Martha Stewart Living (May 2009)
A couple nights ago, our friend Drew was giving us grief about our recent string of posts. "I went on there to find something to cook for dinner, and all you had was cocktails and, like, desserts. Y'all need a STEAK."
We balked, but we couldn't really disagree: Lately, we've featured a couple of nice mixed drinks, a parade of lovely little desserts, two petite appetizers, and one very polite, very dainty spring green salad.
Drew was right: We need a STEAK!
This recipe is just what we needed -- a big, bold juicy steak that's packed with great flavors.
Aside from the terrific taste, this steak has two big advantages. First, it's extremely affordable. Flank steak is a much cheaper cut than other steaks, like rib-eyes or T-bones. Our flank steak was enough food for four people, and it cost us less than $8 total.
Second, this recipe is extremely quick to pull together. You could easily go from start to finish in under 20 minutes, making this an ideal dish for a quick weeknight dinner. Glazing the steak turns out to be a huge time-saving shortcut: You get all the deep, flavorful tastes of a marinated piece of meat, without any of the wait.
We did have to buy one ingredient that we didn't already have on hand: mirin. Mirin, for those not familiar, is a sweetened sake. It tastes like a sweet soy sauce and is a key ingredient of teryaki (which incidentally, we have learned, is made with soy sauce, mirin and sweetener). We found mirin in the international aisle at our supermarket.
And we made one change to this dish. The recipe calls for cooking the steak in a stove-top cast-iron skillet. That would be fine. But we opted to move the whole thing outside and cook the steak on the grill. This time of year, when the evenings are warm and the sun sets late, we try to cook just about everything we can on the grill.
This steak turned out just great -- thin, tender slices of sweet, smoky meat. The glaze -- and the grill -- gives the meat a terrific char.
It's an all-around powerhouse of a steak -- punched up by sock-'em Asian flavors that really amp up the wow-factor. And it paired perfectly with our very polite, very dainty spring green salad.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons mirin
* 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (not seasoned)
* 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
* 1 tablespoon safflower oil
* 1 flank steak (11/4 pounds)
* 2 teaspoons coarse salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. Bring soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and red-pepper flakes to a boil in a saucepan on high heat. Reduce heat; simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
2. Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat; add oil. Season steak all over with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes on each side. Reduce heat to medium, and brush top of steak with some glaze; flip, and cook for 1 minute. Brush with remaining glaze, flip, and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer steak to a cutting board; let rest for 5 minutes. Slice steak against the grain into 1/8-inch-thick strips, and serve on top of or alongside spring green salad.