Every now and then I’ll pull a cut of meat out of the freezer, look at it and think “What the dickens am I going to make with this??”
Which was exactly my dilemma when facing a 2 pound flank steak late last week. Flank steak is cut from the abdominal muscles of the cow and can be tough if not prepared properly. However, properly marinated and prepared it makes just lovely fajitas, so that’s what we did with it. Beloved’s gotten quite adept at grilling Chuck (grass-fed beef requires lower temperatures and slightly longer cooking times than conventionally raised beef), and this was quite delicious.
Note: If you don’t like things very spicy, either cut the amount of chipotle chiles you use, or remove the seeds before adding to the marinade.
Flank Steak for Fajitas
serves 4 to 6
The juice of 1 orange
The juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 pound flank steak
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
lime wedges, optional
With a small, sharp paring knife make small cuts, at a 45º angle, over the surface of the steak on both sides.
Combine the orange juice, lime juice, 1/4 cup of olive oil, garlic, chipotle peppers, cumin and salt in the bowl of a food processor or blender; puree until smooth. Place the steak in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over it. Press out the air, seal the bag and marinate at room temperature for 2 hours.
Prepare the coals on the grill until they are glowing red with a white ash around them. Drain the marinade from the steak, place 4 inches over the coals and sear quickly, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Move the steak away from the direct heat, cover the grill and continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 135º F, about 7 to 10 minutes longer. Remove the steak from the grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
While the steak is resting, toss the peppers and onion with the tablespoon of olive oil and place in a grill basket. Grill over the live coals, stirring frequently, just until they become limp and are beginning to brown slightly.
Thinly slice the steak against the grain on a diagonal, and serve with the vegetables, optional lime slices, refried beans, sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo.