Recipe: Marinated Flank Steak with Two Sauces

Recipe: Marinated Flank Steak with Two Sauces

Dec 22, 2014
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'Tis the season for cozy dinner parties at home. Steak is always a crowd-pleaser, and helps a casual meal feel like a special occasion. Here's a delicious preparation for flank steak that — with the help of our sponsor, National Dairy Council — will please all your guests, including those with lactose-intolerance. Using Greek yogurt both to tenderize the meat and as the base for two delicious sauces, this is an easy yet impressive main course with a ton of homey flavor.

(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez)

For a low-key dinner for friends, an impressive cut of meat fits the bill nicely. Flank steak is a great choice for this time of year: Its rich, savory flavor is just right for a chilly night. It can be a tough cut, so the first step is tenderizing it in a super-simple yogurt marinade. Marinating it overnight in a zip-top bag makes that step extra-easy, and made the day-of preparations much quicker.

Lean hanger, flank, or skirt steak are all cuts that reward you with incredible beefy taste. An acidic marinade is key to breaking down toughness and building flavor. Greek yogurt with fresh lemon juice is always up to the task, whether you're cooking beef, lamb or chicken.

A considerate host is always mindful of potential dietary needs like lactose intolerance. Here's some advice from our sponsor, National Dairy Council, about how to prepare lactose intolerance-friendly dairy fare.

Accommodating lactose intolerance doesn't mean going dairy-free. It's an individualized condition, so people handle varying amounts of lactose in dairy foods. The good news is there are cow's milk and milk product (e.g. cheese, yogurt) choices and solutions that are lactose intolerant-friendly.

Yogurt's live and active cultures help digest lactose, making it a good choice for a marinade, sauce base and more. And natural cheeses contain minimal amounts of lactose, so blue cheese is another great pairing for steak that is suitable for lactose-sensitive guests.

Armed with this dairy wisdom, we've created two couldn't-be-simpler sauces: a yogurt-horseradish sauce and a blue cheese sauce. You can whip these up a day ahead if you want a stress-free suppertime show-stopper.

We had no idea, but it turns out that all of these delicious dairy products, including natural cheeses and lactose-free milk, can be enjoyed by those who are lactose intolerant!
(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez)

As big fans of cheese and milk and richly creamy sauces (oh my!) we are thrilled to learn how to keep dairy in a balanced and tasty meal. And we are always grateful for a dinner party recipe that we can serve to guests to suit their dietary needs.

TIP: Did you know lactose intolerance affects about 12% of the population, and that's based on self-diagnosis – it's not as common as you may think!

(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez)

Flank Steak with Yogurt-Horseradish Sauce and Blue Cheese Sauce

Serves 8

Flank Steak
1 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed or very finely minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 lbs extra-lean flank, hanger or skirt steak, trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for cooking
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Whisk yogurt, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt in a medium bowl to combine. Transfer marinade to a 1-gallon zipper bag along with the steak. Press out any excess air and seal bag. Transfer the steak to refrigerator to marinate for a minimum of three hours but preferably overnight, turning bag occasionally.

Remove the steak from refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about 1 hour, before cooking. Pat dry. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or griddle over medium high heat until smoking. Meanwhile, remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry, discarding marinade. Season the top of the steak generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the seasoned side directly into the skillet and season the remaining side with salt and pepper; do not move the steak once it hits the pan or a good sear will not develop. Once the steak has formed a crisp, dark golden crust, flip and continue cooking until an instant read thermometer reaches 128°F. Transfer the steak to a cutting board, loosely tent with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes; the steak will continue cooking from residual heat to a perfect medium rare (135°F).

For the most tender bites, rotate the steak on the cutting board so that you will be slicing perpendicular to/against the grain running through the meat. Position your knife at a 45-degree angle from the board and slice the steak on the diagonal into razor thin pieces. Transfer the slices to a serving platter and drizzle with any residual juices. Season with additional salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with yogurt horseradish sauce and/or blue cheese sauce.

Yogurt-Horseradish Sauce
2 cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt
4 garlic cloves, pressed or very finely minced
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, plus more to taste
2 heaping tablespoons minced chives
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt, to taste

Whisk all of the ingredients in a medium bowl to combine. Chill for a minimum of 1 hour to allow flavors to marry. Taste and adjust flavors before serving.

Blue Cheese Sauce
4 ounces (about 1 cup) blue cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt, to taste

Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Taste and adjust flavors before serving.

For a less chunky sauce, combine the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor and mix until desired texture is reached. For a creamy sauce, combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and warm over low heat until melted and creamy.

Recipe Notes

  • Before cooking, bring the steak to room temperature — a minimum of 30 minutes up to a couple of hours — which allows the inside to cook evenly with the outside. Once removed from the marinade pat it very, very dry. Excess liquid on the surface can cause the steak to steam instead of sear.
  • Season with salt right before cooking, any earlier will cause the salt to draw (much-needed) moisture out of the meat.
  • Get your cast iron skillet (or griddle) smoking hot. The oil should be shimmering and sliding around like water; high heat and cast iron are absolutely necessary to get a perfectly crisp, mahogany sear.
  • Once the steak is in the pan, don’t move it around, wiggle it, or attempt to peek. (Only once you start to see a bit of golden color coming up the sides is it even safe to take a look.) Most people flip it as soon as they see the tiniest bit of brown color. Leave it until is the crust is firm and deep, dark caramel.
  • If you have any leftover sauces, they both serve double duty as addictive dips. Just add raw veggies or pita chips!
(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez)

Nutritional Facts

For the steak
Yield: 3 pounds (48 ounces)
Serves: 8 servings
Serving Size: 6-ounce steak
Lactose: 1 g
Calories: 390
Total Fat: 18 g
Saturated Fat: 6 g
Cholesterol: 130 mg
Sodium: 115 mg
Carbohydrates: 2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 52 g
Calcium: 8% DV
Vitamin A: 0% DV
Vitamin C: 2% DV
Iron: 15% DV

For the Yogurt-Horseradish Sauce
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Serves: 8
Serving Size: 5 tablespoons
Lactose: 1.3 g
Calories: 40
Total Fat: 0 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Sodium: 20 mg
Carbohydrates: 3 g
Dietary Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 6 g
Calcium: 8% DV
Vitamin A: 0% DV
Vitamin C: 8% DV

For the Blue Cheese Sauce
Yield: 1 cup
Serves: 8
Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Lactose: <1 g
Calories: 80
Total Fat: 5 g
Saturated Fat: 3.5 g
Cholesterol: 15 mg
Sodium: 220 mg
Carbohydrates: 1 g
Dietary Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 5 g
Calcium: 10% DV
Vitamin A: 4% DV
Vitamin C: 10% DV
Iron: 0%

(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez)

Visit EatConfidentlyWithLI.org and follow @NtlDairyCouncil on Twitter to learn more about enjoying dairy.

Want to see the Gathering this recipe was featured in, and learn how to make that beautiful tie-dyed table runner? Check out the full series here.

Photography: Pablo Enriquez
Styling: Sara Weissler
Food Styling: Martha Tinkler
Sponsor: National Dairy Council
Hosts: Jake Messing and Corrin Acome

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