Sunday, June 26, 2011

Steaks on the BBQ

I am a big fan of steaks on the barbecue.  The only problem is my dad lives 300 miles away and I feel I will never be the grillmaster that he is.  He knows exactly what temp the grill should be at and exactly how long each side needs to hit medium rare.  His steaks are almost always perfect and it is a hard act to follow.

The fact of the matter is, I will never learn to grill like my dad unless I try.  This weekend I attempted my first steak.  After some research, I decided to try a flank steak.  While this is not the most tender cut of meat, it is very flavorful and it is not expensive.  With the right preparation and the right tools, I felt I could make a decent meal of it.

In order to make a flank steak enjoyable, it is necessary to marinate it with something acidic.  I chose balsamic vinegar because I had it on hand and I love it with red meat.  Something with red wine vinegar would probably be tasty too.  Next, it is very important to cut the steak correctly--across the grain.  If you are wondering how to do this--this blog explains it well. I sliced it very thinly, using a freshly sharpened knife.

I definitely inherited my father's fear of overcooking meat.  The recipe suggested 3 minutes a side, and I did more like 2 minutes because I was terrified of over-cooking it.  It definitely could have used 30-45 more seconds on each side.  As I grill more red meat, I will eventually learn what medium rare is by touching the meat.  Now, I only know what medium rare does not feel like, but hopefully I will learn soon!

Despite being slightly under-cooked, the steak was full of flavor and was not tough at all.  I will definitely try this recipe from Martha Stewart again. I served it with green beans with gremolata (Tuesday's post) and cauliflower steaks and a delicious beer from Harriet Brewing Company (Wednesday's post).

1-1.5 pound flank steak
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup EVOO
3 springs of rosemary, minced
3 cloves of garlic
salt & pepper

1) In a small bowl, combine the balsamic, EVOO, rosemary, and garlic.  Put the steak in a ziploc bag (or tupperware where the steak will be covered by liquid) and cover it in the marinade.  Leave it for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours in the fridge.
2) Prepare the grill.  I used a charcoal grill and waited until the coals were very hot.
3) Before putting the steak on the grill, let it come to room temperature (you can even do this while it is still marinating), and just before putting it on the grill, dry it off with paper towels to avoid flames and salt & pepper each side. 
4) Grill it for 2-3 minutes per side for medium rare.  After it is off the grill, let is sit for about 5 minutes.

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