Flank Steak is a “Flat Steak” that goes by many names including the well used name London Broil, which is hung on many different cuts. Some other synonyms for Flank Steak are: Jiffy Steak, Flank Steak Fillet, Biftek de Flanc or Bavette de Flanchet (if in French), Costine di Pancia, Pancia or Bavette (if in Italian), Redondon or Filete de Falda (if in Spanish), Bife do Vazio (if in Brazil), Bife de Vacio (if in Argentina), Palanca (in Chile) and the Dunne (in Germany).
All are Flank Steak, NAMP 193, all are from the Flank Primal Cut of the steer, and all are a boneless, 1-2 pound (450-910 g) cut about 14 inches (35 cm) long and less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick at the thin pointy end, though it can be up to 2 inches (5 cm) thick at the thicker flat end.
The flat, rectangular, boneless Flank Steak is distinguished by the coarse longitudinal Meat Grain that runs across it. Flank Steak has big, beefy flavor, a moderate amount of fat and little Connective Tissue and is fairly porous making it well suited to Marinades which can penetrate without weakening the steak’s firm texture.
Marinated or dry, the Flank Steak takes well to Grilling or Broiling, as long as it isn’t taken past Medium Rare, which can happen quickly with this fast cooking steak. If possible, choose a fairly large flank steak so that it is thick enough to be crusty on the outside and still Rare to Medium Rare on the inside when cooked.
An average Flank Steak is about 1.75 Lbs. (790 g) and should feed, if you allow 4-8 oz. (115-225 g) per person, four or five adults. A larger Flank Steak, 2.75 Lbs. (1.2 kg) will feed more people but may have a tendency towards a heavier beef-like flavor.
When serving Flank Steak remember to slice it thinly across the grain. Alternatively, you can butterfly the Flank Steak, if it is over 1 inch (2.54 cm) thick, by carefully holding the steak with the flat of your hand and applying slight pressure to hold it in place while cutting the steak in half like a deck of cards by running your sharp knife through the steak parallel to the cutting board and with the Meat Grain. The result will be 2 steaks half as thick as the original. Some butcher’s pre-score (cut thinly into) the Flank Steak in two directions on each side to form a grid to Tenderize this tougher steak. The concept is similar to that used with an electric tenderizer for Cube Steak or Swiss Steak. If your Flank Steak is un-scored you may want to try scoring it before cooking to see if you achieve a better Mouth Feel.
Flank Steak is not as easy to find in the regular grocery store these days, but if you do come across it, it should be one of the more economical steaks. A Flank Steak should last for up to 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. Add an extra day if it is marinated or oiled.