Updated: Sep 20
While steak is a big deal in the US, it's still relatively new to me since eating cow meat wasn't common in Ukraine. In fact, when my mom comes to visit me, she won't even touch steak! Growing up I remember eating only small quantities of meat; mostly in cured form. But everything is changing these days, and American cuisine isn't so unusual to young Ukrainians anymore. You can find steak in any international restaurant in Kiev (or at any fast food restaurant).
I know for the last few decades in the US, eating meat red meat has come under fire. I often hear from people that it should be eaten "only in moderation." But what is "in moderation?" Once a day? A week? A month? Speaking for our family, we love eating grass-fed beef or lamb. If I can't get meat from the right source, I'd rather skip it.
But good red meat is an excellent source of both macro and trace minerals, particularly magnesium and zinc. In meat, these minerals exist in a form that is much easier for the body to break down. Red meats are rich in vitamin B12, which is so important for a healthy nervous system and blood, and in carnitine, which is essential for healthy functioning of the heart. Beef and lamb fat contain fat-soluble vitamins and small amounts of essential fatty acids if these animals graze on green grass. Also, beef and lamb fat are rich in conjugated linoleic acid, which has strong anticancer effects, and palmitoleic acid, which protects us from viruses and other pathogens.
You might find it funny, but for the longest time I thought flank steak and skirt steak were the same thing. The good news about this dish is that you can use either one. Both are very flavorful and a little bit on the tough side, but after you marinade it for few hours it will be incredible.
What Do I Like About This Steak Dish?
For one thing, it's delicious! If you have a guest for dinner, this is the perfect choice. Not only does it make an absolutely beautiful presentation, but it's full of healthy ingredients. Also one steak can feed more then one person since the mushrooms are a great source of protein as well.
What Spice is Key for the Marinade?
If you've read many of my blogs, you probably know that I absolutely LOVE herbs and spices. They are fantastic helpers in the kitchen. I believe using them often helps you get the best benefits for your health and helps create yummy food without MSG. I never trust commercially premade spice-mixes.
When I grill meat, I almost always add rosemary. This amazing herb is one of the most powerful antioxidants on earth. It's your best friend; especially when it comes to BBQ. Rosemary guards your health by keeping away carcinogens that can increase your risk of certain types of cancers. So keep the rosemary at your fingertips in your kitchen; especially when you light up the grill!
What Mushrooms Can I Use?
The answer is simple: any mushrooms. But I highly recommend using wild mushrooms (e.g., porcini, shitake, oyster, cremini, king oyster, chanterelle, morel, etc.) because they give more flavor. In the video I used a combination of oyster and chanterelle mushrooms; both add great flavor to the sauce. Oyster mushrooms have a more earthy flavor, while chanterelles have a more delicate flavor. Chanterelles are a little like chicken white meat; they don't overpower the flavor, and you can do whatever you want with them. They go well with any flavor profile.
What's So Special About Wild Mushrooms?
Wild mushrooms are not only tastier; they also have way more health benefits then farm ones. Mushrooms have always been used for medicinal purposes in many countries. They are known as great immune boosters. Even though mushrooms don't have much color, they actually have more antioxidants than some of the most colorful vegetables. Mushrooms are high in minerals and vitamin D. But what I love about mushrooms is that they contain lots of soluble fiber, which means they are a fantastic prebiotic. Supporting the digestive system is important!
How Do I Clean Wild Mushrooms?
The best way to clean wild mushrooms is to take a paring knife and paper towel or kitchen towel and to gently scrape the dirt off. You don't want to wash them with water because water is the enemy for fungi. They're like a sponge and will absorb the liquid in no time.
Do I Have to Use Crème Fraiche?
You can use heavy cream instead of crème fraiche. I grew up in Ukraine with crème fraiche (cultured cream), and that's what I prefer to use in most of my cooking. Has slightly tartness and more complex flavor profile compared to the heavy cream. As you know, I truly believe fermented food is magic food, so using crème fraiche would be my first choice.
Where Can I Buy Crème Fraiche?
Any health store or international market should carry it. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods would have it as well. I promise I'll share my crème fraiche recipe in the future.
Notes on Cooking the Steak
As I mentioned earlier, this steak is incredibly flavorful but slightly tough. That means marinating for more than two hours is a must! The longer the better.
This steak is best cooked medium-rare. Rare is still too chewy and cooking this piece of meat until it's well-done is the worst thing that could happen to the steak. What I do is cook the steak until it's 132F, then I let it rest. With all the juices sealed, the steak will continue cooking for another few minutes and probably climb another 5 degrees or so. Keep in mind that when you pour the hot mushroom sauce on top, the steak will increase another few degrees. By the time you bite into your steak, it will be more on the medium side; well-rested, soft, and delicious.
How Do I Cut Flank Steak?
For the most delicious results, you should always cut flank steak across the grain. Slicing flank steak this way cuts through those tough fibers, shortening them so you get an easier-to-chew, more tender bite of beef.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours and 20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Steak Marinade Ingredients
Few sprigs of rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon pink salt (for the marinade)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon (zest and juice)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 flank steak, about 1½ pounds (mine was just over a pound and a half)
1 teaspoon coarse Celtic salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
Mushroom Sauce Ingredients
2 cups mushrooms, chopped (I used oyster and chanterelles)
½ cup crème fraiche
3 sprigs of green onions, chopped (white part only)
Pinch of red paper flakes
½ teaspoon pink salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup white wine
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
For the garnish
Few green onions, chopped (green part only)
Add all marinade ingredients to a glass container and mix them together.
Place the steak into the marinade, and make sure the liquid covers the steak. Place in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
After you take the steak out of the marinade, dry it with a paper towel.
Preheat a cast iron pan until it's smoky hot.
Season the steak with coarse Celtic salt and black pepper. Place on the pan. Cook a few minutes each side, only flipping it over once.
Use a food thermometer to check to temperature to see if it's done. The internal temperature should be 132F. Once it's done, transfer the steak to a warm plate to rest.
To make the sauce, add olive oil to a saucepan on medium-low heat and add olive oil. Let it cook for a minute or two, then add the chopped onions, mushrooms, garlic, salt, pepper, and red paper flakes.
Cook the sauce for 5 minutes, letting it brown a little bit. Stir occasionally.
Add the wine and bring the heat up to medium-high. Cook until the wine is almost all evaporated.
Turn the heat down to low and add the crème fraiche. Stir. Cook another 10 minutes, stirring once in a while.
Cut the steak (see note above how to do it) and pour the sauce on top.
Garnish the steak with green onions.