This Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce recipe is a fresh, flavorful, quick meal that won’t break the bank.
Flank steak is actually not a steak at all. While typical steak cuts come from the sirloin, or top of the cow, this cut comes from the lower abdominal muscles. In some regions it is referred to as a London Broil. This cut is long and thin, being only about an inch thick at it’s thickest point. It is very lean, which makes it a great candidate for marinating. A flank steak can be grilled or braised. It is then sliced across the grain for serving. A flank steak is not cut into individual portions, rather it is cooked whole and then portioned after slicing.
A basic marinade consists of fat, acid, and flavor (seasoning).
There is a basic science to any marinade. Essentially, you need fat, acid, and flavor (seasoning) to create a tenderizing marinade. The fat can be olive oil, butter, coconut milk, or even full fat yogurt. The fat source helps the meat to maintain moisture when it is cooked. It also evens out the flavor profile so the acid does not become an overwhelming component of taste. The acid will then work to break down the connective tissue of the meat. Typical marinade acids include citrus juice, alcohol, vinegar, or buttermilk. Seasonings can vary widely, but may include salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs. As a starting point for creating a marinade, most recommend a 3:1 ratio when it comes to fat and acid. So for example, you could being with three parts oil and one part orange juice, and then continue to build a flavor profile with seasonings.
For this marinade recipe, I deviated from the traditional 3:1 starting place. All said and done, this marinade became a 2:2 fat-acid ratio. I found that it worked well for the flank steak cut. Upon cooking, the cut was tender, but also tangy with just a hint of zing from the lime juice. While I might increase the fat for other steaks, I found that the extra zing paired nicely with the fresh flavors of the chimichurri sauce. So all said and done, I used olive oil for the fat content, orange juice, lime juice, and apple cider vinegar for the acid, and “No Soy Sauce”, pepper, and garlic for the seasonings.
Pour the marinade over the flank steak and refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
After marinating the flank steak for most of the day, I brought the steak close to room temperature, and grilled the steak over medium-high heat. It was a cold 45 degrees outside the day I grilled this particular steak. Because of that, I kept the grill lid closed more than I probably would have otherwise. I did 6 minutes on the first side with the lid open, then I flipped the steak and closed the lid of the grill for 8 minutes. Finally, I flipped the steak once more for another 2 minutes with the lid closed. Because the steak is thinner at one end than the other, I wound up with one tip being well done while the other end was medium rare. This served our family well being that people could reach for the cuts they most preferred.
Chimichurri sauce is a raw, blended, herbal powerhouse of flavor.
As for the chimichurri sauce, it’s simply a matter of adding items to the blender. I used an whole bunch of parsley and cilantro, minus most of the stems. I added one small onion, salt, white pepper, red pepper flakes, lime juice and apple cider vinegar, and then used just enough olive oil to get the blades to turn the contents into a paste. Go slow with the oil as you can always add more, but can’t take it away. Add just enough to get to your desired consistency.
This Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce could be served over a salad or with a side like these Chimichurri Roasted Potatoes. Adapt! Make this recipe your own and enjoy.
Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
– large pan or ziplock bag for marinade
– 1 flank steak
For the Marinade:
– 3/4 c olive oil
– 1/2 c orange juice
– 1/4 c lime juice
– 1/4 c “No Soy” Sauce (or soy sauce or other alternative)
– 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
– 4 garlic cloves, minced
– 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
For the Chimichurri Sauce:
– 1 bunch parsley, stems removed
– 1 bunch cilantro, stems removed
– 1 small onion, skin removed
– 2 garlic cloves, skin removed
– 3 tbsp lime juice
– 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
– 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
– 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
– sea salt to taste
– enough olive oil to make the blades turn (at least several tbsps)
- Place the thawed flank steak into a large pan or ziplock bag.
- Mix all of the marinade ingredients and pour over the flank steak. Place the marinating steak into the refrigerator for 4-8 hours.
- When nearing meal time, remove the flank steak from the refrigerator and allow it to come near room temperature.
- While the steak is warming to room temperature, place all of the chimichurri ingredients into a blender. While blending, slowly add the olive oil, just a tablespoon or two at a time. Add enough oil to make the blades turn and to reach your desired consistency. You can always add more oil, but you can’t take it away. Go slow. Set the sauce aside when done.
- Pre-heat the grill to a medium-high heat. Cook the flank steak directly over the flames. I cook flank steak about 8 minutes each side, with the lid closed a little over half that time. I generally leave the lid open for the initial searing of the first side, then close the lid when I flip the steak. (Because the flank steak is thinner at one end than the other, this produces one end that is medium well and another end that is rare to medium rare. Adjust times as necessary for your preferred doneness.)
- After the flank steak comes off the grill, let it sit for about five minutes, then slice it thin across the grain.
- Serve over salad or with a side like Chimichurri Roasted Potatoes. Enjoy!
Here on SpringForestFarm.com, Jennifer Taylor Schmidt writes beef recipes for the busy, natural homemaker. It is possible to seek optimal health with limited time and money. Join Jennifer in future posts as she explores the possibilities found in a 1/4 and a 1/2 beeve. You can also find her thoughts and personal health journey on RealFoodRealHealing.com.