Two things about flank steak:
- It’s awesome. It cooks quickly, retains flavor nicely and makes for an elegant dinner from the grill.
- It’s expensive. Wegmans gets $11.99 per pound for it. Nichols in Liverpool charges $7.99.
So, for a piece of communal steak for weeknight dinner, I want something closer to the $4-5 per pound range. Chuck steaks are way to thick and far too tough. Getting back towards the round is where you need to look, specifically the top round.
The round is in the cow’s hindquarter, where the meat is lean but a little tougher than the sirloin. Tenderizing with an acidic marinade breaks down sinewy toughness into something more manageable, not unlike the flank steak from Mother’s Day where citrus was employed. This time around, vinegar and lime comprised the fuel for the marinade.
Top round doesn’t cook much differently than the flank steak: four to five minutes each side over a raging hot fire followed by a 8- to 10-minute rest.
WHAT WORKED: I’m not entirely sure what part of Asia brings us the combination of lime, sesame oil, soy sauce and rice vinegar, but it works with the right balance of oil and acid.
WHAT DIDN’T: I got distracted by a phone call and let things cook a little too long. Still juicy, but things were closer to medium well rather than medium.
WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: I got thumbs up during her recitation of all things awful from her place of business.
WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: I think it goes right in line with citrus as the go-to marinades.
By Jared Paventi
- Juice from 2 limes
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp. cilantro (JARED’S NOTE: Go fresh. I had a bunch of cilantro from a week or two ago. I picked the leaves, put them in a bowl and left them out to dry. They worked just as well.)
- 1 lb. top-round steak
Combine the first seven ingredients in a non-metallic bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Place the steak in a large, shallow dish and pierce multiple times on each side with a fork. Pour marinade over the steak and let sit for 30 minutes.
Ignite the grill and bring heat up to 500 to 600 degrees. Place steak on the grates, cover the grill, and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the steak and cook an additional 4 minutes. Remove from the grilling surface and let stand 10 minutes.
Slice the steak with a sharp knife against the grain and serve.