Matt Moore, Author BUTCHER ON THE BLOCK
Scored Flank Steak with Dijon and Caper Board Sauce
Flank steak has risen in popularity over the years, as it’s a tender, flavorful cut that easily satisfies a crowd.
Truth be told though, I’ve had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the cut until I improvised the following technique. You see, the natural striations of this steak, even at super-high heat temperatures, often caused me to not get that great, even sear—and thus the flavor from the beloved Maillard reaction—across the entire cut. Instead of throwing my hands, and flames, entirely in the air, I took my knife and scored small crisscross incisions on both sides of the meat. This technique not only helps impart more of the marinade, it also allows the heat to reach the meat more evenly so it can develop a dark, rich crust. As if I wasn’t already giving away enough secrets, I serve this with a beautiful briny and tangy board sauce made of Dijon mustard, capers, and herbs. I prefer to cook this just to medium rare plus and slice the meat on top of the sauce ingredients so the juices mix into the sauce, creating a flavor that’s out of this world.
☐ 2 pounds flank steak, scored ¼ inch deep on both sides in cross-hatch pattern
☐ 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
☐ 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
☐ 2 cloves garlic, minced
☐ 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
☐ 1 teaspoon kosher salt
☐ 1/2 teaspoon fresh-cracked black pepper
Dijon and Caper Board Sauce
☐ 2 tablespoons capers, drained and minced
☐ 1 clove garlic, minced
☐ 2 tablespoons good-quality dijon mustard
☐ 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
☐ 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
☐ 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
☐ 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
☐ 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
☐ 1/4 teaspoon fresh-cracked black pepper
1 At least 4 hours prior to cooking, or up to 24 hours, combine the steak, oil, vinegar, garlic, parsley, salt, and black pepper in a ziplock bag and toss to combine. Allow the
steak to marinate in the refrigerator—the longer the better—turning the bag over a few times during the process.
2 Open the bottom vent of a charcoal grill completely. Light a charcoal chimney starter filled with charcoal. When the coals are covered with gray ash, pour them onto the
bottom grate of the grill, and then push to one side of the grill. Adjust the vents as needed to maintain an internal temperature of 500° to 550°F. Coat the top grate with oil; place on the grill. (If using a gas grill, preheat to high [500° to 550°F] on one side.)
3 Remove the steak from the marinade, shaking off any excess, and discard the marinade. Place the steak over direct heat and grill, undisturbed, for 6 to 8 minutes per side, until a
meat thermometer reads 135°F for medium rare plus. Remove the steak from the grill, tent with foil, and rest for 15 minutes.
4 Meanwhile, make the board sauce. In a medium bowl, combine the capers, garlic, mustard, onion, parsley, tarragon, red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine. On a
cutting board, liberally line the sauce in a linear direction on the board to cover, about the length of the steak.
5 Add the steak over the sauce on the board. Using a sharp knife, thinly cut the steak on the bias. Toss the sliced steak and its juices together with the board sauce until combined. Serve.
If your fridge looks like mine, there’s always a slew of vegetables rolling around in the drawers, left over from other dishes. Since I’ve usually got only a handful of this or a single item of that, it’s hard to put all of these nutritious ingredients to use. But have no fear, this catchall salad is my go-to for using up all of that goodness and creating a delicious side dish that aims to please. Brussels sprouts and corn are typically included as my base ingredients, but the rest can be subbed out with whatever you have on hand, be it zucchini, squash, kale, etc. The idea is to slice it all together, serve it up with my tangy dressing, and add as much feta as needed to make it better. One of my favorite things about this dish is that it can be prepped and dressed an hour or so in advance of serving, as the heartier vegetables stand up well and absorb the dressing without becoming soggy like traditional lettuce. So you can knock this dish out, putting your knife and butchering skills to the test, and move on to the rest of the meal.
Hands on 45 minutes
Total time 1 hour 45 minutes
☐ 2 ears corn, husks and silk removed
☐ 1 red or green bell pepper, cut in half and stem, seeds, and ribs removed
☐ 2 cups brussels sprouts, ends removed and sliced very thin
☐ 1 carrot, ends removed and sliced very thin
☐ 1 stalk celery, sliced very thin
☐ 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
☐ 1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
☐ 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
☐ 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
☐ 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
☐ 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
☐ 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
☐ 1/2 tablespoon fresh-cracked black pepper, plus more as needed
1 Open the bottom vent of a charcoal grill completely. Light a charcoal chimney starter filled with charcoal. When the coals are covered with gray ash, pour them onto the
bottom grate of the grill, and then push to one side of the grill. Adjust the vents as needed to maintain an internal temperature of 400° to 450°F. Coat the top grate with oil; place on the grill. (If using a gas grill, preheat to medium high [400° to 450°F] on one side.)
2 Place the corn and pepper halves over direct heat on the grill, charring on all sides, for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the grilled corn and pepper to a baking sheet to cool. Using
your hands, peel away the charred skin of the pepper and discard, and use a knife to dice the grilled pepper. Place the flat end of the corn on a sturdy cutting board surface and, using a
knife, carefully cut the kernels off the ear of each corn. Transfer the cut kernels and diced pepper to a large serving bowl.
3 Add the brussels sprouts, carrot, celery, cherry tomatoes, olives, scallions, feta cheese, olive oil, and red wine vinegar to the serving bowl and toss until everything is well coated. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Place the salad in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes. Remove the salad from the refrigerator, toss again, and serve.