Sliced balsamic marinated flank steak is tender, tasty, and super easy to make. Whether served on a salad, in soft tacos, or in lettuce wraps, it is terrific way to cook up this lean cut of meat.
Sometimes you want steak.
But you don't necessarily want a big slab of meat.
And you don't necessarily want a huge meal...but you want something with substance.
And it's got to be tasty.
This marinated balsamic flank steak is just the ticket!
Check out how to easily turn this lean cut of beef into something delicious and flavorful that is perfect served over a salad, stuffed in a tortilla or lettuce wrap, or simply eaten with a side of roasted veggies.
The Beef and the Marinade
This recipe uses flank steak which is a very lean cut of beef that is also more affordable than most other cuts. Being lean and cheap may not sound like it lends itself particularly well to tasting any good, but it is if you know what to do with it!
First of all, you need flavor. As the name says, this beef is marinated, and all you need to infuse the meat is a flavorful concoction of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, red wine, oregano, honey, and salt and pepper.
I combine the marinade and beef in a ziploc bag, squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing, and then let it hang out in the fridge. Marinate the beef for at least 4 hours, but I prefer to let it sit for longer, overnight if I think ahead. The longer it can sit, the more the marinate can flavor the meat, and we all know that more flavor isn't necessarily a bad thing!
The second important factor to making flank steak delicious is the heat. A lean cut like this shouldn't be cooked beyond medium, otherwise it will just be tough. Tough steak is not nice.
How you decide to cook the flank steak is up to you. Grilling is a great option, but since I don't have one, I roast mine in the oven at a high temperature. You can also broil it or pan-fry it. Whichever cooking method you choose, keep in mind that flank steak cooks quickly since it's not very thick.
For a piece that is about ½" thick, I'll roast it in a 425 deg F (220C) oven for 9-10 minutes for medium-rare. For medium, it would take only 1 minute more. If the slab you have is thinner than ½" thick, then cook it for less time. The most reliable way to check the doneness is with an instant read thermometer.
For example, to achieve a medium-rare doneness, a meat thermometer poked into the center of the steak should read about 125-130 deg F (51-54C). Medium is about 130-135 deg F (54-57C).
The final key to great flank steak is remembering to slice it across the grain, at an angle, and thinly. Believe it or not, it makes all the difference! Too thick of slices and not an angle means the meat will be tougher than if you did it the right way, and again, tough steak is not nice.
And there you have it! I love serving this on top of a Caesar salad made with my homemade Creamy Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing. Alternatively, I'll roast up some vegetables and serve the flank steak with a side of dijon mustard and fresh ground sea salt for dipping. These would also go great stuffed in a soft tortilla or lettuce wrap with some shredded veggies.
Perfect for a light lunch or quick weeknight meal, you can turn this cheap and lean cut of meat into something tender and delicious!
Balsamic Marinated Flank Steak
- Combine all marinade ingredients and stir well.
- Place flank steak in resealable bag and add marinade. Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag before pressing shut.
- Store in fridge and let marinate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven 425 deg F (220C).
- Place flank steak on baking sheet and discard marinade.
- Roast steak for 10 minutes. (See notes below for cooking times and doneness.)
- Remove from oven and tent with foil. Let meat rest for 10 minutes.
- Slice steak cross-grain at an angle.
- Serve with salad, in a soft tortilla, or in a lettuce wrap.
- Cook the steak by grilling, broiling, roasting, or pan-frying.
- Flank steak cooks quickly; do not cook beyond medium doneness or it will end up tough.
- Flank steak that is about ½" thick will come out at medium doneness in the stated temperature and time. If your steak is thicker, then it will be more of a medium-rare in the same amount of cooking time. Adjust the cooking time as necessary to suit your desired doneness of the meat.
- Use an instant-read thermometer to determine the doneness. For medium-rare, thermometer should read about 125-130 deg F (51-54C). Medium is about 130-135 deg F (54-57C).
- Slicing the meet across the grain at an angle (about 45 degrees) and thinly makes the slices of steak easier to bite and chew.
- Serve with a side of mustard and sea salt for dipping, if desired.
- This steak goes great with a Caesar salad or in a wrap.