Is there anything more perfect than a medium-rare slab of steak in the summer? Actually, there is. Flank steak with burrata and burst tomatoes will be your new summer go-to recipe! Quickly marinate flank steak in olive oil, Calabrian chilies, and Worcestershire sauce, then sear in a hot pan until perfectly cooked. While the steak rests, tomatoes, shallots, and garlic get blistered in the same skillet. Slice the flank steak and top with the blistered tomatoes, flaky sea salt, burrata, and fresh basil. Serve flank steak with burrata as a serious flex–it’s the easiest and most impressive summer meal, ever.
Flank steak vs Skirt steak
I love a good skirt steak, but there’s something so impressive about a nice piece of flank steak. Both are relatively lean cuts of beef, both are great on the grill (or seared in a hot skillet). So, what’s the difference? Well, skirt steak is quite a bit thinner than flank steak and they come from different parts of the cow. Skirt steak comes from near the diaphragm, right under the ribs; Flank steak comes from the very back of the abdominal muscles of the cow. Flank steak is a bit more expensive, so skirt steak can be a great budget-friendly substitute.
Why is flank steak expensive?
There’s a preconceived notion about flank steak being expensive, but it’s actually really affordable! People usually overlook flank steak in favor of ribeyes and NY strips, but flank steak is a fantastic and flavorful cut. Flank steak is more expensive than skirt steak because its the go-to cut for restaurants for fajitas. That being said, flank steak will never run you more than $11/lb and you can find a great deal on steak at places like Costco.
Achieving tender steak
Although flank steak is known for being a somewhat tough cut, it’s easy to achieve a tender steak. The key to tender flank steak lies in a couple of easy steps. Follow these tips and you’ll have tender flank steak every single time.
- Marinate your steak. First, flank steak should have a quick marinade. You don’t need to marinate it for hours because flank steak is really absorbent of flavor–30 minutes is plenty.
- Don’t overcook flank steak. Don’t cook flank steak past medium doneness. Overcooking flank steak is the quickest way to turn it into shoe leather.
- Cook flank steak quickly at high heat. None of that low and slow cooking here–grill flank steak or sear it in a very hot skillet. Cook flank steak quickly to avoid overcooking it.
- Cut flank steak against the grain. This is an absolute must! After you cook the steak, use a very sharp knife to cut it against the grain of the beef. If you cut with the grain (the “grain” meaning the way the muscle fibers are aligned) you’ll wind up with tough steak pieces, no matter how thin you’ve sliced them.
- Slice flank steak thinly. Fight toughness in steak by slicing it nice and thin–bite-sized pieces are easier to eat and much more tender.
Ingredients for cooking flank steak with burrata
- Flank steak. Obviously! Make sure you buy quality steak. I always recommend buying at least choice-grade beef.
- Calabrian chilies. I buy my Calabrian chile paste from Trader joe’s, but you can pick it up through amazon here. Calabrian chile adds so much flavor to the marinade.
- Cherry tomatoes. Select cherry tomatoes at the peak of ripeness. I love this dish because using produce in its peak season is just the best.
- Burrata. Burrata is an Italian cheese and you can find it at most well-stocked grocery stores including Whole Foods, Central Market, HEB, Trader Joe’s, and more.
What is burrata?
Burrata is an Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer casing is solid while the inside contains stracciatella and cream. Burrata is soft in texture and so flavorful. Serve it with crusty bread and olive oil for a simple appetizer. Burrata pairs so well with steak because it balances out the fat and meatiness, so good!
How to cook flank steak
Whether you’re grilling or searing, cooking flank steak is a simple affair!
- Pat the steak dry and season it well with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper.
- Whisk together the marinade ingredients–olive oil, Worcestershire, Calabrian chilies, red wine vinegar. Coat the steak in the marinade and place it in a zip-top bag. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your grill or cast iron over high heat. You want it hot, HOT. Remove the steak from the marinade and throw it on your hot grill or in your cast iron pan. Grill/sear for 2-3 minutes on each side without moving it (we want that crust!). Flank steak cooks quickly, so don’t go much longer than that.
- Transfer the flank steak to a plate and loosely tent with foil. Rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
What to serve with Flank steak and burrata