As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t cook with beef very often. It’s not that I don’t like beef. I just don’t really know what to do with it so I avoid it. But a recipe in the latest issue of Woman’s Day magazine caught my eye and included, you guessed it, beef – Flank Steak, Tomatoes and White Beans. The recipe is in a section called Time-saving Dinners and offers suggestions on how to prep a few extra ingredients when you are making “meal 1” to simplify the process for making a second meal the next day. The recipe for Flank Steak (Meal 1) sounded healthy and as usual, I thought as long as I follow the recipe exactly, the beef part will turn out fine.
So off I went to the Kosher butcher with my list of ingredients. I asked for my Flank Steak and once again, said butcher snickered a bit (this is starting to be a pattern when I shop for Kosher beef).
“Um ma’am, flank steak isn’t Kosher.” But I know I saw Flank Steak on the Kosher Coop’s web site. “No ma’am, you probably saw Flanken, which is beef bone, not actual meat.” Oh, well you could be right I say. So what can I use as a substitute. “Skirt steak,” he tells me, with a look in his eyes that says, please get your lack-of-kosher-beef knowledge self away from my counter so I can help other customers.
I looked at the skirt steak and decided it didn’t look very good. But rather than get into another discussion with the butcher, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I chose boneless beef chuck steak mainly because, well it was pretty.
I’ll say the Pro of this recipe is that it was fairly quick and easy to make. I didn’t prep the extra ingredients to make Meal 2 – Sweet potato, steak & bean tacos with roasted tomato salsa – but maybe I can make something similar with the leftovers.
The con of the recipe is that it didn’t taste very good. It was bland and the beef was undercooked (for me) and tough – not really the fault of the recipe since I didn’t use the called-for beef. But I’m not giving up. Please take a look at the ingredients and directions and let me know what you think could be done differently to make this Substitute for Flank Steak, tomatoes and white beans recipe both kosher and tastey:
- 1 pint(s) grape tomatoes
- 4 clove(s) garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoon(s) olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup(s) dry white wine
- 1 can(s) (15 1/2-ounce) small white beans
- 1 1/2 pound(s) flank steak (I used Boneless Beef Chuck)
- 1/2 cup(s) roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Make the roasted tomatoes: Heat oven to 425 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes and garlic with 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper; roast for 6 minutes.
- Add the wine and beans and mix to combine. Roast until the tomatoes have begun to burst and the beans are heated through, 5 to 7 minutes more.
- While tomatoes are roasting, make the steak: Heat the remaining tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the steak with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook to desired doneness, 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Remove. (I cooked the boneless chuck for about 5 minutes on each side. It was VERY pink in the center and tough. I wonder if marinating it overnight in something would have made it more tender?)
- Toss the tomatoes and beans with the parsley and serve with the steak.
So what would you have done differently to spice up this recipe to make it taste better? And, what would you do with the leftovers to make a meal that your family would want to eat?