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Reclaim Your Grilling Mojo

Don’t let the heat keep you IN the kitchen

Summer time and grilling go together, but when the late season heat is on and you’ve flipped countless burgers it’s easy to lose your grilling mojo.  Reinvigorate your passion for propane or briquettes by returning to the grand grilling tradition: Steak.  For this recipe, I chose a New York Strip and a Flank Steak.  

New York Strip comes from the short loin section of the cow, an area that does little work so it is particularly tender.  Flank steak is a lean, long and flat cut of beef from the cow’s abdominal muscles.  Because this is a well-exercised part of the cow, flank is a tougher cut of meat and is best prepared when cut across the grain and on the bias (diagonally).  

In addition to your steaks, you’ll need:

Large zipper locked food bags 

Rosemary or another hearty herb such as thyme

Grill rub seasonings- Use your favorite. 

(Chef’s Note: For the Flank Steak, I chose a hearty barbecue spice I make with peppers, salt, onion and tomato powder.  For the New York Strip, I used an all-purpose spice I make that is similar to season all spice.  Your local grocery has a variety of grilling seasonings.)

Optional as a side dish:

Onion – sliced for grilling

Grape Tomatoes - sliced

Preparation:

Rub your grilling spices and herbs on the meat and seal in a zipper locked food bag.  If time allows, do this the night before grilling for a more thorough seasoning.  If you are going directly to the grill, the food bags are an excellent sealed transport.

Prepare your grill by getting it nice and HOT, 500+ degrees on high.  Place your meat on the grill and leave it alone, you may want to turn the temperature down to ¼ from the highest setting.  Repeatedly adjusting and moving the steak around won’t do it any favors.  Unless it is on fire, touch it only when you need to flip it. 

Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your steak and your dining preference.  A medium rare steak has an internal temperature of 130 to 135 degrees F, while medium is 140 to 145 degrees F.  On my grill, the flank steak took between 15 and 20 minutes.  The New York Strip was ready in less than 15 minutes.  After the New York Strip comes off the grill and has been given about 5-10 minutes to rest, it is ready. 

I had an onion on hand so I seasoned it with my grill rub spices and grilled it with the meat until it was slightly charred, tender and almost translucent.   I took a portion of it as a garnish for my New York Strip, twisting the onion rounds into a figure eight.  The remainder of the onion was chopped and added with sliced grape tomatoes to make a side dish. 

Because the flank steak is a tougher cut of meat, it should be cut thinly on a bias (or at an angle) against the grain to be served in strips.  You can serve the strips as you sliced them or you can roll them up in round shapes as I did.  For a real treat, grab a pinch of mixed greens or our good friend arugula, and wrap the Flank slices around a bundle of fresh greens for a summer steak salad.  Enjoy!

Zachary Pope is an award-winning chef and owner of Roundz Catering.  He and his family live in Crofton.

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