Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pan Seared Flank Steak with Broccoli

1 lb flank steak
salt and pepper
1 tbl butter or oil
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
dash of Montreal Steak seasoning

Heat up a steel pan on high heat. Add butter, swirl it to coat the pan. Season flank steak with salt and pepper. Place steak on pan, let sear for 3 minutes or till nicely browned. Flip it and brown the other side. Reduce heat to medium and let cook till it is as done as you want it. Remove steak, place on a plate and tent foil over it. Deglaze pan with 1/4 cupwater. Let reduce for a minute then add broccoli. Sprinkle on a dash of Montreal Steak seasoning. Stir around to get it covered with liquid. Cook, stirring occasionally for a minute. Take the foil off the steak and pour the juices onto the broccoli and cook it till it is done how you want it. Slice the steak against the grain into thin slices and serve with the broccoli.


Ok folks, it doesn't get much simpler than this. Seared steak with a pan sauce. The twist here is the sauce is going to go on the broccoli, not the steak. And it's not really going to be much of a sauce because the broccoli is going to soak some of it up and the rest is going to reduce away while it cooks. But it will leave behind loads of flavor. For the record, you can do this with any kind of steak, or really any meat that you can sear. But the beef flavor with the broccoli is just the best, in my opinion. So, lets start with the steak. One pound of flank steak. Man, I love flank steak. I love it, but I have to beat it. Cover it with something first though, otherwise you will spread raw beefyness all over the place. Wax paper is good, so is parchment or plastic wrap. I'm using a freezer bag because that's what I have on hand. Now most people will tell you to pound it out till it's even. And if everyone wants their meat the same level of doneness, that's what you should do. But in my house I like it medium-rare and my girlfriend likes it medium-well or well. So I beat it uneven. This way half is more done than the other and everyone is happy. Beating it also makes it more tender, which is always nice. Now heat up your pan over high heat. You want it nice and hot for this. I always use regular steel when I am making this since nonstick doesn't brown well and I have never had good luck making pan sauces in cast iron. Cast iron just makes them taste weird in my experience. You want a little fat of some kind in the pan. I like butter, but you can use olive oil if you want. Bacon grease is good too. But tonight it's butter. Season the steak with salt and pepper. I have heard that putting pepper on a steak before searing causes the pepper to burn and get bitter, but I haven't ever had trouble with it. Maybe I'm just used to it being burned. Who knows? Once the pan is hot slap the steak on there. Now don't touch it for a few minutes. You want it to sit still and form a nice crust. This will take about three minutes or so. After maybe two minutes lift one corner and take a peek and see how it's doing. Once it's seared flip it and sear the other side. Once that side is seared lower the heat to medium and cook it till it is how you want it. Like I said, in my house we do it half and half. That takes about seven to ten more minutes. But this is one of those very personal things, I can't tell you the 'right' way to have your steak done. Like I've said before, cook it till it is however the person who is eating it wants it. Once it is almost, but not quite, done remove it to a ceramic plate and tent some foil over it. It will cook a little more while it sits. Now deglaze your pan. Look at all that fond. That's what makes the broccoli part of this so good. When I'm doing this I use water, you can use wine or broth if you want. But I find there is plenty of flavor in the fond and juices, wine just overpowers the broccoli. Now here is when you decide how well you want your broccoli cooked. If you want it soft, toss it in now. If you like it crunchy, like me, reduce the sauce for a minute or two. The more liquid is in the pan when you put in the broccoli, the longer it cooks while the sauce reduces. The broccoli should be cut into large florets then those should be cut in half, by the way. I don't think I mentioned that. Once the sauce is how you want it, toss in the broccoli. Ok, I normally don't name names on products I use. But this stuff is just perfect for this dish. Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning. It seems odd, but you won't be putting it on the steak, but on the broccoli. In fact, I don't think I've ever put it on steak. What can I say, I'm a rebel. Add just a sprinkle, a little goes a long way. Don't have it, can't find it or don't want it? It isn't really necessary. You could always toss a teaspoon of minced garlic and a little rosemary in. That would be good too. Or some seasame seeds and ginger. You can also just leave out any extra seasonings and just have the beef, salt and pepper flavor the broccoli. Nothing wrong with that. But no matter how you decide to season it, now is the time. Now mix the broccoli around a bit, then let it sit. This is where most of the cooking happens. If you added the broccoli when there was a lot of sauce it will take a minute or two and you should stir it occasionally. If you let the sauce reduce then it should only take maybe thirty seconds and you don't really need to stir it. Once the broccoli has sopped up just about all of the liquid that hasn't reduced away it's time to add some more. Take the foil off the steak. There should be some nice juices on there. Pour them in the pan. Mix it around and turn off the heat. The juices will finish off the sauce with some really rich, beefy flavor (not to mention salt and pepper) and the broccoli will finish cooking in the residual heat of the pan. Now it's time to slice the steak. Slice it thin, against the grain and at an angle. This ensures maximum tenderness. Notice how this one side is rare and this side is well? That's what happens when you leave your steak uneven. And when you have one steak and two people who want it done differently it works out really nicely. Now plate and eat. Yeah, I know my plate looks like a mess. It's the plate that I rested the beef on. No reason to let any of that juice go to waste or dirty up another one just for appearances. Hey, I'm not serving it to paying customers and I'm really not fancy. Wish I had made more broccoli though...


The Brutal Gourmet said...

I do love the flank steak. I have used that steak seasoning on strip steaks, which I usually find less flavorful than, oh, ribeyes. You crust it up and grill it and there is no question about it not being flavorful.

I have also heard about not burning pepper, but I think it was in a broiling application. I think in the pan the beef juices keep the pepper from scorching. I always pepper my steaks before searing or grilling -- how else can you make steak au poivre?

Bob said...

Sounds reasonable. I pretty much never broil so it's entirely possible that I haven't come across burned pepper on steak.


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