Grilled Marinated Flank Steak

flank steak

As much as I like to talk about making things from scratch and DIYing and…wait, I rarely talk about DIYing, that was a bold face lie. So, let’s start over — as much as I like to think about DIYing and taking the time to make things from scratch and “enjoying the process” and all that — sometimes I just really love convenience. In the kitchen, this translates to a love of meals that come together quickly, yet are still full of flavor. So now that the weather is heating up I want to talk about a MAJOR FAVORITE in our household.

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak.

Can we talk about Flank steak for a minute? I mean, why wouldn’t we be talking about Flank steak — what else do you talk about around the water cooler on a Wednesday, right? Flank steak is one of those long and flat steaks that come from the abdominal area of a cow, and because ab muscles are *supposed* to be all rock hard and stuff, it can be a little tough. But if you treat it right, it will make your night — and yes, that is a poem I just wrote. Who wants to offer me a book deal on my poetry collection?

What that means to you, my friends, is that flank steak loves a good marinade. And I’m going to tell you about the best one I know of. It’s originally from Simply Recipes (who I love because on top of being brilliant, she’s from Carmichael — AWESOME!) but I make a substitution to keep it Paleo. Yo. (That was poem number two. You’re welcome.)

The thing I love about this marinade is that it involves simple ingredients, it’s quick to mix up and you can drop your flank steak in there in the morning, on your lunch break, or even the night before as it imparts awesome flavor. Heck I’ve popped my marinating steak in the fridge at 4:30 when I get off work and still had dinner on the table before 7. So it is super versatile! (Just don’t do more than 24 because the acidity of the marinade will start breaking the proteins in your meat down. No bueno.)

Enough talk though, let’s get to the goods, shall we?

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak
adapted from Simply Recipes

Ingredients
* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
* 1/3 cup coconut aminos
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 2 pounds flank steak
* Kosher salt
* Garlic pepper (or just regular black pepper and garlic powder)

Method

1. Score the surface of the steak with 1/4 inch diagonal knife cuts about an inch apart across the grain of the meat. Mix up your marinade and pour it over your steak in a large freezer bag. Pop in the fridge and leave for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

When it’s time to grill:

2. Grease your grill with olive oil (You can use a brush or just oil on a paper towel) and then preheat the grill on high for about 10 minutes. Flank steak likes high direct heat. This is awesome and practically fool-proof. Another reason I love this recipe.

3. Take the steak out of the marinade bag and generously season both sides with salt and garlic pepper. Garlic pepper is so darn awesome, you should try it. But if you don’t have it – salt, pepper and garlic powder will work just fine. Again be liberal with these seasonings. They make a nice tasty crust on the outside.

4. Drop your steak on the hot grill. I use a gas grill and I grill the entire time with the cover open. The breakdown goes a little something like this for a perfectly medium rare steak:

Grill for 2-3 minutes, then turn the steak 90°
Grill for 2-3 minutes, and flip over
Grill for 2-3 minutes, then turn the steak 90°
Grill for 2-3 minutes, and you’re done.

Yes, I use a timer. Yes I enjoy criss-crossed grill marks. You might too?

Diptic

4. We are a medium rare household, and it’s a good thing too because flank steak gets a little tough if you over cook it. Adapt your cooking time from the suggestion above to your household’s liking. Then take it off the grill and place it on a cutting board (it’s efficient!), then cover it with foil and let it rest for at least 10 minutes.

5. Slice across the grain, and at a slight diagonal and enjoy!

6. And if you REALLY like convenience, enjoy on paper plates out in the back yard like we did! CONVENIENCE FOR THE WIN!

photo

*****

How do you usually prepare flank steak? I love this recipe so much, we hardly ever deviate. But I am totally open to suggestions! Pass your recipes along.

Crock Pot Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps

One of the things I missed most when I first went Paleo was the ability to throw a chunk of meat in the crock pot, cover it in sauce, serve in on a freshly baked roll and call it dinner.  Most pre-made sauces are loaded with sugar and since I no longer eat anything on a bun, my crockpot gathered a bit of dust while I transitioned.  But when I rediscovered my love for lettuce wraps (HOLY MOSES those are good!) I busted out my crockpot again and sang love songs to it because it makes my weeknight life so much easier. 

After a few trials and tribulations, and some super disgusting dinners (which, HELLO, seem like an extra betrayal when they happen in the crockpot because you come home expecting dinner to be ready only to find out that you have to figure out a Plan B!)  I finally came up with a a combo of yummy flavors that has found its way into the regular rotation in our kitchen.  And a bonus, it gets Garrett to eat pork with a smile!  Although you could certainly substitute chicken in this dish and get great results.  

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps  

For the chunk of meat
2-3 lbs of pork shoulder or any type of pork roast (or this would be super good with chicken thighs or chicken breasts)
Liberally salt and pepper and if you’re feeling really crazy throw in 3-4 smashed whole garlic cloves.  If you don’t feel crazy, just sprinkle on some garlic powder

For the sauce
Mix all of the following:
4 TBS Coconut Aminos (or Soy Sauce if that’s your bag)
2 TBS Almond Butter  (Peanut Butter would be fine too)
1 TBS Honey  (I eyeball it)
2 TBS Vinegar (I’ve used a bunch of different ones, just to get some acid in there)
2 tsp Sesame Oil
1 TBS Sriracha (or more if you are real spicy)
1/2 tsp of Black Pepper
1 TBS minced ginger  (dude, I totally used the jarred stuff sometimes, go for it!)

Recipe Steps
1.  Put prepared chunk of meat in crockpot
2.  Pour sauce over it
3.  Resist the urge to add more liquid (you will want to, don’t you worry you don’t have to)
4.  Set and forget  (well for about 4-6 hours at least on your low setting)

THIS, internet, is how I like my crock pot recipes.  Short, sweet and tasty!

When it is done cooking shred with a fork and serve atop your favorite lettuce and add the garnish of your choice.  Because I am usually lazy on the weeknights, I throw on some pre-shredded cabbage or broccoli slaw and slice up a bell pepper for some color and call it a day.  You could do any toppings you want — chopped peanuts, jicama, cilantro, shredded carrots.  And Garrett says don’t forget the extra hot sauce!  But that guy is crazy for heat, so take his advice with a grain of salt (and a glass of water!)

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