Friday, June 22, 2012

Fabulous Friday Food - Mom's Grilled Flank Steak

I've said it often, and it's really true: most of what I've learned about cooking I learned from my mom.

I grew up with an amazing mom who did lots of things well, but she especially knew how to cook. Even when there wasn't a lot of money to buy expensive cuts of meat, she still made every meal special. Being together as a family, spending time laughing around the dinner table, was a priority of hers, and she made sure we all wanted to be there.

I remember when my mom got this recipe (I think it came from my Aunt Ruth) and tried it at home for the first time. We were blown away by the tenderness of the meat (even though you kind of have to help it along a little bit) and the juiciness and the FLAVOR. And since that first time, this recipe became a family staple.

I've been serving this steak to my own family forever, and they all love it. I'm guessing that this is such a tried-and-true favorite that in years to come my own daughters will be serving it to their families too.

If you've ever wondered what to do with a flank steak, wonder no more. Here's your go-to recipe!

First, just in case you're wondering what a flank steak actually looks like, it's that strange, flat piece of meat that you see at the butcher shop or in the grocery store and wonder, "What on earth do I do with THAT?"

I'll tell you what you do with it: you buy one (or, in my case, two). And you make this recipe. Because it's SO GOOD!

So, once you've bought your flank steak, take a really sharp fork and poke holes all over it on both sides.

Now, put it in a Ziplok bag. (This isn't too hard yet, is it?) (I could slow down.)

Next, make the marinade. You need sugar, salt, meat tenderizer (Adolph's), honey, soy sauce, and vinegar (I like either red wine vinegar or balsamic). Six simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.

Combine all of these together in a bowl, making sure to whisk them together well so the honey and sugar don't get left behind.

Oh, and if you're making two steaks, double the marinade.

Pour the marinade over the meat . . .

. . . and let it soak in the goodness for a few hours in the fridge. You can even leave this overnight--it can only get better.

Are you with me so far? Not too taxing on the brain, is it?

Now for the grilling part. Get your grill good and hot. Oh, and you might want to get a timer for this one because in all the years I have been making this, I've learned that the timing is extremely important.

Six minutes per side. 

Not five.

Not seven.


Isn't that beautiful?!

Now, after twelve minutes EXACTLY (six per side--I'm a math genius), take the meat inside, cover it with foil, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.

Now you can slice it. And honestly? the slicing is the hardest part of this entire recipe because you have to figure out what "against the grain" means.

See those lines in the meat in the picture above? (Not the grill marks, but the lines of the meat.) You don't want to cut along those lines, you want to cut perpendicular to those lines. (I sure hope I used that word right.)

Like this:

That way your meat will be tender and juicy and won't fall apart on you. Cut the meat into strips about 1/4 inch thick.

See how pink it is on the inside? You definitely want that. Please, for all that is good and right and true in this world, do NOT overcook this meat. (Six minutes per side, remember?) Because if you do, you will have wasted a ton of money on a piece of shoe leather. The pink is what you want. Trust me.

Now, I would have shown you a picture of the delicious meal we enjoyed with this meat a couple of weeks ago when my college friend, Colette, and her daughter were here. I think we had some roasted potatoes and asparagus--all cooked on the grill--but we were too hungry and I was too excited, so I forgot to take a picture of the final product.


Suffice it to say that the steak was delicious. There might have even been a little bit left over for sandwiches the next day. Yum!

Looking for something different to throw on the grill this weekend? Try this flank steak. You can thank me later.

For a printable recipe, click here.




  1. Definitely trying this! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I cannot wait to make this, Shelly. I love your recipes.

  3. It was delicious! and I did have it as a sandwich the next day on a yummilicious roll left from dinner too! colette

  4. Used this marinade on salmon tonite - yum!!

  5. This looks great and I'll have to try it. I never buy flank steak b/c I don't know what to do with it but now I do. Thanks!