Fig.1. Flank steak with mushrooms and baby arugula
- Last year my friend Frank and his brothers bought a cow from a farmer in the Eastern Townships. It was a five hundred pound, 18 month old grain fed calf that was never given any hormones or antibiotics. The beast cost $2.00 a pound bringing the total to a cool one thousand dollars. The animal went into a butcher shop on all 4’s and came out in about 400 pieces, all vacuum packed. Last week Frank called me wanting to know what to do with one of these vacuum packed pieces of meat.
Flank steak, or bavette as it’s known in French, is a wonderful piece of beef with real taste, unlike the favourite but flavourless filet mignon which everyone seems to like because of its “melt in your mouth quality”. But I say, if you want it to melt in your mouth eat chocolate; meat needs to be masticated, savagely chewed and ripped off the bone with the fierceness of a hungry lion.
So if you’ve never had flank before give it a try before putting your barbecue away for the winter.
Grilled Flank Steak
Because of its shape—thick in the middle and thin on the sides—flank steak cannot be evenly cooked, but this play on texture is part of its appeal. The flavour is also very unique as it has a slight kidney taste to it. The key to a proper flank steak is a suitable, tasty outer crust and a red center.
- Flank steak
- Olive oil
- Montreal steak spice
Turn your grill on high, meanwhile score the steak in a criss-cross fashion—without going too deep, about ¼”deep—and rub some olive oil and Montreal steak spice on both sides. (It’s important to bring your steaks to room temperature, take them out of the fridge and season them 1 ½ hours before cooking.)
Grill the steaks to your desired doneness, (as long as it’s not well done). Let the steak rest on a plate with some foil over it for about 10 minutes. Serve with a green salad.
If your grill is locked up for the winter, use a pan. Cast iron works well, but if you don’t have one a regular non-stick skillet will do.
If you serve the salad over the steak, omit or go very lightly with the vinegar.