We almost invariably salute the coming weekend with a steak dinner on Friday night. We were both brought up eating beef but we’ve cut down our consumption mightily. And we have a new issue in our new apartment. Our kitchen is completely open. And despite the stove having a very loud ventilation fan, the smoke alarm a good twenty five feet away inevitably goes off when I fire up the stove to get a great sear on my steaks. So when I saw this Melissa Clark recipe where the steak in question was cooked under the broiler, The New York Times writer of the weekly “A Good Appetite”, had me at hello.
Flank steak is not everyone’s favorite. It’s not butter-tender like Filet and you can’t get a great char on it like you can with our house steak, the New York Strip. But it packs a lot of beef flavor without the gaminess of hanger steak and with the chew of a great piece of meat. And it’s generally a very good buy. According to Melissa Clark, it “stands up to the spiciest, tangiest, most pungent marinades.”
I can’t say that this particular marinade lived up to those adjectives. It very might well have if I’d followed the advice to marinate the steak overnight. Instead, I went with the bare minimum time allowed in the recipe: a couple of hours before cooking. But the real flavor came from a compound butter that’s part and parcel of this dish.
Sam Sifton, also of The New York Times, wrote; “Worcestershire butter is going to be big this summer, just you watch.” If you read Chewing The Fat with any frequency, you will realize that just this week we proclaimed that Filipino Cuisine is going to be ‘the next big thing”, but never mind, there’s likely room for two big things this summer. Compound Butters really do pick up the flavor everywhere you use them. Here, Worcestershire Sauce is loaded with thyme, chives, garlic and lemon zest. When this melts into the steak, it softens up and the butter melts into the meat. But there’s something else at work here and I can scarcely wait for our local tomatoes to arrive to make it again.
Melissa Clark chars ripe tomatoes, then chops them up with thinly-sliced scallions and lots of basil. The result is a wonderful pool of sweet tomato ‘jus’ for the butter-y sauce to blend with. This recipe is for 6 servings. I cut the meat down to under a pound for the two of us but left the rest of the recipe intact. Here is the recipe after which I’ve linked some other favorite things to do with steak.
Melissa Clark's Grilled Flank Steak with Worcestershire Butter
A flavor-filled cut of Beef is complemented by a Worcestershire compound butter and fresh tomatoes and basil for a melt-in-your-mouth steak dinner.
- 1 ½ pounds flank steak
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 thyme sprigs
- 3 garlic cloves, finely grated or mashed to a paste
- 1 jalapeño, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced chives, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar or dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
- 3 ripe plum tomatoes
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
- Handful of torn fresh basil, plus more for serving
- For the Worcestershire butter:
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 garlic clove, grated or mashed to a paste
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Step 1 Season steak all over with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a bowl or resealable bag, combine thyme, garlic, jalapeño, chives, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and lemon juice. Add meat and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
- Step 2 Prepare the Worcestershire butter: In a bowl, mash together the butter, thyme, chives, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
- Step 3 Spoon the butter onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap, form into a log and wrap well. Chill for at least 2 hours before using.
- Step 4 Light the grill or heat the broiler, arranging the rack about 4 inches from the heat source. Grill tomatoes, or broil them on a rimmed baking pan, turning them, until charred on all sides, about 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board to cool.
- Step 5 Brush off any pieces of marinade clinging to the steak, pat steak dry and coat it lightly with oil. Grill or broil steak until it reaches desired doneness, 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare (125 degrees).
- Step 6 Transfer steak to a cutting board. Slice butter into coins and place them on the steak to melt slightly. Let steak rest for 5 minutes while you prepare the tomatoes.
- Step 7 Roughly chop tomatoes and place in a bowl with scallions, basil, a pinch of salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Toss well, adding more salt or lemon juice, or both, to taste.
- Step 8 Slice the steak thinly, across the grain, and serve with the charred tomato mixture spooned on top. Garnish with more chives and torn basil, if you like.