Fajita-Style Flank Steak
©2006, The Naked Whiz

This recipe is inspired by Alton Brown's recipe for skirt steak from his episode "Raising The Steaks". You cook the meat directly on the coals! No grate needed! But, remember that you do this using ONLY LUMP CHARCOAL. Heaven help you if you do this with briquettes! (Note that we have modified the marinade and its preparation slightly to suit our taste. You can visit the Food TV website to find AB's original recipe.)


Preparation Instructions

Combine all ingredients except the flank steak in a bowl, making sure that the sugar completely dissolves. Pour the marinade into a heavy duty zip top bag, add the meat and close the bag, removing as much air as you can. Turn the bag over several times to make sure the meat is completely covered with marinade. Marinate for at least one hour in the refrigerator, up to four hours if possible.

Cooking Directions

Fill your cooker with a good load of charcoal, light it, and let the fire build to a steak-searing type of hot fire. You may wish to stir the coals once they are burning hot so as to spread the burning coals across the entire cooker. Then let the fire build again so that you end up with a uniform bed of glowing red coals. Once the coals are all glowing red, you can lay your flank steak on the coals. (Click on the thumbnails to see a full-sized photo.)

Close the lid on your cooker to keep the fire going at maximum heat. Let the flank steak cook for 90 seconds on the first side. Then, using some nice long tongs and possibly some gloves, lift the steak off the coals, turn the meat over and place the steak back on the coals. If any pieces of charcoal stick to the meat, simply knock them off. Close the lid.

Cook the flank steak for another 90 seconds on the second side. When time is up, remove the flank steak from the fire and wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil. Let the steak sit in the foil on your kitchen counter for 15 minutes.

When the steak has been in the foil for 15 minutes, move it to your cutting board...

...and slice it thinly across the grain. You can eat the two end pieces now if you like.

Note that the meat turned out pretty rare. This is rarer than we like. While we could leave it on the fire longer, we like to make pan-fried veggies while the flank steak is in the foil. When the veggies are almost done, we slice the flank steak. Here's the magic part: We dump the veggies into a bowl and now we have a hot cast-iron frying pan filled with wonderful crusty bits of vegetables, garlic and onion. We dump the slices of steak into the pan, turn to coat the meat with all those lovely bits, and cook the meat until it is the level of doneness we like.

Also note that we used a plate setter beneath the frying pan. We feel the extreme heat of a direct fire tends to destroy the seasoning on the pan and makes rusting more likely.

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