Marinated and Grilled Flank Steak over Wilted Chard (Serves 3-4)
A colleague ordered his steak charred one night at supper. He explained that eating rare meat was dangerous where he grew up in Africa as the child of Christian missionaries, so he had developed a taste for well-done meat. I ordered my next steak well done and liked it, so continued to order my steaks with the pink cooked out of them. Flank steak becomes tough when cooked too long, however, so I knew I needed to experiment with the rare side of things when I brought my first one home to grill recently. The experiment was a great success. My steak was thicker at one end than the other. My wife, who likes her steaks bloody, was pleased with the rareness of the thick end of the steak and I was happy with the doneness of the thin end. I seared each side 4 minutes on a hot grill pan and served the meat over wilted Swiss chard.
Prep and Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Marinade Time: 2-24 hours
1.3 pound flank steak
1 big bunch of Swiss chard
Extra virgin olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
Directions: Into a 1-gallon plastic freezer bag, pour 1 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup of coconut aminos, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1 tablespoon of garam masala. Many marinades call for honey, but garam masala is sweet Indian spice and achieves a similar effect. Coconut aminos taste much like soy sauce, but are made from coconuts instead of soy. Add the flank steak, press out as much air as you can, and seal the bag. Place the bag of marinating steak in a bowl and leave in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and as long as a day to soak up flavor and increase tenderness. When ready to cook, pre-heat non-stick grill pan or skillet over high heat. Season both sides of the steak with a nice dusting of salt and black pepper. Lay the meat in the dry pan and let it sear undisturbed for 4-5 minutes on the first side. Turn and sear the other side for at least 4-5 minutes. When done, transfer to a plate and let rest 10 minutes. I keep resting meat in the microwave oven because my adventurous cat Tobey might eat unattended steak if it was cooled enough. Another good hiding place is an oven that is not hot enough to keep the cooking process going. While the steak is resting, rinse chard and shake out excess water as best you can. Cut the greens into bite-size pieces with kitchen shears. Pour a tablespoon or two of olive oil in the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat. Wait for oil to get hot and then add greens. Use two forks to turn the greens to speed the wilting process. Season with a dusting of salt and garlic powder. Splash greens generously with apple cider vinegar. The vinegar neutralizes some of the bitterness found in a variety of greens. Transfer the greens to plates. Move the rested meat to a cutting board and cut thin slices on an angle. Arrange the meat over the chard and enjoy!
Note: Searing meat is a technique for keeping juices inside where you can enjoy them as you eat. Use tongs to turn meat. Puncturing meat with a fork lets valuable juice escape. Resting meat is another technique of juice preservation. Cutting meat too quickly allows extra juice to leak out; waiting a bit allows the cooked juice to stabilize and stay with the meat when cut.
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