This flank steak recipe is one of my favorites. I'm a big fan of a nice, marinated flank steak, thinly sliced, served with potatoes, or even in a salad.
But flank steak can be a bit tricky. It's very flavorful, but it can also be kind of tough. You need to know how to cook flank steak, how to treat it just right, to get a perfect meal.
One of the keys to cooking flank steak is marinating it first. But you have to use just the right marinade — something with a bit of acidity to it to break down the meat proteins and tenderize the steak.
The marinade in this flank steak recipe is the real trick. It's a teriyaki sauce, which I love, but unlike a lot of teriyaki sauces out there, it actually does have a little bit of acidity to it, so it not only adds flavor, but makes the tough cut a little more tender.
Here it is!
Spread the teriyaki marinade evenly on both sides of the flank steak. Marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. Take the steak out about 30 minutes before cooking.
Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
When the oil is hot, put the flank steak in the pan. Cook until one side is browned, then flip and brown the other side. Each side should take a few minutes to brown. Don't move the cooking steak until it sears!
Lower the heat to medium, and continue cooking the steak until it's done to your liking.
Remove the steak from the heat and let it rest 5 minutes. Slice thinly and across the grain and serve immediately.
Before spreading the marinade on the flank steak, you can score the meat with a few cuts across the grain on both sides.
This can help the marinade penetrate deeper, but can also cause the steak to lose more juices when you cook it.
I prefer to rely on a longer marinating time and thinly cut slices to increase the tenderness and flavor, and not lose juices, but this is good if you're short on time.
Flank steak really does need to marinate a long while. If you have to, you can let it marinate for just an hour or two, but you can't expect as good a result.
When you cook flank steak, it's best not to cook it much past medium rare, or medium at most. Flank steak is a fairly tough cut of meat, and the more you cook it, the tougher it gets.
Wondering how to cook flank steak so it's done just the way you like it? Try these tests.
The teriyaki marinade recipe works great if you're cooking steak under the broiler or on the grill, too.
The last step in the instructions says to cut thinly and across the grain of the meat. This is important, because cutting it that way gives slices that are more tender, by breaking down the elastin in the meat.