Tag Archives: flank steak

Beef and Broccoli on the Grill

I christened the Weber® Wok I got at the end of last season’s grilling period with beef and broccoli. Good choice. It was really quick and really good. In hindsight, I would make one significant change to how I cooked the beef, because the grill cooks so much hotter than the indoor stovetop. I’ll add a note in the recipe on how to do that better.

Whether you’re cooking such a dish indoors or on the grill, having all the ingredients ready and at hand is important, so that nothing is overcooked while you’re fumbling for the next ingredient. I used marinated flank steak strips for the beef, but you could also use skirt steak or sirloin. I forgot to weigh or measure the mushrooms and broccoli, but have a pretty good idea of how much I used.

I chose to cook the vegetables first, so they wouldn’t cause the meat to be overdone as the broccoli cooked. When the meat was done (in a virtual minute) the vegetables were just tossed back in to reheat with the remaining sauce.

Beef and Broccoli on the Grill

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/2-3/4 lb flank steak cut across grain in thin strips
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (see note about marinade)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4-8 tablespoons vegetable oil, depending on the vegetables you use
  • 3-4 cups broccoli florets (if you use stems, plan for longer cooking)
  • 2 cups shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • salt & pepper
  • cooked rice for serving (I used brown basmati)

Preparation

  1. Marinate the beef strips for 2-4 hours in the next 6 ingredients—soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, ginger. *Note about marinade: Usually, I like to have the cornstarch in the marinade, which thickens quickly on cooking, but the grill was too blazing hot for that and I think some of the cornstarch burned off right away. I’m suggesting instead that the cornstarch be added to the 1/2 cup water and added after the meat is cooked and the vegetables are tossed back in.
  2. Prepare grill for direct heat at about 400° using about 60 briquettes in a chimney starter. Spread the ash-covered coals in the center of the grill under the cooking grate no more than two coals high, so they don’t actually touch the bottom of the wok.
  3. Place the wok in the grill, close the cover, and heat the grill and wok to about 400°. The bottom of the Weber® Wok, a cast iron wok, sits below the grill grate; if you are using a wok of a different material and/or that sits on top of the grate, your cooking times may differ.
  4. Mushrooms: pour 2 tablespoons oil in the wok, then add the sliced mushrooms and toss for a few minutes. Mushrooms will soak up oil, as you probably know, so you’ll need more for the broccoli.
  5. Broccoli: pour in up to 2 more tablespoons oil into the wok and add broccoli florets. Toss for a few minutes, then close the grill cover for a 2-3 minutes to cook through. Alternatively, you could place a large lid on the wok itself.
  6. Scoop out the vegetables and set aside. Wipe out the wok with paper towels, if needed.
  7. Beef: Add another two tablespoons oil to the wok and allow the grill to reheat. Add the meat and marinade and spread out the meat to cook for 2-3 minutes. Alternately, you could strain the meat and marinade, adding only the meat first and the marinade after it is done.
  8. Toss in the vegetables and the 1/2 cup water and cornstarch (and the strained marinade if you did that). Toss until the sauce is thickened, which is almost instantaneous.
  9. Remove to serving bowl and serve over rice.

Don’t leave your wok on the hot grill to burn; remove it to a heatproof space to cool to make cleaning a little easier. I cleaned mine with warm water and kosher salt.

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Carne Asada Wraps with Pico de Gallo

I used flank steak, as I usually do, because I have never seen skirt steak in the two grocery stores I shop at. I think I saw it once when we lived in Texas in the mid-90s, but not since. I look for it all the time, but am running out of hope. I can’t complain about flank steak, though, as long as it is scored on each side and marinated. I’ve written about the scoring before in this post: A Tale of Two Flank Steaks. As you can see in the image, it did not have to be cooked just to bloody rareness to remain juicy—it was grilled for 7 minutes per side, and then rested for 10, which was plenty of time for the small 1 lb steak. We ate every bit.

I made a very nice pico de gallo—really a chopped tomato salad—to eat with mine (or to eat with a spoon), while my tomato-averse husband had a roasted salsa verde with his.

Carne Asada Wraps with Pico de Gallo

  • Servings: makes about 4 wraps
  • Difficulty: time consuming
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1 flank steak, 1-2 pounds, scored on both sides

Wet Marinade
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. Mix all ingredients and pour over scored flank steak in sealable bag.
  2. Marinate in refrigerator for 4-6 hours. remove at least 1/2 hour before grilling to bring to room temperature.
Prepare grill for direct heat
  1. Grill steak for about 7-10 minutes on each side with the lid closed, depending on the size of your steak, for medium rare.
  2. Remove and rest steak on cutting board under a loose cover of foil for about 10 minutes.
  3. Slice thinly, against the grain.
  4. Serve in wraps wit lettuce and toppings, like pico de gallo or your favorite salsa, avocado, or a fresh cheese, like queso fresco.
Pico de Gallo

4 small tomatoes (about 3-4″), chopped—you could seed them or not

1/2 large onion, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, diced

about 2 tablespoons minced garlic or garlic paste

a big handful of finely chopped cilantro or 2 tablespoons cilantro paste (I used the paste)

1 generous teaspoon kosher salt

3-4 tablespoons lime juice

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. I let mine sit in the refrigerator for an hour, but you could eat it right away. I like to let the onion and pepper absorb the liquid a little.

A Tale of Two Flank Steaks

Apologies to Dickens. There’s not much in the way of interesting narrative or characterization here, just a single post on the way I treat flank steak to make it edible—unless you need it to re-sole a shoe. Before getting the new charcoal grill this summer, I hadn’t fooled with a flank steak for a long, long time. Mostly—and I mean decades ago—I stuffed and rolled them, as that was the only recipe for them in my old Betty Crocker. But even back in the 60s, it was recommended to score the flank steak first, partly to make it easier to roll around stuffing, but also to make it more tender. The meat roll was braised in the oven for 2 hours and the result was okay, but I’d just as soon make a bracciole with pounded round steak. Yes, many people pound a flank steak for bracciole, but it’s a huge job pounding a flank steak; in fact, I think my shoulder still aches from trying that.

But, I digress. this post is not about braising a meat roll.

My point is that scoring a flank steak in a cross-grain diamond pattern seems to have been forgotten by a lot of cooks. Mostly, we do it to the fat on a holiday ham, maybe studding the diamonds with cloves. For grilling a flank steak, it’s a necessity. I’ve done it twice now in a couple of weeks, the first time using a dry rub, and this time with a wet marinade, but both eaten in tortillas with a variety of good toppings. I probably can’t convince you of the necessity of scoring unless you grill one as is, marinated or not, and then try it again after scoring. You will be amazed and delighted. After marinating, you grill the flank steak for about 5 minutes per side for medium rare, although the thinner ends might be more done—it won’t matter, though, because even the medium or well-done ends will be tender and delicious.

Scoring should be at about a 1/8″ depth and definitely not more than 1/4″. Sharpen your knife to be able to make easy cuts without a lot of downward force—you don’t want to cut through to the bottom, but you do want to score both sides and still have a middle.

It was really cold and windy out yesterday, and I didn’t get pics of the wet rub steak on the grill; I just threw it on and ran into the house.

My wet rub used lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, salt, and ground chipotle. I think we liked this wet rub better than the dry rubs I often use. It had a nice kick from the lime and chipotle, and a better charred surface. I let the steak marinate for about 6 hours before grilling over direct heat at about 400°.