Summer calls for barbeque and flanken makes a change from the usual steaks and burgers. Flanken comes from the long section below the loin of the steer, where layers of beef and fat cover the ends of the ribs. The long strip of upper flank is cut 1 to 2 inches thick across the first few ribs of the forward flank. Buy about 1/2 lb. for each serving to allow for bones and fat and use a marinade of Oriental ingredients for a light, slightly sweet flavor.
Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, wine, vinegar, garlic, green onion and spice in a saucepan and heat, stirring until the mixture just begins to boil. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
Pat the flanken with a paper towel and remove any bits of broken bone. If you want to serve boneless flanken, remove bones with a sharp filet knife the way you would core an apple. Freeze the bones to save them for soup.
Rub the flanken all over with oil and place them in a ceramic or plastic bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the marinade 10 to 12 hours. Turn the flanken a few times during the period to distribute the marinade.
Light the charcoal and allow burn down until it develops a coat of white ash. If your barbecue is a gas model, preheat it to medium-high or about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange briquettes or flame so that meat will cook over indirect heat.
Remove the flanken from the marinade. Discard the marinade. Trim any large areas of fat from the edges of the flanken before putting them on the grill to avoid flare-ups.
Put the flanken on the grill. Turn them after three to four minutes and check for doneness after the other side cooks for three to four minutes. Cooking time will vary according to what sort of barbeque you have and thickness of meat. Flanken should be pink in the center when done and should take no longer than 10 to 12 minutes to cook. Well-done meat may be tough.
- Ask your butcher for flanken short ribs, not chuck flanken-style ribs, which are cut from the tougher chuck portion and must be cooked by braising.
- For a glaze finish, mix equal parts of soy sauce and mirin with a little sugar to make a Kabayaki sauce to brush on the flanken for the last few minutes of cooking.
- Allow fat to seep out slowly but using tongs rather than a fork to turn meat.
- Flanken may also be used in soups and stews.
- Do not use the marinade to baste flanken as it cooks; it can transfer bacteria that was on the surface of the raw meat.
- Always take care when using barbeque equipment. Wear barbecue mitts when handling hot surfaces.
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