Arrachera a la Parrilla (Grilled Flank Steak)

bloodhoundBefore the dog days of summer have completely slipped away, let’s throw a little something on the grill, shall we? Okay, excuse me while I meander elsewhere – we’ll get to grilling in a minute. What the heck are dog days of summer anyway? To me, it’s a way of conveying the slow, unhurried days of summer. Like a lazy hound dog resting on the porch. Turns out, that’s not exactly accurate. The Dog Days of Summer are those hot, sultry days of summer that bring us muggy weather and rolling thunderstorms. dog starThose are the days when we sit on the porch swing, fan in one hand, a tall, cold glass of sweet tea in the other. The origins of the phrase come from ancient times when the night sky was easily visible without all the interference of artificial lights all over the planet. In the summer, Sirius – the dog-star – rises and sets with the sun. Once upon a time it was thought that this Dog Star added heat to the sun, causing the hot sultry days of summer. Dog Days. Aren’t you glad I got curious?

Okay, now that dog days are answered, let’s talk grilling, shall we? What is in a cut of meat? What is a Flank Steak? Flank steak is a lean, somewhat tough but oh so flavorful cut of beef that benefits from the effects of a good marinade. Marinated, cooked quickly over high heat, then sliced thin and the flank steak seems to melt in your mouth with delicious goodness. I love flank steak because it is thicker and easier to handle on the grill than a skirt steak while still giving you that deep beefy goodness.

Arrachera a la Parrilla (Grilled Flank Steak)
2 pounds flank steak
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño chile pepper, minced with or without seeds
1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seed (best to lightly toast the seeds first, then grind them)
1 large handful fresh cilantro, leaves and stems, finely chopped (great flavor in the stems)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup olive oil

grilled flank 6

Fajita Style:
10 Flour Tortillas
1 Container Pico de Gallo
1 Onion, cut into slivers, grilled
2 Red Bell Peppers, slivered and grilled
2 Avocados, diced
Sour Cream
Mexican Cheese
Jalapeno Peppers, grilled (optional)

Lay the flank steak in a large non-reactive bowl or baking dish. Combine marinade ingredients and pour the marinade over the steak. Make sure each piece is well coated. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-4 hours. (Note: Lime juice is high in citrus acids – the meat may begin to “cook” in the acids if allowed to marinade too long).

Heat your grill to medium-high flame (you can also use a cast iron grill pan on high heat for stove-top cooking or a gas grill for flame control). Brush the grates with a little oil to prevent the meat from sticking.

While the grill is warming, cut ends from onion and remove outer peel. Slice onion from tip to end to create long slivers.

Core red bell peppers, cut into long, thin slivers. Break onion apart, place slivers into a warm skillet with bell peppers and “grill” until just beginning to brown. Remove from heat, set aside until ready to use.

If desired, grill a few jalapeno peppers along with the steak. You’ll want to start the peppers about 10 minutes before placing steaks on the grill to give them plenty of time to “blister”. 

Remove the steak from the marinade. If you are cooking indoors, you may want to brush off excess marinade as the bits may burn and smoke on the hot pan. Season both sides of the steak pieces with salt and pepper. Grill the pieces for a few minutes only, on each side, depending on how thin they are, until medium rare Depending upon the size of your grill or pan, you may need to work in batches. If that is the case, wrap cooked meat in foil to keep warm.

Allow steak to rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal.

Serve with warm tortillas. Fill tortillas with meat and grilled onion slivers. Top with Pico de Gallo and diced avocado. If desired, add some cheese and sour cream to the “wrap”.  Enjoy!

flank steak fajitas

Suggested sides for an awesome evening “south of the border” . . . Mexican Salsa Rice and/or Super Easy Refried Beans Two Ways

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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