FLANK STEAK (BAVETTE)
This cut of meat (known as 'bavette' in Europe) can be so tender and moist, but there is a trick...so pay attention! The keys to tender, succulent slices that melt in your mouth lie in both the preparation (a good marinade) and carving (thinly, across the grain). So follow the below instructions and you’ll have a party-pleaser!
PREP TIME: 10 min
MARINADE TIME: 24+ hours
COOK TIME: 10 min
FOR THE MEAT
2 lb (1 kg) piece of flank steak, fat trimmed
Salt & pepper to season
FOR THE RUB
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp (1.3 g) dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
2 TBSP olive oil
FOR THE MARINADE
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
2 TBSP cup (30 ml) light red wine
1 TBSP (15 ml) soy sauce
FOR COOKING THAT DAY (OPTIONAL)
1 TBSP (15 ml) lime juice (about 1/2 of a small lime)
1) Season the meat with salt and pepper on both sides.
2) Mix the garlic, oregano, chili flakes and 2 Tbsp olive oil into a paste, and rub into the meat with the back of a spoon.
3) Place the seasoned meat into a large ziploc bag, pour in the marinade ingredients (olive oil, wine and soy sauce) and seal the bag tightly, trying to remove as much air as possible. Place in the refrigerator overnight (or up to 48 hours).
4) Remove the meat from the refrigerator 1-2 hours before cooking so that it has time to come to room temperature.
5) Set your oven's top broiler (grill) on high (220 C)
6) Remove the meat from the ziploc bag (reserve the marinade for a sauce) and place on a roasting rack within a roasting pan. Squeeze the lime just over the meat.
7) Pour the reserved marinade into a small pot or pan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat low and let simmer while the meat is cooking.
8) Place meat under the broiler/grill for about 5-7 min per side, depending on thickness. Use an instant-read thermometer and remove meat with the thickest section reaches 130 degrees F (55 C) for medium rare.
9) Place meat on a carving board, tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes.
10) Pour the juices from the roasting pan into your pot with the marinade and mix well.
Thinly slice meat on the diagonal and move to a serving platter. Pour marinade into a gravy boat or small carafe and serve on the side as desired. Pairs well with Asian Cole Slaw.
Recipe and photo credit: Cathy Menees
I like to use a light red wine such as a French pinot noir (US pinot noirs are too expensive for cooking…just drink them!) but you can also use a shiraz, malbec etc. Just make sure the wine tastes decent enough to drink – a bad wine makes for a bad marinade. And since you won't use much wine, you will indeed drink the rest! :-)
The fresh lime juice is optional, but it does as a depth of flavor that is nice.
It's EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to carve the steak across the grain (for tenderness) and on the diagonal (for wider pieces). The longer the meat fiber, the harder it is to chew - so by cutting across the grain (the long fibers) your serving slices will have short fibers, making it much more tender and ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ yummy. Cutting on the diagonal basically gives you wider serving slices, if your flank steak is relatively thin.
You can let this sit for 6 hours in the marinade, but overnight is better. I've even left it in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and it was great!
Don't squeeze the lime juice into the marinade if you're planning to leave it overnight - the acidity in the lime juice can sort of 'cook' and toughen the meat. So wait until it's ready for the oven to squeeze the lime over the meat.
Be sure to remove the meat from the refrigerator 1-2 hours before cooking (but keep it sealed!) so that it has time to come to room temperature. This is important to ensure you have meat that is nicely browned on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside. Placing cold meat in the oven or on the grill means that it will take longer for the center to reach 130 F (55C), which means the outside of the meat will likely burn.
Europeans call the top burner in the oven a grill. Americans call it a broiler. Sigh.
The cooking time will vary by the thickness of your meat:
When I’ve cooked a thin, 1 ½ pound (700 g) it only needed 4-5 minutes per side.
When I cooked a 4 ½ pound cut (2 kg) for a party, it was indeed a huge, thick piece and needed about 20 minutes total in the oven.
The best test of ‘doneness’ for flank steak is take it out of the oven or off the grill when the temperature at the thickest part of the cut reaches 130 F/ 55C (for medium rare). Since a flank steak cut tends to taper off and become thinner at one end, this end will be more well done, so you'll have something for everyone's preference.