Coffee-Balsamic Flank Steak and Spinach with Creamy Parmesan

I almost made pork chops but I want to make Susan’s pork chops from last week, and I can’t re-blog about them, and I’m in a bad habit of only cooking when I can blog about it, so: a new flank steak recipe.  So, this recipe requires a long marinade time.  The longer the better, probably 48 hours at the longest, but 2 hours at the very least.  You’ll need to plan a bit in advance, but you have everything you need to make this, probably.  If, like me, you bought shallots from an Asian market and it was like a whole pound- and what do you do with that many shallots anyway?  Answer:  make this.

You won’t be sorry.  I just finished eating it, JUST now, and was prompted to say (sorry Dad) “my dad’s flank steak can eat it!”.  Because it can.  Because this recipe, while similar to my dad’s flank steak recipe, is rich and deep and comes with a glaze.  Hoo boy.  I’m going to include the sides I made with the steak, because it was, seriously, a perfect meal.  I made it for Dom and we both ate every single bite on our plates.

Coffee-Balsamic Glazed Flank Steak

1.5 lb flank steak, slits cut into the beef, against the grain, on each side- that helps tenderize the meat, as well as create more surface area for the marinade to permeate.  (the amount of beef is completely flexible- the glaze will accommodate 1 lb-2 lb comfortably, and you can adjust the amounts in the glaze to fit the beef if you use a lot more.)

1 cup cooled, brewed coffee

1 lime sized shallot, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp dijon mustard

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper

Mix up all the marinade ingredients, either by hand or in a food processor.  Try to get the garlic and shallot as small as you can, but it doesn’t really matter.  Put the beef with the marinade in a ziplock bag from 2-48 hours.

turn it every so often, too.

Try to bring the beef to as close to room temperature as possible before cooking, so take it out of the fridge and set it on the counter maybe an hour before you intend to cook it.   After marinating, remove the steak to a plate, trying to let as much of the marinade as possible off the steak before doing so.  I cooked my flank steak in a very hot cast iron pan, one piece at a time (I had an enormous steak and so cut it into three pieces to marinate it).  You can grill yours, obviously, or you can follow my cast iron pan method.  Get the pan VERY hot, as in- as hot as your burner will go, until the pan is smoking slightly, then pour in a bit of vegetable oil.  Put in the first piece of steak and DO NOT MOVE IT for 5 minutes.  For medium to medium rare, I cook my flank steak 5 minutes on the first side and 4 on the second- DO NOT MOVE the steak except to flip it, moving meat around makes it tough.  As each piece comes off the pan, put it on a plate covered with foil to rest.  I pile my pieces on top of each other underneath the foil, until the last piece is finished.  They should rest an absolute minimum of 10 minutes.  After resting, slice the steaks, AGAINST THE GRAIN, into slices about an inch wide.

In the meantime, pour the marinade into a saucepan and bring it to a boil on medium-high heat.  I reduced mine until about a cup or so had become about a 1/4 cup, and was nice and thick and glaze-y.  You could easily make a sauce that goes further by adding a bit more of the included ingredients (coffee, balsamic vinegar, orange juice would be good, red wine would probably be excellent, beef stock would of course work).  Either way, let it boil a few minutes, until it thickens.  Drizzle the glaze over the flank steak and serve.

if i could marry heat-blackened meat, i would.

A few notes about flank steak:  1.  Cut slits in both sides of the beef, it helps tenderize and helps the marinade seep into the meat.  2.  Let it marinate as long as you can, 24 hours if possible.  3.  Let it come to room temperature before you cook it, taking it out of the fridge, but leaving it in the marinade, about an hour before you cook it, is plenty.  4.  Don’t move the steak once you’ve started cooking it, except to flip it, and only flip it one time.  Moving meat around makes it tough.  6.  Cook the steak for less time than you think you need.  4-5 minutes per side on very high heat will yield you a nice, medium steak after resting time.  7.  LET THE MEAT REST.  For at least 10 minutes after cooking.  It lets the juices redistribute, making your steak juicy instead of dry.  If you don’t believe me, cook a steak, don’t let it rest, and see for yourself.  Follow these rules, and cooking a flank steak is pretty foolproof.

Spinach Salad with Creamy Parmesan Dressing

1 bag of pre-washed, baby spinach

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, I cut chunks off a wedge of parmesan and put the dressing in a food processor, if you  use the canned kind of parmesan, I will cry my eyes out

zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp dijon mustard

3 tbsp regular mayonnaise

3 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

Put all the ingredients in a food processor, and try to get the parmesan chunks as small as possible.  My dressing was relatively thick, like a thick ranch dressing.  Spoon some of the dressing over the spinach and toss with tongs.  Done- easiest thing ever.

Roasted Garlic Potatoes with Scallion-Black Pepper Sour Cream

1 lb or so of redskin potatoes, I cut mine into 1/4 inch discs

3 tbsp butter

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup sour cream

4 scallions, chopped

salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil, and put your oven on 450 degrees.  Boil the potatoes in the water on medium-high heat until they’re tender, probably 15 minutes or so.

potato discs are cute, huh?

When they’re tender, spread them on a cookie sheet, add the butter, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and bake in the hot oven until the potatoes are crispy and brown on the outsides.  Mix together the sour cream, scallions, a dash of salt and a few turns of pepper and set aside.  The potatoes will take about half an hour or so in the oven to get nice and golden and crispy.  Serve the potato discs with a dollop of the scallion sour cream.

this satisfies so many food needs: sweet, creamy, crunchy, savory, meaty, green.

Dom said this was his favorite thing I’ve ever made, besides the butter basted ribeye steaks from awhile back.  This meal is pretty fast, pretty easy and pretty impressive.  Make it!!




Filed under Meat, Recipes, Salad, Sides

5 responses to “Coffee-Balsamic Flank Steak and Spinach with Creamy Parmesan

  1. This is very interesting 🙂

  2. Mom

    Of course it’s his favorite—meat.

  3. catsue

    Thanks! Try it out- you’ll love it.

  4. bryan

    Had this while Cat was home for a visit – – absolutely awesome. I hate to say it (sorry rachael ray)but far better than my flank steak, which I will now never eat again.

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