Flank steak doesn’t hold quite the audacious reputation as a juicy porterhouse or T-bone steak. Nonetheless, it’s a source of inspiration in the kitchen, particularly when it comes to the effect it has on your family budget and the kitchen timer. If you’re unfamiliar with flank steak, don’t shy away from sales at your local grocery store; buy what you can afford and freeze what you don’t need. When you start craving a tasty cut of beef, you’ll have an inexpensive buy waiting for you in the freezer.
Cut from the belly of the cow, flank steak is identified as a lean cut per government standards, making it a wise choice for your kids and you. Also a less-expensive buy, flank steak is cut from a muscle-laden part of the cow, rendering the meat a bit more tough than other selections, so preparation is key to creating a scrumptious dinner. Marinating the meat in a flavorful balsamic vinegar-mustard marinade or a Mexican-inspired lime juice-olive oil blend helps to break down the tough connective tissues in the meat. If you don’t have time to marinate, consider braising the steak in a slow cooker to tenderize the meat.
Stove Top or Slow Cooker
Take a few minutes to slice uncooked steak into strips and then immerse them in a ginger-soy sauce marinade for several hours. Later, sauté the beef until tender with sliced peppers, broccoli, string beans or onion to create a vegetable-beef mixture that is served with a side of brown rice and Asian coleslaw. Your slow cooker beautifully braises flank steak all day while you plow through your to-dos. Braise steak in a beef broth mixed with canned tomatoes with diced green chilies, a bottle of beer and fresh or frozen vegetables to create an easy dinner that holds a hint of border flavors without the time it would normally take to pull off such a dish. Take two forks to shred the beef and serve over warmed tortillas with a tropical fruit salad on the side.
If you want to impress your guests, even if your guests are pint-sized, stuff your steak to make pretty pinwheels that only look like you slaved all day. Mix a dry ranch seasoning mix with stuffing and combine with vegetables, such as mushrooms and onions, then spread on the steak and roll up the short end to create a pinwheel. Secure with a toothpick and marinate it with one of your favorite marinades, such as a red wine-onion gravy mixture. Just sear the steak before cooking it in the oven, and when it's done, slice the steak in 2-inch segments to create the pinwheels. Instead of stuffing your marinated flank steak, prepare a London broil by placing it on an oiled pan and broiling until desired doneness is reached. Serve with a packaged salad topped with creamy dressing and croutons or glazed nuts. A side of mixed vegetables that are tossed and roasted in a seasoning mix rounds out the meal. Remember to cook beef to an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit to kill bacteria, and steak for children should be cooked to at least medium-well to minimize their risk of becoming ill.
The grill imparts distinctive smoked flavors into flank steak, which cooks quickly on the grill, making it a possibility for a weeknight. Pull flank steak out of a lime juice-cilantro based marinade and place it directly on the grill next to shucked corn on the cob, halved peppers, thickly sliced red onion or halved peaches or bananas. You’ll have a one-grill meal in minutes. When the following day finds you combining the dry cleaners and football practice in the same errand, pull out leftover steak, slice and warm with the vegetables to make lightning-quick fajitas. Alternatively, you can top a leafy green salad with the warmed beef and toss with a tasty hickory bacon and onion dressing.
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