Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Marinated and Grilled Flank Steak Recipe (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Can Be Paleo)

Any beef lover will go for this marinated and grilled flank steak!

Marinated Flank Steak Recipe found on KalynsKitchen.com

I first made this Marinated and Grilled Flank Steak after a teacher at school asked for more beef recipes on the blog. Since then I've made this many times, often changing the marinade ingredients slightly, but always with good results. I've discovered that if you use a small ziploc bag to marinate, you can get by with a lot less marinade, so in this updated recipe I've used the same ingredients, but cut down the amounts from the original recipe.

When I first made this I wondered about the cut of meat I saw at my store labeled "London Broil." I checked The Cook's Thesaurus, which clarified that although London Broil is the name of a finished dish while flank steak is a cut of meat, butchers often label flank steak as London Broil. Use either of those cuts, but if you're a South Beach Diet follower, keep in mind the South Beach guidelines to use beef with less than 10% fat. Since you're marinating to keep the meat juicy and tender, you can trim the fat on the edges to get it under that guideline.

(Marinated and Grilled Flank Steak was updated with better photos and added to Recipe Favorites July 2009) 

For marinade combine balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme, and smoked paprika. Whisk in olive oil. (If you're missing one or two of these ingredients, just adapt with what you have. If you need gluten-free or Paleo, be sure you use gluten-free or Paleo Worcestershire sauce.)

Trim the flank steak if needed, then make small slits on both sides to help the marinade penetrate better. (This is probably optional, but I always do it.) Put meat in ziploc bag, add marinade, and marinate in refrigerator for 8-24 hours. (I usually put it in the fridge at night before I go to bed, then cook for dinner the next day.)

I use this fantastic Polder Meat Thermometer that I got from Elise to make sure the flank steak is perfectly cooked, because this is a cut of meat that will be ruined if it's cooked too much. Insert it into the thickest part of the meat, then set the temperature you want. (I used 130F for medium rare.) You can also use an instant read meat thermometer to time it. If you don't have a thermometer, watch it very carefully and check before you think it's done.

Hard to show this in a photo, but if you're using this type of thermometer that has a probe, be sure the probe is not touching the grill or you won't get an accurate reading.

When the meat reaches the temperature you want, take it off the grill and let rest (5-10 minutes for small pieces or 10-15 minutes for bigger pieces.) Then cut in thin slices across the grain to serve. (If you like your meat well-done, then this is not the recipe for you. Flank steak tastes best and is most tender when it's cooked rare or medium-rare.)

Marinated and Grilled Flank Steak
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe originally adapted from Gourmet Magazine, but I couldn't find it online.)

2-3 pound flank steak or London Broil
2 T balsamic vinegar (I like Fini Balsamic Vinegar)
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T finely minced fresh garlic
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. smoked paprika or paprika
(original recipe had cayenne pepper, which I stopped using through the years)
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and spices, then whisk in olive oil.

Trim the flank steak so there is not a lot of visible fat. Then make small scores about 1/4 inch deep and 1/4 inch apart on both sides of the meat. (This allows the marinade to penetrate more, but it's optional.) Place meat in lziploc bag, using the smallest size you can fit it into. Pour marinade mixture over meat, then marinate in refrigerator 8-24 hours.

To cook, take meat out of the refrigerator, drain off marinade, and let it come to room temperature while you preheat grill to high heat. (I sometimes rinse the flank steak if I'm in a hurry.) Turn grill to medium-high or let coals cool down before you put the meat on. If using Polder Meat Thermometer, cook to a temperature to 130F. If using instant read meat thermometer, start checking temperature after you turn the meat and cook to 130F. I turned the meat after about 6 minutes, and my flank steak reached this temperature in about 11 minutes, but cooking time will depend on how hot the grill is, the size of your steak, and the temperature of the meat when you start. The meat will continue to cook as it rests, so it's best to remove from the grill when it's underdone rather than overdone.

