Updated: Jun 3, 2019
Living in a norther climate, we'll take any excuse to spend time outside when spring finally arrives. That's why outdoor cooking and eating becomes so appealing in warmer months. We save our quick-cooking steaks for easy meals on a grill, and if we can't make it out to the grill, the same thin cuts are perfect for fast cooking on the stovetop because they won't overheat our kitchen.
These cuts include skirt, flat iron (or top blade), flank, "minute steaks" cut from the round, and hanger. No matter which thin steak you use, the same basic rules apply: defrost the night before, trim if needed, allow meat to come to room temperature before cooking, let it rest for a couple minutes after cooking, and always slice against the grain when you're ready to serve.
Here's a simple recipe with infinite variations for you to try with your quick-cooking steaks.
Choose 1-2 lb. of thin steak and trim away silver skin, sinew, or extra fat.
Make the marinade by whisking together the following ingredients in a bowl:
-3-5 cloves minced garlic
-2 tablespoons of your favorite mustard
-juice and zest of one large lemon
-2-3 tablespoons fresh, chopped herbs like parsley, chives, rosemary and/or marjoram
-1/2 cup olive oil (or more to coat)
Coat steak with marinade and refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or up to 12 hours.*
Remove steak from marinade, brush off garlic and excess liquid, and season steak with salt and pepper to taste. Allow meat to warm to room temperature (usually 30-60 minutes) while you fire up and clean the grill. When the grill is hot, brush lightly with oil.
Grill the steak over high heat, but never an open flame. Minute steaks need only one minute per side (thus the name), and flat iron steaks are 1-2 minutes per side. Flank, skirt and hanger take 2-3 minutes per side, or until they reach an internal temperature of 125-130 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat and let rest for at least five minutes before slicing against the grain and serving. The meat should be seared on the outside, but pink and juicy in the middle.
Grilled, sliced steak when cooled slightly is delicious over a green salad. Leftovers are great for sandwiches the next day.
*If you're running short on time, or a marinade seems too involved, simply season the steak with salt and pepper, brush with olive oil, let it sit for 30 minutes and throw it on the grill. It will still be super delicious, and you can always make a quick, herby salad dressing or sauce for the meat while it's resting.