Chef's Hat: Flank steak is an underrated cut of beef

Flank steak has a rich, beefy flavor and is an ideal cut to soak up rubs and marinades

Photo illustration /
We are part of The Trust Project.

Often when people think of steak, rib-eye, T-bone or sirloin is what comes to mind. The poor flank steak is often overlooked.

This cut of beef is underrated and unloved.

Flank steak has a rich, beefy flavor. Flank steak has a muscle type tissue that causes it to have striations. These striations are like tiny grooves in the meat, and that makes it an ideal cut to soak up rubs and marinades.

Read more 'Chef's Hat'
Members Only
Whip up these Chewy Small Batch Brownies or Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies
Members Only
Try Apple Cider Glazed Chicken Wings or Ham & Cheese Sliders
Members Only
Try these recipes for French toast and fudge using the smooth liqueur
Members Only
White chocolate enhances - and does not overpower - flavors of other ingredients in a recipe
Members Only
No matter what you call it, these dishes are an ideal way to use leftovers to create great winter meals

Flank steak can be tough and does require the right cooking technique so the intense flavor is brought out without ending up with a cut of beef that is like shoe leather.

There are two ways to cook this cut of beef: hot and fast; or slow by braising.


Braising starts by searing the meat in a small amount of fat or oil and then slowly cooking the meat in liquid.

With both methods, the idea is to break down the connective tissue in the steak so that it becomes a tender cut of beef.

A couple of other tips when deciding on a flank steak for your evening meal:

  • Marinating flank steak helps to add moisture and tenderizes the meat.
  • When you cut a flank steak, it’s important to cut across the grain and cut on the bias. Instead of holding the knife straight, hold it at a 45-degree angle and cut across the steak.

The beauty of the flank steak is its simplicity. Make a quick marinade, throw it in the refrigerator for a few hours, grill or broil and dinner is on the table.

There’s no time like a new year to get out of your comfort zone and forget about those old standby cuts of beef. Instead, try a flank steak.

A bit of preparation ahead of time and you will be in for a real treat. Happy Eating!

Easy Grilled Flank Steak

Photo illustration /

  • 1 flank steak, approximately 1 1/2 pounds
  • Salt
  • Pepper



  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon jarred garlic or 1 teaspoon fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl or large measuring cup. Mix until well combined.

Place the flank steak in a resealable container or zipped bag. Pour the marinade over the steak. Make sure the entire steak is coated with the marinade. Place the top on the container (or seal the bag).

Place the steak in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. It can be left in the refrigerator overnight. Turn the steak occasionally while it is in the marinade.

Remove the steak from the marinade. Discard the marinade. Let the steak sit for 15-20 minutes before cooking.

Bring a grill to medium heat. Place the steak on the grill. Cook for 8 minutes and turn the steak over. Cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. For a medium-rare steak, remove it after cooking it for the additional 10 minutes. For a medium steak, cook it for an additional 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove the steak from the heat. Lightly cover it with foil and let the steak sit for 5 minutes. Carve the steak crosswise into thin slices. If desired, season with salt and pepper.

Beef Flank Steak Tacos

Chef's Hat tacos.jpg
Use beef flank steak to make tacos.
Donna Evans / Echo Journal Correspondent

  • 1 pound beef flank steak



  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or 2 teaspoons jarred garlic
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fajita seasoning


  • Corn or flour tortillas
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Sour cream
  • Black olives
  • Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)

Place all marinade ingredients into a small bowl or large measuring cup. Mix well. Place the steak into a resealable container. Pour the marinade over the steak and turn the steak to coat both sides with the marinade. Place the steak in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. This can be left in the marinade overnight.

Before cooking, remove the steak from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.

Place a large frying pan on the stove and bring it to medium meat. Place the steak in the pan. Cook it for 5 to 7 minutes, turn it over and cook the other side for an additional 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the steak from the pan and place it on a plate. Cover the steak with foil and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Slice the steak (across the grain) into thin, 1/4-inch strips. If desired, the steak can be shredded by using two forks.

If desired, warm the tortillas. Place them in a dry skillet heated over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds per side, just until the tortillas are warmed through.

Place the tortilla on a plate. Place a spoon or two of sour cream on the tortilla. Top with a generous helping of steak. Top the steak with lettuce, tomatoes and black olives. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and serve immediately.

Donna Evans is an Echo Journal correspondent.

What To Read Next
Members Only
Musings from Pequot Lakes resident Craig Nagel about the joy of hunkering down with a good book during winter
Two things Christians can do to lead people to God
Senior Nutrition Program offers weekday meals in Pine River
This week, gardening columnist Don Kinzler fields questions on hibiscus plants, beating apple trees and how long grass seeds will last.