When meat reaches that temperature remove from the grill and let rest 5-10 minutes for smaller pieces or 10-15 minutes for larger pieces. Cut meat into thin slices across the grain and serve immediately.

This is great served with chimichurri sauce or olive sauce for steak.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Lean cuts of meat like this are great for any phase of the South Beach Diet or any type of low-glycemic eating plan. For the South Beach Diet phase one, this would be great simply served with Mary's Perfect Salad and Roasted Broccoli with Garlic. For phase two or three, add something like Georgette's Really Lemony Greek Pilafi or Lake Powell Spicy Rice.

More Versions of Flank Steak You Might Like:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Cuban Flank Steak from Kalyn's Kitchen

Korean Flank Steak from Everything Rachel Ray

Simple Flank Steak from Daily Unadventures in Cooking

Tequila-Lime Flank Steak from The Perfect Pantry

Quick and Easy Pan-Fried Flank Steak from Simply Recipes

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak from Use Real Butter

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More to Chew On:


  1. I love getting the suggestions of what would be good with the entree. Thanks.

  2. I marinade and grill london broil quite often and we love it. Your recipe sounds wonderful and I will definitely try it. One thing I would add that I found to be helpful with this dish is to cook the beef quite rare and then cover it with foil and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes to really get all the flavors back into it. What do you think, am I just wasting my time or does this resting time really matter? It seems to make a juicier end result.

    Love your pictures..Keep up the great blogging!

  3. Janet, I think your idea of letting the meat rest for a while is a great one. I'm going to edit the recipe and add that instruction. Thanks.

  4. Kalyn, I love flank steak. It's lean, it's flavorful and once it's marinated it's amazingly tender.

    I have at least 3 recipes that are family favorites and am always looking for new ones. Thanks for sharing.

    Janet - the resting really does relax the meat and make it more tender.

  5. Here in the Illinois (well, at least in the southern suburbs of Chicago where I would shop), a London Broil is thicker and more like a big boneless sirloin or something (and can be had on sale for $1.99/lb occasionally), whereas flank steak is rarely seen, and when it is it costs closer to $7.00/lb. They don't even look the same: the flank has that definite grain going through it, the LB, not.

    I do mine almost exactly the same, but usually add some soy sauce to my marinade. The leftovers, if there are any, always go into a steak salad. Now I wish I had one in the freezer!

    ~ Peggy

  6. You cooked this flank steak beautifully! It looks so moist. I completely agree with Janet about letting the meat rest. It allows the juice to absorb into the steak; otherwise they will run out of the steak as soon as you cut into it. More juices on the cutting board = less juices in the steak. Great recipe!

  7. This sounds delicious - nothing like a tangy marinade for a flank steak. It was a favorite in our house growing up. And, what a cook thermometer! I've seen them used, but would love to get my hands on one!

  8. I freaking LOVE flank steak, thanks for including me in the roundup. The Dijon in yours sounds excellent. I love Dijon, in fact I buy it at coscto. Is London Broil an American term?

  9. Ruth, must have missed your comment, but I agree the resting stage is important.

    Anonymous, I'll have to watch here to see what differences I notice in cuts labeled "London Broil" and those labeled "flank steak." I do think flank steak is usually more expensive, but they look pretty similar to me.

    Cookin' Canuck, agreed, and thanks!

    TW, the thermometer isn't super expensive and I love it! I used it this winter for pork roast, which is so easy to overcook.

    Katerina, don't know but it might be. I think even in the U.S. there are different terms for the same cut of beef, for example "tri tip" is common here but apparently not found in the east.

    Bruno, thanks!

