Valencia Oranges and Thyme

31 Mar

 

Flank SteakWe are a grill-loving family. Whatever the season, the ingredient, the occasion, we love to torch up the gas and load up the grate. Everything tastes better when it’s cooked outdoors over fire, it’s quick as a snap and clean up is no problem.

My friend Stephanie makes this flank steak, marinated in a plastic bag with tons of garlic, huge sprigs of herbs (how amazing is that? no chopping, just fragrance and flavor) and sliced red onions. If you’re the one to put it on the grill, she shouts, “Don’t shake anything off!” She’s vehement, and will repeat the order incessantly until you understand: Every stick of thyme and hunk of aromatic must stay on the roast while it grills. What happens is that a gorgeous, charred, pungent crust forms on the meat, and burnt little bits of flavor intensify what is already succulent and divine. It’s pretty smart, so I borrowed it, added some orange peel and juice from my farm box to make it my own, and practiced my “no shaking” growl. If you serve this up with chimichurri sauce you’ll double the flavor magic.

Grilled Flank Steak with Oranges, Thyme and Garlic

Serves 4

1 flank steak, trimmed

1 Valencia orange

1 bunch of thyme

1 head of garlic, cloves separated, skin removed, pressed flat with the side of a chef’s knife

Olive oil, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper

Place the flank steak in a gallon bag with a seal. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin off of the orange, avoiding going too deep and reaching the bitter pith. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice, adding to the bag along with the orange peel. Add the garlic cloves and a good drizzle of olive oil to the bag. Generously season the steak with salt and pepper.

Seal the bag and refrigerate for 2 hours or as long as 24. Remove the bag from the refrigerator a half hour before preparing the grill. Heat a gas or charcoal grill, or grill pan, to medium high heat (about 400 degrees.) Place the steak on the grill, retaining as much of the herbs and garlic in the marinade on the surface of the steak. Cook until char marks form, about 5 minutes, then turn and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Steak will be cooked to rare to barely medium rare. Move the steak to the cooler side of the grill, pour remaining marinade over the steak, and cover and cook to desired temperature, about 5-7 minutes for medium rare, 10 minutes for medium. Remove from the grill and rest for 10 minutes, then slice into very thin slices across the grain to serve.

 

 

 

 

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