Do you ever have the feeling that the world is lying to you? That everyone else in humanity has agreed to love something terrible, and you have to play along or risk looking like a fool?
While we’re in agreement that some things really are the worst, it’s also true that some great things just get a bad rap. Which is why we’re here to ask you to give something we love just one more chance.
It’s likely you’ve had an unfortunate bite of flank steak, which was probably dry and chewy and flavorless. Maybe that steak came out of your kitchen, and you served it feeling like a flank-failure, yet again. After all, everyone loves flank steak. What do they know that you don’t?
The truth is, flank steak can be hard to get right. It’s a tough cut of meat from the abdomen of a cow, which is not as forgiving as a rich ribeye or tender filet. It’s not a melt-in-your-mouth kind of steak, and no matter how well you cook it, it will always retain some chewiness.
You want to get it right, though, because its flat, uniform shape makes it the perfect cut of meat for feeding a crowd. Throw it on the grill, and it’s Taco Tuesday. Put it under the broiler, and that’s a London broil (yup, that’s flank steak) that will yield leftovers for days.
Flank steak is most commonly hyped as a “hot and fast” meat that should be cooked to medium-rare (but not more!) in as little time as possible. It shines when marinated and cooked to a light char, sliced thinly against the grain. And while that’s a great, super-fast option, flank steak also moonlights as a succulent roast.
The Culinary Institute of America’s recipe for Chimichurri-Stuffed Flank Steak is the game-changing recipe you need. Filled with tangy chimichurri sauce, the steak is rolled into a pinwheel and roasted for less than 30 minutes. Sliced and served medium-rare, it’s tender and juicy, without the day-long cook most beef roasts require (and at a fraction of the price).
Chimichurri is a rustic sauce, hugely popular in Argentina and other South American countries, made from parsley, vinegar, and plenty of garlic. It’s tart, fragrant, and so bright, fresh and flavorful, making it the perfect complement to an otherwise understated cut of meat. If you have any leftovers, chimichurri is great tossed with roasted potatoes and vegetables, as a sandwich spread, or stirred into rice for a quick side.
You’re probably going to be hooked on this sauce, but remember that you can stuff your flank steak with virtually anything. Try cheese, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, mushrooms, or maybe just your favorite spice blend. You can even marinate the meat beforehand for a boost of flavor.
You’re now armed with a great recipe and the confidence to tackle flank steak. Remember these top tips for making it perfect: cook it medium-rare, slice against the grain and marinades make everything better.
Start to finish: 2 hours 40 minutes (Active time: 40 minutes)
Servings: 8 servings
One 3-pound flank steak
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided use
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided use
1 cup Chimichurri Sauce (recipe below), divided use
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lay a piece of plastic wrap that is just larger than your steak on a work surface. Lay the flank steak on top of the plastic, then cover with a second piece of plastic. Use a meat pounder to flatten the meat into an even 1/2-inch-thick piece. Discard the plastic wrap.
Season the meat with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread 1/2 cup of chimichurri over the surface of the meat, leaving a 1/2-inch border near the edges.
With the long side facing the counter, begin tightly rolling the steak away from you until the filling is fully enclosed. If desired, use three toothpicks to secure the roll as you tie the steak.
Use kitchen twine to tie the rolled steak in 1-inch increments to help it maintain its shape. Season with the remaining salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steak to the hot pan and sear until golden brown on all sides. Carefully transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet.
Transfer to the oven and cook until a thermometer inserted into the center of the roast reads 125 degrees F. Remove from the oven and rest for 30 minutes.
Slice and serve with the remaining chimichurri sauce.
Makes about 1 cup (8 servings)
1 cup finely chopped parsley leaves (from about one 4-ounce bunch)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
1 shallot, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop.
Nutrition information per serving: 390 calories; 224 calories from fat; 25 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 111 mg cholesterol; 698 mg sodium; 3 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 37 g protein.
From The Culinary Institute of America