  10. This looks like a great way to do flank steak. Beautiful photo! Perfectly done. It looks sooooo delicious!

  11. What temperature is the meat when you turn it?

    Side note: We had a probe thermometer we bought from Williams-Sonoma, but after a while the probe failed. (You can't get moisture in the thermo-couple on those things.) WS doesn't sell replacement parts, but after much searching online, I found that you can order replacement probes at http://www.maverickhousewares.com/

  12. I definitely neve3r realized that London Broil and flank steak were the same thing. This marinade looks so good!

  13. YUM! I like the sound of this!! Thanks for the recipe! Great site! :)

  14. Shari, thanks. It was really tasty.

    Jana, I didn't pay attention to what the temperature was when I turned it, but I did start with the meat at about 65F. I'm more focused on the final temperature and turn it when the first side is nicely browned.

    Joanne, I'm not sure they're exactly the same thing, just that *some* butchers use the names interchangeably. And it sounds like it might depend on where you live.

    Petitechef, thanks!

  15. Flank steak is one of my all-time favorites, and during grilling season I make it often. One of my favorite marinades is quite spicy, basically chili paste with garlic, scallions, a bit of soy sauce, maybe some lime juice and Sriracha.

  16. Alton Brown called flank steak "the most marinatable hunk of beef there is." Amen.

    Your marinade looks very flavorful. How thinly do you slice your meat?

    Must try soon.

  17. Good idea using the thermometer with flank steak.

    The marinade sounds fab and the end result looks like it's perfectly grilled.

  18. Ack, behind on comments again. I do read them when I post the comment but sometimes forget to respond.

    Lydia, that sounds good. (Why am I not surprised that there was a bit of Sriracha involved?)

    Pearl and Ashley, thanks. It was really well received!

    FabFrugalFood, I usually slice this about 1/4 inch thick at the most.

    Peter, I love that thermometer. I try to force myself to take it off the grill when it seems not quite done, then it turns out perfect after the rest time.

  19. I made this Sunday night with the twice baked cauliflower. You would have thought that the fam had died and gone to heaven. This was so tasty, I LOVE the marinade. I sat there shaking my head wondering how much I spend on marinades each month and this is hands down the best. I'm making my own from now on! This is a wonderful meal! I'm having left overs cold over baby spinach with feta and a balsamic vinegarette tonight! This, will be a weekly repeat 'round here it appears!

  20. So glad to hear it was a hit with the family. I have made this many times and it's always been a hit with my friends too.

  21. Could this be cooked indoors on a cast iron grill pan on a gas stove instead of an outdoor stove? I live in an apartment and dont own a grill. thanks!

  22. Yes, I think you could cook this on a cast iron grill pan on the stove, but you might need to cover the pan to get it cooked through because it's cooked on a grill with the lid closed.

  23. I loved this recipe. I kept the cayenne pepper in. We love food a little spicy. I tried this dish first with family and now will be a favorite when we have friends over. The recipe was passed around at dialysis also. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  24. am now your newest follower! Love the recipes here! I am working on a post on marinades and am adding a link back here for my readers!

  25. CoronaryRN, glad you're enjoying the blog. You're welcome to leave a link to your blog as the signature of your comment, but I can't permit people to leave links in the text of comments. It just encourages people to leave spam.

  26. London broil and flank steak are not the same thing at all, not even remotely similar. I don't understand how someone who doesn't know the difference between London broil and flank steak, and who also doesn't realize that meat needs to rest after cooking and before carving, can have their own food blog. If you're truly interested in cooking, move along, because this is NOT the place to be.

  27. D- First of all, you're a jerk to leave a comment like that. Second, you must not read the posts before you leave those rude comments. If you had bothered to read it, you would have seen that I DID NOT say that London Broil was the same thing as flank steak, and I DID say to let the meat rest.

    Seriously, you have too much time on your hands.

    1. This recipe looks amazing!! One question, can I cook this in the crock pot all day or is it best or only for the grill?

    2. I've never tried marinating this overnight and then cooking it in the slow cooker, so I can't say for sure how it would work. But I like the sound of it, and I'm guessing it would be delicious. I'd definitely drain off some or most of the marinade for slow cooker cooking. I'd love to hear how it works if you try it!

    3. Sorry, I changed Google accounts on you! I will definitely let you know how it turns out! We won't know unless we try, right?! :D


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