Paleo Flank Steak

2013-02-04
I have mentioned before that Taylor’s favorite place is not the grocery store, and conversely it is one of my favorite places (when not crowded).  However, I may request his presence more frequently because whenever he is with me I am more efficient, we buy less, and we end up with a new protein/food adventure!  I love that he is adventurous – just look at how many recipes that I have subjected him to… and the ones I post online are only the wildly successful ones! 🙂  It is amazing that I feel like I am able to try experiment with all kinds of ingredients from proteins to spices.  I know that one day, a child or two will come along and may throw a fit over a kitchen experiment, so I will bask in my current freedom to succeed or fail without a tantrum (from anyone but myself).

Even though I had a completely different plan for dinner, when Taylor handed me a flank steak and asked me if I wanted him to grill it for dinner… the only answer was, “YES!”  I will never EVER (and now that it is in writing you can hold me to it) turn down an opportunity where Taylor is excited to work with me in the kitchen.  I will admit that I had a moment of hesitation when I got out of the shower and he hit me with, “… and can we make some cauliflower mashed potatoes?”  I’d never made them before, but again, like the flank steak it turned out to be an awesome collaboration of deliciousness.

Taylor googled recipes for flank steak marinades, and settled on one from simplyrecipes.com.  The marinade is simple and very similar to marinades that we have made in the past: vinegar, honey, soy sauce or coconut aminos.  Now, the matter of grilling.  We currently live in an apartment complex and do not have our own grill.  There are public grills by the pool area, but after running out there in the cold of night, balancing raw meat and tools, we realized that they weren’t working properly.  Massive fail?  Close… but Calphalon nonstick grill pan to the rescue!  I don’t use my grill pan frequently, but it was a total lifesaver for this dish.  I just rubbed it with a little bit of coconut oil and it achieved a good heat and even gave the meat grill marks!

I normally leave grilling to someone else.  Even though Taylor was my security blanket, this recipe helped to give me the confidence to grill meat again on our grill pan.  Flank steak should not be cooked to well-done, however, because it will become extremely tough.  That being said, depending on how you like your meat cooked, the flank steak will probably cook for 4-6 minutes on each side.  Another thing to take into consideration is the thickness of the steak.  Flank steak thickness can and will vary widely within the same cut of meat, so keep that in mind for the grilling time.  Also, make sure that you slice the meat against the grain – if the fibers/lines of the meat run horizontally, cut vertically.  It also helps to slice the meat thinly, and at a slight angle.  This process is easiest if you have a well-sharpened knife, and if you have let the meat rest for at least 15 minutes.  Not only will the meat continue to cook while it is resting, but it allows the juices to be absorbed into the meat.  If you cut it too early, all those delicious juices will end up on your cutting board and can potentially dry out the meat.  Set a timer on your phone and start a little kitchen cleanup if you find yourself tempted to cut it and eat it too early. 🙂

We served this dish with our Paleo Cauliflower Mashed Fauxtatoes.  This meal definitely felt primal.  There is nothing like a play on meat and potatoes.  Almost as good as collaborating, cooking, and consuming this meal with someone I love.  However, if I either can’t coax him back into the kitchen, or if he’s deployed somewhere, I feel confident that I could recreate this on my own.  Then, not only will I have a scrumptious dish, but a fantastic food memory.  Don’t wait for company for this dish!  Even if you are alone, treat yourself to some delectably easy (and healthy) comfort food.

Ingredients

  • 1 (2-3 lb) flank steak, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/3 cup organic olive oil or coconut oil (for marinade)
  • 2 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tbs coconut oil
  • optional: red pepper flakes, to taste

Instructions

  • 1. In large ziplock bag or bowl, whisk together ingredients in marinade: oil, red wine vinegar, honey, soy sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper
  • 2. Add flank steak and either seal bag, or cover bowl
  • 3. Marinate for at least 2 hours in the fridge, then set out to get up to room temperature
  • 4. Pour excess marinade into small pot, and heat on medium heat to thicken, stirring frequently
  • 5. Heat nonstick grill pan on medium/medium-high with coconut oil
  • 6. Add steak, and cook 4-6 minutes on each side
  • 7. Remove steak from heat and place on a cutting board to rest for about 15 minutes
  • 8. With a sharp knife, cut flank steak into thin slices going against the grain
  • 9. Serve with the reduced marinade-turned-sauce for dipping
  • 10. Enjoy!