03 Mar2005

Flank Steak

by Marketman

I have a slight meat phobia that prevents me from buying meat in open or wet markets, particularly in warm countries with an abundance of flies. flank1Fanned by detailed National Geographic Channel specials that explain how flies lay their eggs on raw meat and how the eggs hatch and out come these wicked looking maggots (defined as legless soft-bodied larvae of flies), I am not fond of meat in open air settings. As a result, I generally buy my meat from hoity toity places with knowledgeable butchers (the subject of another entry someday) and reputable groceries. I understand that purchase location alone is not enough to guarantee hygiene (have you seen meat dealers delivering to top groceries with dead chickens piled in open pails?) but out of sight and out of mind works for me in this instance. Enough shock treatment.

Flank Steak is one of the easiest, tastiest and most reasonably priced cuts of meat to prepare and serve. flank2If you were a cow and on all fours, flank steak would roughly come from around the area near your ribs (or the cow’s ribs, that is). The steak is thin, muscular and packed with flavor. I always buy a whole flank steak, whatever its weight. The one pictured here was 800 grams or about medium sized. It is imported from the U.S. but was a very reasonable P688 or P862/kilo at Santis Deli. This steak would easily feed 5 hungry adults as a main course with potatoes and a veggie, of course. At P140 a person, this is a very reasonable cost for tasty meat. To prepare, defrost and pat dry with paper towels. Marinate the steak in steak sauce (I sometimes use this pre-bottled sauce called Bulls-Eye, I kid you not) for 1 hour or so or if you are in a hurry, go straight to the grill. A home made rub of whole grain mustard, honey, salt and pepper also works well. Prepare a nice hot charcoal fire and sear the meat over hot flames about 3 minutes on each side for rare. Longer if you want a medium steak. If you want well done it would be better to take out your old adidas sneakers and sauce them up…

Turn the steaks only once. Take the steak off the flame and let flank3it rest for at least 5-10 minutes before you slice. Slice thin at an angle against the grain of the meat (see photo) and serve immediately. My cook was not slicing the meat at enough of an angle… angle it more. Goes well with Worcestershire or Steak Sauce. Because of the way this steak is sliced, you don’t actually consume as much as a regular steak. And as an added bonus, if there are leftovers they make perfect steak and eggs for breakfast the following day. Even tastes good with ketchup. Yum.



  1. Marta says:

    The pictures look so yummy but isn’t flank steak a bit tough? What would be the local name of flank steak?

    Jun 27, 2005 | 6:31 pm


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  3. Marketman says:

    Actually, flank steak is incredibly tender and expecially so when cooked rare and cut on the bias as shown in the photos. It’s one of my favorite cuts of beef, so much flavor and good texture too. Easy to cook. I don’t know what they call it locally. I get mine at Santis and its one of their cheaper cuts of imported meat. A whole flank easily feeds six or more people.

    Jul 3, 2005 | 8:42 pm

  4. Lori Michaelson says:

    I have been looking all over Manila for flank steak. Is Santi’s the only place that carries it? Is there a Filipino name for the cut that I am just not recognizing?

    Jul 16, 2007 | 8:17 pm

  5. Marketman says:

    Lori, I have only found it at Santis and the price is rather reasonable compared to their other cuts of beef. I am sure there is a local name for the same cut but I haven’t found it; besides, quality of beef locally often leaves something to be desired. Depending on your use, try “kalitiran,” a shank cut I think, it’s not flank, but it works for some recipes that need a long braise… I think I did a post on it; it’s in the archives…

    Jul 16, 2007 | 9:07 pm


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