Growing up, I got to pick my birthday dinner. I always chose flank steak. It was marinated in some variation of shallots, soy sauce, thyme, and lemon. Then it was broiled and sliced to perfection by my father. My mouth still explodes with the thought of it. Somehow, when I make it, it never tastes as good. This recipe is my ramped up version of my parents' subtle flank steak. My recipe is sweeter, due to the pomegranate molasses and honey. And it's very me. Very messy. Very fun. Not elegant at all. It can be served as is. You can drape the slices over a bed of arugula and goat cheese. You can make sandwiches. Or you can eat it straight out of the fridge, in the middle of the night, after you've fallen asleep watching television. It's very versatile. —Phyllis Grant
- Serves 4
1 1/2-pound flank steak
kosher salt, for seasoning meat
A few turns black pepper
anchovy fillets, packed in oil
cloves garlic, peeled
large shallot, finely diced (about 1 tablespoon)
balsamic reduction (or regular balsamic vinegar)
red wine vinegar
red wine (any kind)
extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt, for the marinade
- Remove flank steak from the fridge. Unroll it onto a cutting board with the long edge towards you (think of it like a landscape photo). Find the grain (the linear marbling of the meat). It runs along the length of the longer side. Find a sharp knife, and score the meat for optimum absorption of marinade and to prevent curling under high heat. To do this, cut super shallow (less than 1/16-inch deep) vertical lines from top to bottom, about every 2 inches or so, against the grain, all the way across. Flip over and do this on the other side. Season the flank steak with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- With a mortar and pestle, make a smooth paste out of the anchovies and garlic (this takes some elbow grease). Whisk in shallots, honey, pomegranate molasses, balsamic reduction, red wine vinegar, red wine, olive oil, and salt. Put the flank steak in a wide, shallow dish, and pour the marinade over it. Press in with your hands. Flip over. Press in with your hands. Flip over again. Cover dish with saran wrap. Place in the fridge. Marinate for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.
- Take steak out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Adjust your oven rack so that the meat can be a few inches from the flame.
- Turn on your broiler. Place your broiling or roasting pan in the oven to get it nice and hot. (I use one with two levels, allowing the juices to drip down into a tray below. But this is not necessary.) Lift up the steak and allow the marinade to drip back down into the dish. Scrape as much of it off as you can with a spatula or your hands. Place meat on a separate plate. Open the oven and place flank steak on the hot pan.
- The flank steak will cook very fast -- usually 2 to 3 minutes per side is just right for rare. 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium rare. But don't trust me! Trust yourself! Take it out before you think it's done. Cut it open and take a peek. It will continue to cook quite a bit out of the oven. I almost always cook it a bit too much. So learn from me. Remove from heat and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes. Make sure your plate or cutting board can catch the precious juices.
- Place marinade in a medium-sized pot. Pour in any juices that have drained off of the broiled steak. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Turn down to medium. Reduce until almost half of it is gone and it starts to thicken. Stir every 30 seconds or so to make sure nothing is burning on the bottom. Turn off heat. Stir in pomegranate arils. Taste. Adjust seasoning. Spoon sauce over the top of the flank steak. Let it sit for a few more minutes. A surprising amount of the sauce will seep into the steak. Slice thinly, at an angle, against the grain. Serve.