Flank steak is a cut of beef which, despite being very tough, is also delicious. The toughness of this cut is due to the abundant presence of connective tissue in the meat, which is why it is ideal for grilling!
What is flank steak?
Flank steak can be obtained from any of the parts of the muscle space inside the animal's chest and abdomen, just below the ribs. The muscles from which it is taken are the diaphragm, from which the outer flank is obtained, while the inner flank is obtained from the transversus abdominis muscle.
The inner and outer skirts are very similar. They are long, flat, coarse-grained cuts. Thanks to this grain, the meat can be easily marinated in a few minutes and impregnated with the flavor of the marinade.
From each animal, only two flank steaks can be removed from each side of the meat, one inner and one outer. Generally, the outer flank is used in the catering trade, so in butcher shops and supermarkets you will most likely find an inner flank steak, which is just as delicious if you know how to prepare it!
The outer skirt is characterized by being wrapped in a white membrane, which it is best to remove before preparing the meat. The membrane can be easily removed by pulling it off or asking the butcher to do it.
Flank steak has a very intense and particular flavor, so you have to be careful when choosing what to marinate it with. You don't want the flavor of the meat to be lost if you choose much stronger seasonings and sauces to marinate it with.
Beef flank steak has great health benefits. It is a fairly lean meat because, for example, in three ounces you will find only 187 calories; of which, 10.24 will be from fat. On the other hand, this cut contains 22 grams of protein. Between the outer and inner flank, the outer flank has more calories, more fat and more protein.
On the other hand, both cuts are very rich in vitamins B6 and B12 which provide many benefits for the nervous and immune system.
Tips for preparing flank steak
The best way to prepare this delicious cut of beef is grilled, although some people also prepare it baked and even stewed. However, flank steak is a cut that, due to its consistency, needs to be cooked at very high heat and very fast. Thus, flank steak can be ready in as little as ten minutes. There are also recipes that recommend searing the meat in a pan beforehand.
If you don't have a grill, don't worry. You can also prepare the flank steak in a frying pan, just make sure that however you cook it, it is at the maximum possible temperature.
As for marinating, there are recipes that call for the steak to marinate for hours, while others require only 20-30 minutes. Remember that the marinating time will also depend on the intensity of the ingredients used for the marinade.
You can cook flank steak in two ways: the whole piece, or cut it into steaks. It all depends on the recipe you want to prepare, but the easiest way is to cut the piece into steaks. To do this, try to keep the fillets of the same thickness and use a sharp knife, as the meat is tough; you can ask a butcher to make the cuts for you if you wish. It is also advisable to pound the meat with a kitchen mallet before preparing and marinating it, as this will flatten the steaks and tenderize the meat.
Finally, to cut the steak and serve it to your guests, always follow the muscle or strand of the meat. It will be easier for you this way.
- 250 milliliters of sherry wine.
- ¼ cup of soy sauce.
- Two tablespoons of honey.
- One tablespoon of white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- One teaspoon ground ginger.
- One teaspoon of sesame oil.
- One clove of garlic.
- One flank steak.
- In a large bowl, place all the ingredients except for the flank steak. You can use a bowl or even a resealable food bag.
- You can use a blender, if you prefer, to make a uniform mixture.
- Add the flank steak to the mixture, so that it is well infused with the flavors of the marinade.
- Remove from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before cooking.
- Preheat the grill.
- Remember to spray the grill with cooking spray to prevent the meat from sticking.
- The grate should be at a distance of ten centimeters above the heat source.
- Bring the steak to cook over a high heat. Each side needs about five minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the marinade in a small saucepan and heat, stirring frequently.
- Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for five minutes, covered with aluminum foil or the lid of a large saucepan. This helps retain the heat and helps the meat finish cooking.
- Serve the steak, pouring the marinade over the top.