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How to Cook Flank Steak

posted Jan 2, 2013, 4:28 PM by Sam Hunt   [ updated Jan 7, 2013, 8:07 AM ]

Different cuts of beef

The flank steak is a cut from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It is relatively long and a flat cut. Flank steak can be used in a variety of dishes including London broil and as an alternative to the traditional skirt steak in fajitas. It can be grilled, pan-fried, broiled, or braised for increased tenderness. It is best sliced against the grain.
 Flank Steak can become very tough if not prepared and cooked correctly. It is usually cooked to medium rare and rarely cooked past medium. Although very flavorful on its own, a flank steak is best when it's marinaded to tenderize it.

 Flank Steak with Coffee-Peppercorn Marinade

Spice-Rubbed Steak with Sauteed Wild Mushrooms 


-          1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee

-          1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

-          1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

-          1 tablespoon brown sugar

-          2 cloves garlic, minced

-          1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed

-          ½ teaspoon salt

-          1 pound flank steak, trimmed of fat



  1. Whisk coffee, vinegar, oil, sugar, garlic, peppercorns, and salt in a glass dish large enough for meat to lie flat. Add steak and turn to coat. Cover and refridgerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
  2. Heat grill to high
  3. Removed steak from marinade, discard marinade. Lightly oil grill rack (do not use cooking spray on a hot grill, oil a folded paper towel and use tongs to rub over the rack) and place steak on grill and cook for 4-5 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain and serve.

Makes 4 servings. Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes (1 hour marinating)




-          2 teaspoons ancho chile powder (can be substituted with a mildly spicy chile powder)

-          1 teaspoon ground cumin

-          1 teaspoon packed dark brown sugar

-          1/2 teaspoon salt plus 1/4 teaspoon, divided

-          1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper plus 1/8 teaspoon, divided

-          1 pound flank steak, trimmed

-          5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

-          1/2 cup chopped shallots

-          5 cloves garlic, minced

-          1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

-          1/3 cup Madeira or dry sherry

-          1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth

-          2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. Position oven rack 3 to 4 inches below broiler; preheat broiler to high.
  2. Coat a broiler pan with cooking spray. Combine chile powder, cumin, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture evenly over both sides of steak and place on the prepared pan; let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release their liquid and begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour in Madeira (or sherry) and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in parsley and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cover to keep warm.
  4. Broil the steak 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium. Transfer to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the steak against the grain and serve with the mushrooms.
  5. Makes 4 servings. Total Time: 40 minutes

 Both recipes courtesy of