Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Grilled Flank Steak with Tomatillo Jam

Flank steak is one of the best pieces of beef for grilling—and for slicing thinly to share among guests. Only one to one-and-a-quarter pounds serves four people.

Here, I paired the steak with a slightly sweet, slightly tart jam topping made with a bunch of fresh and very green ingredients: tomatillos, two types of chiles, and cilantro. The fruit, vegetable, and herb mixture becomes very slushy in the food processor, but on the stovetop it cooks down to a lusciously jammy consistency and bright, rich flavor. I think your guests will love a little spooned on top of their juicy grilled steak.

Tip: Some tomatillos have very loose husks that are easy to pull off. Others are tighter and tend to stick to the skin. To remedy that, hold the tomatillo under cold, running water and the husk will peel right off.

Pull off loose husks  
Rinse tight ones under water

Serves 4


For the Steak
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for oiling grill grate
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 to 1-1/4-lb flank steak, about 3/4-inch thick
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Flank Steak
For the Jam
  • 3/4 lb tomatillos, husked, peeled, and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chile, chopped
  • 1 small poblano chile, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • sea salt
Green Ingredients for the Jam 
Peeled Tomatillos

For the Steak
  1. Combine the garlic, 1 tablespoon of oil, Worcestershire sauce, and cumin in a heavy, sealable plastic bag. Add the steak, seal, and turn several times to coat. Refrigerate 3-4 hours (or overnight).
  2. Light a grill for medium-high heat.
  3. Remove the steak from the marinade, letting excess drip off. Season with salt and pepper and grill until lightly charred on the outside and still pink inside, 5-6 minutes per side, depending on thickness.
  4. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. 
Steak in Marinade 
Marinated Steak
Beginning to Grill
After Turning 
Slice the steak very thinly across the grain and serve with tomatillo jam (recipe follows).

Grilled Flank Steak with Tomatillo Jam
For the Jam
  1. Place the tomatillos, jalapeno, poblano, and cilantro in a food processor and pulse until pulverized and slushy.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and stir in the vinegar, lime juice, and sugar. Season with salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Reduce to low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced by about half, 18-20 minutes. (Re-warm over low heat if not using right away.)
Processed Jam Ingredients 
Jam Beginning to Cook
Cooked Jam

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