There’s a big price difference when it comes to different cuts of meat such as a cut of New York Strip, Tenderloin and Flank Steak.
Because the higher cuts of meat, like the New York strips and Tenderloins are the most tender of steaks out there. This is due to where the cut of beef is from. Strips and Tenderloins have short muscle fibers and small amount of connective tissue.
Flank steak is a fairly tough piece of meat which requires a little more prep work to tenderize it before just throwing it on the grill. But that doesn’t mean that steak has to be reserved only for weekends.
We’re going to show you how to tenderize that flank steak for your next backyard bar-be-que.
HOW LONG IS TOO LONG TO MARINATE MEAT?
Many experts agree that 2 hours is enough time to tenderize meat. However, that all depends on WHAT is in the marinade. While it’s true marinades will add tons of flavor, acidic marinades can actually toughen the meat over time.
4 hours would be the absolute minimum I would recommend otherwise it just doesn’t have enough time to tenderize. Overnight is too long as the acid will then toughen the meat. The right amount, and what’s worked for me, is to make the marinade in the morning for that night’s dinner. This would give you about an 8 hour marinate time.
THE 4 COMPONENTS NEEDED FOR A GREAT MARINADE:
The key (without boring you to death) for a great marinade lies in the ratio of acid to oil for what you are marinating. Shrimp for example do not do well in a highly acidic marinade so I would recommend 1 part acid to 3 or 4 parts oil. Flank steak, on the other hand, can withstand a little higher acid level.
This recipe does not have a very high acidic or enzymatic ratio. There is just enough red wine vinegar to give it some acid but it is then balanced with some honey and sugar and Sriracha!
- OIL- you want the marinade to be at least half oil in total. You want to aim for around a ½ cup of marinade per lb of meat. So for a 2 lb flank steak I would start with ½ cup of oil and add the rest of the ingredients below.
- ACID – Like I mentioned above steak can handle a little more acid then say shrimp, but I still like to keep the ratio at half the oil. So if we are using ½ cup oil, I would use a little less than ¼ cup acid. Some examples would be juices (such as oj, pineapple) or vinegars (red wine, white).
- SPICES/FLAVORING – this is where the flavor of your marinade will come from. Worcestershire, garlic, soy, Sriracha, spices, mustards, etc.
- SWEET/SALT – if you just mixed the oil, acid and spices you would end up with a very acidic tasting marinade. To help balance this out salt and sugar are needed. Not too much, but enough. The sugar can come from plain sugar or syrup or honey.
HOW LONG DO I COOK MY STEAK AND HOW DO I CUT IT?
This of course is personal taste. However the thing to keep in mind is that steak (or any meat for that matter) will continue to cook as it sits (which you want to do for at least 5 minutes). Check your steak using a meat thermometer and take them off the grill at:
- 120 degrees for rare,
- 125 for medium-rare, and
- 135 for medium.
Flank steak should be cut ACROSS the grain (those are the long lines going from side to side) and tilt your knife on an angle. Don’t cut straight down.
Make your slices THIN. Remember this is a tougher piece of meat – the thinner the cut, the easier to chew!
- ½ Cup Olive Oil
- 2–3 Cloves Organic Garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- ¼ Cup Soy Sauce
- ¼ Cup Honey
- 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Srirachi
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- ½ teaspoon Ground Pepper
- Combine all ingredients for the marinade.
- Place steak in a glass baking dish and pour marinade over the steak and place in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat an outdoor grill to high heat and let the temperature get to 400° or higher.
- Remove the steak from the marinade. Brush the grill with some olive oil on a paper towel or aluminum foil. Place the steak on the grill and grill for 3-4 minutes, then rotate the steak to create a crisscross mark. Grill for another 3-4 minutes. Peek under the steak and when it has a nice char and crisscross marks turn it over and grill the other side until a thermometer reads:
120-130° for Rare 130-135° for Med Rare 134-140° for Med Well