Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Father's Day Grilling - Vietnamese Marinated Flank Steak

We hope you had a wonderful Father's Day Weekend. Dads are worth celebrating and their importance cannot be overstated. From dads in the traditional sense to those who raise other people's biological children with love and care (to mothers who serve as fathers too) you make a difference! 

Ask any American Dad what their idea of a good meal is and you'll inevitably hear "beer and beef." 

Vietnamese Marinated Flank Steak, Photo: NK 

My dad is no longer with us and even after almost ten years, I miss him nearly every day. He'd definitely have loved a dish like today's Vietnamese Marinated Flank Steak with Cucumber Salad. He was a great cook in his own right, and he taught me to be casual in the kitchen and not take myself so seriously (ok, that part is a work in progress!).  Dad also truly appreciated good food. We made and enjoyed countless fantastic meals together- always along with many laughs. My wonderful memories of him sustain me. To this day, I still can't make a bowl of Linguine and Clam Sauce (his specialty) without thinking of him. 

There was one really bright spot this Father's day - celebrating my husband who is an amazing father too!

This Vietnamese-style Flank Steak from the New York Times Diner's Journal 
was his idea entirely. I was excited to try making it because it's also wonderful exemplar of Neurotic Kitchen's much repeated mantra - fancy looking food need not be hard to make! 

Let's chat a bit about this dish.
Marinade & Dressing, Photo: NK

This is a really smart recipe

The Steak Marinade also serves as the zippy and delicious dressing for the accompanying Cucumber and Radish Salad that helps make this dish's presentation exceptional. More importantly, the result is as delicious as it looks. 

Since we did not adapt this recipe, I would like to share my experience making it in the hopes that it will be helpful to you so you can nail it on the first try (it's pretty foolproof!).

Our Recipe Notes: 

Timing the Marinade: The recipe recommends you marinate the meat between a half hour to 24 hours. We marinated this for 3 hours and the flavor was fantastic. I thought it was just right, actually. I don't know that it would benefit from much more time, not that I'd quibble with a recipe in the New York Times Diner's Journal.

Cook Time: Melissa Clark presents several options for cooking this Steak but we had to go
Perfect Medium Rare, Photo: NK 
with the instructions for grilling. Since the weather wasn't on our side, we saved the charcoal and fired up my favorite double-burner grill pan (with griddle) instead. The Flank Steak, about 1.75 pounds came out a perfect medium rare (to the rare side) with a cook time of 4 minutes per side. The recipe recommends 3 minutes per side on a very hot grill for rare. 

Portion Size: Admittedly, my husband and I are overly enthusiastic eaters but if you serve this without any other side dishes (entirely possible since the salad is included), I would say it is closer to 3-4 servings, rather than what the recipe says is 4-6. 

Serving: Allow steak to rest about 5 minutes and the slice the Flank Steak against the grain. 

Here's the recipe as originally published in the NYT:


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