in the refrigerator about 3-6 hours.

Marinated Flank Steak
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup cooking sherry (I’d recommend dry Sherry)
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp (heaping) ginger, minced
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 flank steak

Combine all your ingredients in a Ziploc bag and marinate for 4-6 hours. Flank steaks are a typically tough but flavorful cut of meat. They need to marinate for a few hours to tenderize.

Heat your grill pan or grill until it’s hot enough to singe your eyelashes. For medium-rare steak, it will only need to cook a total of 5-7 minutes. Make sure you let it rest for 10-15 minutes after cooking to allow the juices to redistribute. If you’ve ever grilled a gorgeous steak and immediately attacked it, you know what it’s like to watch the juices stream out of the steak and all over your shirt.

If you desire, boil the leftover marinade for about 5 minutes and serve it as a dipping sauce. I know, I know – everyone says it’s unsafe. But honestly, what is going to survive at 212 degrees Fahrenheit? Stick your pet fish in there and find out.

Now I know you’re chomping at the bit to dig in, but hang on! When you carve this steak, make sure you cut against the grain. Otherwise, after all that work, you’ll end up with rubber. And nothing smarts more than smelling steak grilling only to be served with something you’d give to your dog – but only if you really don’t like him.

I serve this with asparagus (preferably grilled but sometimes the helpful husband gives up before I do) and carrots that I do a weird glaze/roast with. But we’ll get to that in a later post!

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here.

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