View Full Version : Flank Steak Question
Karen from VA
08-11-2000, 07:38 PM
I have flank steak marinating overnight with the intention of making fahitas tomorrow night. (This is a trial run for a lunch I will be serving Labor Day weekend.) The recipe says to grill it and slice it thin. I'm thinking instead of browning it quickly and then putting it in the crockpot, along with the marinade to cook all day. This would eliminate the last minute grilling which I would like to avoid. My question is will this work? Does flank steak tenderize with long cooking like brisket or does it need to be served fairly rare? I know purist cooks of Mexican food wouldn't think of doing such a thing, but my guests won't care. Thanks for any advice you can give.
After I give you my opinion (and understand that an opinion is all it is...) someone will probably come along and say the complete opposite, BUT, I've been cooking flank steak many years-- mostly I broil it, occasionally I use it for bracciole-- and, well, it doesn't exactly turn into filet mignon when you tenderize it. Flank steak tends to be pretty fibrous by nature and while you can tenderize it somewhat (beating the heck out of it crosswise to break up the fibers helps) there's a point beyond which it just doesn't go. You can beat it, you can marinate it, but in the end it still wants to be sliced thin (and at a slight angle) and chewed a bit. Flank steak begs to be broiled or grilled. I don't think I've ever met one which specifically asked to be slow-cooked-- which, you understand, is going to change the nature and texture of the dish into something else entirely. (No, I am not a fajita purist. As a matter of fact, I don't even like the dish...) Anyway, I say nix on the idea. Sorry.
[This message has been edited by Gail (edited 08-11-2000).]
08-11-2000, 08:42 PM
Karen I agree with Gail.I don't eat beef but friends that do always grill it. I am enclosing a recipe that appeared in foodtv for a mexican fiesta & the meat is grilled
Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence
2 1/4 pounds skirt or flank steak, trimmed of fat
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
Guacamole, recipe follows
Salsa Fresca, recipe follows
12 flour tortillas, warm
In a small bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients. Place steak in a shallow container, and pour marinade over it. Refrigerate, covered, 8 hours or overnight to tenderize meat.
Drain the marinade from the meat. Grill the steak in a ridged grill pan over medium-high heat for 4 minutes each side. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let stand.
In the same pan with the steak juices, add the bell peppers and onions. Sauté the mixture for 3 minutes until the vegetables are limp.
Thinly slice the steak against the grain on a diagonal.
Spread some guacamole on a tortilla, top with a few slices of steak, peppers and onions and salsa fresca. Roll up the tortilla to enclose the filling.
May also serve with sour cream and shredded cheese.
3 ounces steak per tortilla, 2 tortillas per person = 6 ounces total each person 6 ounces x 6 people = 36 ounces = 2 1/4 pounds steak
1 orange, juiced
2 limes, juiced
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
Yield: 6 servings (12 fajitas – 2 per serving)
Hope this helps
I've never tried flank steak in a crock pot, but I have read a hundred warnings not to cook past medium rare. I think you would have one of two results: slow cooked rubber in marinade or chewey meat that falls apart. Actually, you could have both. You can grill flank steak in about 10 minutes, so it's not a big production or timing problem. I would grill it when you need it, but next best would be to grill it in advance, cooking it rare, and gently reheat it.
08-12-2000, 05:52 AM
Karen, I've never used a crockpot, but I used to make a stuffed flank steak that I cooked slowly in moist heat like a pot roast, and it usually came out very tender -- or, rather, as Beth says, practically falling apart. It did have a "chew" to it, but not a tough or rubbery chew. At least, that's the way I remember it; I haven't made it in a long time. If you'd like, I'll dig out the old recipe for you.
Karen from VA
08-12-2000, 08:00 AM
Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts. I think flank steak is the only cut of meat I've never cooked, so your opinions are very helpful. I think I'll leave my crock pot in the cupboard (where it usually resides,) grill my steak for fahitas tonight and see how the leftovers warm up tomorrow night. I may buy a ridged grilling pan before doing my lunch on Labor Day. I'll be serving this at our mountain cabin where we only have a charcoal grill, and since timing of the meal will be a big factor, I don't want to have to mess with trying to get coals just right. I'll let you know how my plan works.
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