Flank steak is obtained from the diaphragm area of veal. It is a cut with a delicious and distinctive flavour, but it is difficult to prepare. The texture of veal flank steak is not very tender. Pay close attention when cooking it, otherwise it can become very tough.
Tips for preparing flank steak
Flank steak can be cooked in different ways: grilled, baked then grilled, even in a frying pan. However, the secret to a good flank steak is the same. It is a meat that no matter how you choose to cook it, if you don't do it properly and follow these recommendations, the cut will be tough and difficult to eat.
The first thing is to respect the marinating time for each recipe you want to make. Flank steak has a very intense and characteristic flavour and the marinades that accompany it are simple, but the vast majority require the meat to remain in the refrigerator for many hours. Respect these times and, if you are in a hurry, then stir the meat very well between marinades so that it can soak up a lot of the juices; it is also advisable to pour the marinade liquid over the meat during cooking.
To ensure that the flank steak is not tough, it is very important to clean it properly. This cut has a lot of intramuscular fibre, so when you buy it, it will be covered by a white membrane. This membrane must be removed before marinating. You can ask the butcher to remove it for you or do it at home. Simply make a small cut with a sharp knife and pull the membrane off. It should come off easily.
Finally, many people choose to pound the meat with a kitchen mallet. This is an optional step, but it can also be a great help in preventing the meat from becoming too tough. And of course, never forget to keep an eye on the cooking time.
How to cook flank steak in the oven
Flank steak, in addition to its flavour and texture, is characterised by its length and triangular shape. It is best prepared on the grill, but if you don't have a grill, don't worry, you can bake it in the oven and get amazing results.
- Whole flank steak.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- Coarse salt.
- Freshly ground black pepper.
- Perrins, soy or Worcestershire sauce.
- Lime or lemon.
- The first thing to do is to clean the meat. Once the membrane has been removed, it is time to marinate the meat.
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl deep enough so that the meat can soak up the flavours of the marinade. Use your hands to mix the meat thoroughly and coat it with the marinade juices. You can also paint the meat with a silicone cooking brush.
- Cover the container with cling film and place in the refrigerator. It is advisable to prepare the marinade either very late in the evening or very early in the morning.
- A couple of hours before cooking, remove the meat from the fridge so that it is at room temperature. It is very important that the meat gradually comes to room temperature; if you cook the meat while it is cold inside, the results will not be as desired.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
- Line a baking tray with aluminium foil.
- While the oven is preheating, sear the meat in a frying pan or on a griddle. You should sear it for one minute on each side. To handle the meat on the griddle and turn it over, use kitchen tongs.
- Place the meat on white baking paper and place it on the oven rack. Underneath the oven rack, place the foil-lined tray.
- You can dispense with the rack and use the foil-lined tray directly. However, brush with a little olive oil to prevent the meat from sticking.
- Leave to cook for 30-40 minutes. Halfway through cooking, turn the meat over with the help of tongs. If you like your meat rare, reduce the temperature to 150ºC.
- It is important to keep an eye on the meat during cooking. You can make a small cut to see the inside of the meat to see if it is cooked to the desired doneness.
- Once the time has elapsed, remove the meat from the oven and set it aside in a serving dish. Cover the dish with aluminium foil to prevent the meat from cooling.
- Finally, when you are going to cut the meat and serve it to your guests, it is important to cut along the grain of the meat. This will make slicing much easier, but will also make the texture of the meat softer.