By: Alan Meincke
One thing every modern man needs to have in his arsenal of skills is cooking a fine meal for the lady in his life. As I try and discover good recipes, I hope to contribute my recommendations here on a regular basis.
Now that the weather has begun to warm up, it’s time again to bring out the grill! I cooked the following recipe on the grill and used a vegetable/fish basket to hold the onions with pretty good luck. You’ll definitely want to grab a fairly full-bodied red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon to cut the tang of the balsamic vinegar and sweetness of the onions.
For sides, grab some asparagus and throw it on the grill for 2-3 minutes with salt, pepper, and fresh lemon juice and roast some red potatoes, diced, in the oven for 45 minutes at 325°F with some leftover rosemary leaves and fresh grated parmesan cheese.
Serves: Serves 4-6 or 2-3 really hungry people
Prep Time: 15 minutes active, 2-3 hours inactive
Cook Time: Allow 20 minutes for grill time once preheated
- 1½ pounds flank steak, trimmed
- 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, plus whole sprigs for garnish
- 2 medium red onions, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black peppercorns
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar, divided [pro tip: real balsamic vinegar is expensive, but really, really good. Look for a bottle with grape must as the primary ingredient and avoid anything with wine vinegar as an ingredient.]
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cutting board, large
- 6”+ Chef knife
- Grilling tools & grill
- Vegetable grilling basket
- Rolling pin
- Small bowl
- Measuring spoons
- Glass flat-bottomed dish for marinating steak
- Silicone basting brush
- Aluminum foil
- Optional: this OXO mandolin is pretty cheap and works great for slicing the onions
Crush the rosemary leaves lightly with a rolling pin to release their oils. In a small bowl, combine the rosemary with ¼ cup of the olive oil, the garlic, cracked peppercorns, and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
Place the flank steak in a shallow non-reactive dish and pour the marinade over it. Turn the steak to coat both sides, pressing the spices onto the steak. Marinate for a few hours, as this is a fairly tough piece of meat.
Preheat the grill to medium heat. Clean the grill grates with a stiff brush, then oil liberally to prevent sticking. Remove the steak from the marinade. Brush off any garlic or spices clinging to the steak and season both sides well with salt and pepper. Place the steak on the prepared grill and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Then, without turning the steak over, rotate it 90 degrees and place back on the grill or grill pan; this will produce those traditional brown crosshatch grill marks. Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
Slather the top of the steak with balsamic vinegar using the brush. Turn the steak over and repeat. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, then rotate the steak 90 degrees; cook to an internal temperature of 125°F for medium rare, about 2 to 3 minutes or to 135°F for medium, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter and tent loosely with foil.
Clean and re-oil the grill grates. Brush the onion slices on both sides with olive oil; season well with salt and pepper. Load up your veggie basket. Grill the onions approximately 2 minutes on each side. Brush the onions with the remaining balsamic vinegar and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
Slice the flank steak on the bias into thin slices, cutting across the grain. Arrange the slices on a serving platter; pour over any juices that collected on the platter where the steak was held. Place the grilled balsamic onions on the platter with the steak. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs and serve immediately.
*Steak recipe adapted from surlatable.com.
Bonus for leftovers: Breakfast the next morning – chop up leftover steak slices and heat in oil or butter in a cast iron skillet with leftover potatoes. Crack 2-3 eggs over the contents and scramble.
- Alan lets his wife cook most of the time, but he’ll jump in for Saturday breakfast or a fancy dinner night.