We wanted a simple, economical cut of meat for a casual backyard barbecue. After considering various cuts, we landed on flank steak. Like other cuts from the chest and side of the cow, such as skirt steak and hanger steak, flank steak boasts rich, full, beefy flavor.
What’s more, because it is very thin, it cooks quite quickly, making it an ideal candidate for grilling. We visited our supermarket’s meat counter, bought a 2-pound flank steak, trimmed it, and got cooking.
We found that there was no need to marinate this cut before cooking; with just a little salt and pepper and some sugar (which we added to aid in browning), it was ready to hit the grill.
For this quick-cooking steak, we opted for a half-fire grill setup: We spread the coals over half the grill to concentrate the heat for optimal char on the steak and left the other side of the grill much cooler so we could move the steak over if it started to burn. In just about 10 minutes, the steak was perfectly done.
For a bright counterpoint, we made a quick and easy herb sauce. Fresh parsley contributed a grassy, herbal element; pungent garlic stood up to the meaty flavor of the steak; and lemon juice added a touch of acidity. A bit of sugar introduced sweetness and helped mellow the potent sauce.
We prefer flat-leaf parsley as opposed to curly parsley here. California Olive Ranch Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil is our favorite supermarket extra-virgin olive oil.
EASY GRILLED FLANK STEAK
WITH GARLIC-HERB SAUCE
Start to finish: 50 minutes
1 ( 2-pound) flank steak,
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
1 cup minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
Pat steak dry with paper towels, sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Combine parsley, oil, lemon juice, garlic, remaining 1/4 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in small bowl and set aside for serving.
— For a charcoal grill: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
— For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn other burner(s) to medium.
Clean and oil cooking grate. Place steak on hotter side of grill. Cook (covered if using gas), turning as needed, until lightly charred and meat registers 120 to 125 F (for medium-rare), 8 to 12 minutes.
Transfer steak to carving board, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice steak against grain very thin on bias and serve with garlic-herb sauce.