While I find pan roasting a steak more than an acceptable cooking option, there is something special about using the grill. In this recipe video, I show you how to grill a flank steak, which I season simply with salt and pepper, but then flavor with a bit of homemade pesto sauce.  The pesto, which is grassy, savory and delicious, chars just a bit on the grill, and gives the steak an added pop.  With a fresh salad, and maybe some potatoes on the side, this is one of my favorite summer "outdoor" dinners.  Hope you enjoy it, as much as I do.

Recipe Overview and Keys to Success

  1. Any time you cook steak, you need to get a good sear/char on the outside to really develop the flavor.  The way to do that, is to use really high heat (so let the grill get going 15 – 20 minutes before you start) and don’t play around with the steak too much.  I generally flip mine just once.
  2. With flank steak, how you cut the meat has a huge impact on its tenderness.  There is a natural and pronounced grain to the meat.  Once cooked, you need to slice the meat against the grain for the most tender cut
  3. Know your doneness.  I like med-rare; You can cook to whatever you’d like, but know how to tell rare from well done.  I’d suggest you take a look at these Five Rules for the Perfect Steak.  It helps to have the steak at room temp before you start cooking.
  4. Use a good pesto.  I like my pesto recipe, but if you want to use store bought, that’s fine.  Just make sure you taste it, and like it.

RECIPE FOR GRILLED FLANK STEAK WITH PESTO

Ingredients (for about 2 people)

  • 1/2 cup of basil pesto
  • 1 lb cut of flank steak
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Making the Flank Steak and Pesto

  • Take the steak out of the fridge about 45 minutes prior to cooking, and season it generously with salt and fresh ground black pepper on both sides
  • Prepare the pesto sauce, or take it out of the freezer, or open the jar ;-)
  • Light your grill about 15 minutes (if you’re using gas) prior to cooking the flank steak; if you’re using charcoal, get the coals going, and make sure you grill is very hot when you’re ready to start the steak
  • Oil the steak on both sides, and lay it on the hot grill
  • Close the lid; which creates a bit of an oven effect, and lessens the flames up
  • Depending on the thickness of the steak, and your preferred doneness, let the steak cook, without touching, flipping, poking or bothering…for at least 4 minutes…probably more like 5. This time will allow the tasty crust to form; and it won’t burn
  • At the 4 – 5 minute mark, check the steak; it should be browned nicely.  If so, turn the steak.  If not, let it go another minute then flip
  • Take the pesto sauce and slather a good coating on the cooked side; and then close the lid again
  • Cook the steak on the second side for about 1 – 2 minutes less time than what you did on the first side; or until it gets to your desired doneness (mine is med – rare)
  • Flip the steak one more time, apply a coat of the pesto onto the un-coated side, and close the lid to allow it bake on for one more minute
  • Remove the steak and allow it to rest, covered or wrapped in foil, for about 5 minutes
  • Slice the meat against the grain, you can spoon a bit more pesto on if you’d like and serve it up

I made some grilled asparagus to go with my steak, long with some potatoes and creamed spinach.  Hope you enjoy it as much I did.

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