or how exactly do I cook that thing?  Earlier, I posted a simple, no-fail recipe for marinating a flank steak.  And again, there are a million recipes on the web and inside your favorite cookbooks.  Then, while going through my own recipe archive I realized that I hadn’t really discussed this cut of meat and why it would be such a great addtion to your usually rotation of recipes.

This is a flank steak (raw, of course).
This is a flank steak (raw, of course).

A flank steak is a long, think cut of beef full of tough connective tissue and is found near the hindquarters of the animal.  If you are a beef lover who is looking for the meat “to melt in your mouth,” than this is not the cut for you.  But, what it offers (if cooked properly) is exceptional beefy flavor.

By the way, a flank steak is not the same as a skirt steak.  The skirt steak has risen in popularity in the recent years and is taken from the diaghram muscle of the animal.  The grain of the skirt steak runs across it, rather than the length of the cut like the flank steak (note the photo).
If you are planning to grill your flank steak, you may want to consider cutting into the steak to creat a cross-hatch pattern.  It will look like diamonds.  Never cut all the way through.  This technique will help prevent the steak from curling, particularly on the thinner ends of the steak.
And, most importantly when broiling or grilling your steak, watch the timer carefully.  Nothing ruins a flank steak like overcooking.  It will become tough and unappetizing.  Shoot for rare to medium-rare and you’ll have a great meal.  Finally, let the meat rest for about 5 minutes after you remove it from the heat source.  This will keep the juices (those tasty, beefy juices) from running all over your cutting board.  You want the juice to stay put for great flavor.