Flank steak is one of the most versatile kinds of beef out there. It’s a less expensive cut that has a rich, beautiful beefy flavor on its own, soaks up marinades and flavors fantastically, and is very easy to cook. Our basic sous vide flank steak recipe here can easily be transformed into a number of delicious iterations with only a few ingredients - which is why we have decided to feature it in our latest Cook Once, Eat Five Times batch cooking
What is flank steak?
Flank steak comes from the abdomen of the steer, close to the hind legs, as you can see in the American cuts of beef chart below*. It is the cut of meat used for London broil as well as in many Asian dishes, and is a frequent stand-in where skirt steak is called for.
*Note: we do recognize that many countries have particular ways of cutting beef, but the spot on the cow where flank steak comes from is consistent worldwide, whatever the name it takes on.
While flank steak is known to be a tougher cut and oftentimes suggested to cook for longer times, you can definitely shorten sous vide flank steak cooking time if you cut the meat correctly afterward. The key - whatever preparation method you choose - is to slice it thinly and across the grain. This little knife trick will transform tough into tender right in front of your eagerly waiting tastebuds!
The Shopping List
- 2.5 lb/1.13kg flank steak
- 4 oz/115g shallots
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 2 - 3 Thai chilies - fresh or dried
- 1 bulb fresh garlic
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 6 limes
- 1 150g white onion
- 6 - 8oz/170 - 225g sliced provolone cheese
- 1 yellow onion ~ 150g
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1 punnet grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 fresh red/orange/yellow Bell pepper/capsicum
- 2 green Bell peppers/capsicums
- 2 medium avocados
- 1 packet Romaine hearts or 1 large head romaine
- 2 large soft sandwich or torpedo rolls
- 1 package soft tortillas
- 1 Russet potato ~ 300g
- 2 oz/~60g walnuts
- 1 small bottle fish sauce
- 2oz/~60g blue cheese crumbles
- Garlic powder
- Red wine vinegar
- Olive oil - extra virgin, virgin, or light all fine
- Red wine for cooking - I used a full-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, cabernet Franc, and Merlot (with the intention of enjoying the same wine with my meal, too!)
The Starting Recipe
This recipe for sous vide flank steak is truly the simplest and shortest one currently available. If you have the time and are looking for a way to make your meat even more tender, by all means feel free to add additional time. The 1 hour and 30 minutes is the minimum amount of time required to cook this cut of beef to an enjoyable and palatable level; any time spent cooking it afterwards is to break down the tough fibers and collagen within the meat, making it an even more desirable texture.
In preparation for this post, I cooked 4 1lb/453g pieces of flank steak simultaneously even though only 2.5lbs/1135g were required. You can always cook larger amounts and freeze the extra.