What to do with tough flank steak?

We bought a (very expensive) flank steak from a purveyor at our farmer's market. Yesterday, I marinated it and grilled it. It was delicious, but very tough and chewy. I have about 1/2 of the steak left. Any suggestions on how to rescue a tasty but tough steak?

  • Posted by: drbabs
  • June 1, 2011


Claudine (. June 6, 2017
Sometimes I find a dry rub helps to tenderize better than a marinade. Maybe try that a few days out?
scruz June 3, 2017
this happened to me a couple of weeks ago. since i'm not fond of leftover meat (lamb roast, beef roast, chicken) this is what i do...i make it into a homemade stew with homemade gravy. micro wave veggies and use liquid in making gravy (and i boost with chicken better than bullion) and at end, i add diced meat and simmer in pre simmered veggies/gravy. cutting smaller and slowly warming (maybe 30-45 mins) makes for more tender meat weather tough or not. it worked very well with the flank steak, which was a major disappointment in its first iteration.
scruz June 3, 2017
my computer confefe'd me...should have been whether not weather.
Alain P. June 3, 2017
Happened to me too.
I just kept the leftovers in the freezer. When the time came that I had to make a batch of chili, I followed my chili recipe , defrosted and chopped up the steak and added it to the chili then simmered for a few hours. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
brandon June 1, 2011
the pineapple is actually a really smart idea, you can use papaya also. there is an enzyme in those fruits that breaks down meat. they actually sell pineapple "pills" used for exactly that purpose
drbabs June 1, 2011
Thanks all. We definitely sliced it thin and across the grain, and let it rest first, and no ChefDaddy, we like our beef barely rare so it's not overcooked. Thanks for all the suggestions--I think I'll try the stir fry ideas.
ChefDaddy June 1, 2011
Sorry I see now. You want to know what to do with the other half. If it's cooked past medium rare (doesn't your husband like well done?) then I guess I would chop it up and add it to a dish that matches the flavor profile of the marinade.
ChefDaddy June 1, 2011
I don't agree in chopping it up. As you said it was expensive and you do dishes that require chopping and adding to sauces or stir fry with much cheaper peices of meat. The only way I do flank steak is grilling and (as said by many) slicing across the grain and on a bias as well. If you don't mind marinating ( Not a big fan) then add a little pinapple juice to your marinade for 15 Min (not too long) and the acid will tenderize it. As pierino stated, grass feed is very lean. Good luck!
pierino June 1, 2011
I just noticed the tag "grass fed" which is possibly the main part of the problem. Good enough flavor but not enough fat.
pierino June 1, 2011
The way I was taught to prepare UNCOOKED flank steak was to cut slashes in the top, on the bias. After that a soy sauce or wine based marinade. Onto the grill and thinly slice.

If you are referring to a piece you've already cooked then you might cut it into very small pieces with a sharp knife or poultry shears and use it in a pasta sauce, maybe even something "stroganoff".
brandon June 1, 2011
you can also pound it and if you want you can try docking it with a fork if you want to cook it less than well done. The most important thing though is slicing it across the grain and of course letting it rest.
boulangere June 1, 2011
I agree with a good, slow braise. Make a simple bbq sauce, shred, make some aagersi's legendary pickled onions, serve on a crusty roll.
Author Comment
Are you slicing thinly across the grain?
Perhaps give it a rough chop and enjoy a nice Thai Pad Ki Mao. stir fry it with thai basil, onions, jalapenos, and some bean sprouts. finish with a sauce of broth and soy sauce, rice wine and a touch of cinnamon thickened with corn stach.
Rough chop and have taco or chili night.
braise until tender and shred it for ranchero tacos or make ropa vieja.
good luck and Cook On!
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