In Texas, we don’t let our grilling skill hibernate over the fall and winter holidays, thanks to weather that’s decidedly more delightful than frightful. With the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s a nice break to wind down and relax outside, enjoying patio time with neighbors, raking up leaves for kids to jump in, and grilling a meaty main dish suitable for supper or even a Thanksgiving meal.
Today, I’m sharing a quick beef recipe that puts a unique spin on the traditional turkey dinner yet will have your hungry brood shaking their tailfeathers in appreciation! Grilled Cranberry-Orange Flank Steak is a quick and easy fix, dressed up with a tangy, slightly sweet marinade and compote topping reminiscent of cranberry relish. For my version of a Thanksgiving feast, I paired this 30-minute recipe with lemony green beans, baby potatoes and apple pie! Leftovers, if there are any, can be used to top a salad or scrambled with eggs.
If you’re not familiar with flank steak, it’s a large cut that’s easy to grill for a crowd. However, it benefits from a good soak in marinade to improve tenderness, from 2 hours to no more than overnight. If you are in a hurry, the butcher case often offers “blade tenderized” flank steak. Tiny little cuts have been made, by machine, all over the steak to break down muscle fibers in the hopes of a better eating experience no or minimal marinating. Regardless, I always marinate for 30 minutes to maximize flavor.
This merry marinade is a mixture of cranberry juice, orange juice, fresh ginger, soy sauce, olive oil, and thyme — it’s tangy and sweet, but not overly so. The old-school way to make sauce for meat was to boil down the used marinade. But, for food safety reasons, I always make extra marinade on the front end and set aside a “safe” portion for my sauce making later.
As you grill the flank steak over indirect heat on a gas grill, the natural sugars from the juice-based marinade help the outside to caramelize and encourage those desirable grate marks. The whole grilling process typically takes less than 20 minutes for a medium-rare outcome. Allow it a proper rest on the platter for 10 before slicing to prevent the juices from seeping out, resulting in a “tough boot” texture. You’ll notice that flank steak has a distinct grain, this makes it easier to situate the steak for slicing — always cut perpendicular to the grain.
Start a new tradition! Beef Loving Texans has a treasure trove of grilling recipes suitable for the holidays, but a few of my favorites are Ribeye Steaks with Blue Cheese Butter & Mushrooms, Pomegranate Steak with Quinoa or Grilled Flat Iron Steaks with Pistachio-Almond Rice!