You don’t have to completely blow your diet or the contents of your wallet when you’re craving a tender, juicy piece of red meat. Flank steak, which is cut from the steer’s abdomen, is leaner than more expensive cuts, and much less expensive. When you London broil flank steak, it always turns out succulent and filled with flavor, but while it’s simple to prepare, it doesn’t work as a last-minute meal.
- Flank steak
- Wine, vinegar or lemon juice
- Plastic zipper bag
- Skillet or baking pan
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
Bottled vinaigrette dressing makes a quick, convenient marinade, and adding store-bought sauces such as soy, Tabasco or Worcestershire boosts your marinade’s flavor-enhancing abilities in a flash. As long as you include an acidic element, you can whip up your own creative ways of marinating flank steak. Store leftovers in a container with the juices from your cooking pan. Flank steak is delicious cold in sandwiches or on a hearty salad. You can re-heat it, but you run the risk of drying it out or making it tougher. Simmer it over low heat with the reserved juices for the best results.
Discard used marinade. Reusing a marinade can lead to food poisoning because the ingredients have been exposed to raw meat.
Marinate it the meat. Mix wine with your favorite oil and seasonings and pour the mixture into a plastic zipper bag. Place the flank steak in the bag with the marinade, seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator. Allow the meat to marinate for at least two hours, but if you want truly juicy, tender beef, give it eight to 24 hours. Turn the bag periodically so all sides of the meat are exposed to the marinade for an equal amount of time. If you prefer, replace the wine with vinegar or lemon juice. An acid-based marinade is best when you’re trying to tenderize inexpensive meat.
Broil it in a pan. The term London broil refers to the technique of broiling or grilling beef in a pan over high heat, rather than to a specific cut of meat. While other inexpensive cuts of meat are suitable for pan-broiling, flank steak lends itself perfectly to this cooking method. Whether you use a skillet over high heat on the stovetop or a baking pan in a 500-degree oven, cook the meat only three to five minutes on each side. Part of the key to juicy flank steak is not cooking it beyond a medium-rare stage of doneness.
Let it rest. Remove the flank steak from the pan and place it on a cutting board for several minutes. Chef and food writer J. Kenji Lopez-Alt recommends giving steaks 10 minutes of resting time. As the outer surface of the meat cools slightly, the moisture inside is redistributed evenly and won’t leak right out when you cut into it.
Slice it thin. Cookbook author Susan Westmoreland, in the book "The Goodhousekeeping Cookbook," says another key factor to London broil’s tenderness has to do with how you slice it. After allowing the flank steak to rest, use a knife to make thin slices against the meat’s natural grain. Slicing diagonally orients the strands of meat for maximum tenderness when you take a bite.
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Melissa Lewis has worked as a freelance writer since 2004, gaining much of her experience by working in the marketing/PR field. She writes for various websites, specializing in the areas of marketing, home improvement, cooking and pets. Lewis studied English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.