Pineapple Marinated Flank Steak
This chile pepper gets its name from its origin. In Spanish, serrano is an adjective meaning “from the mountains” which is where it originated-in the mountains of Hildalgo, Mexico. The serrano is normally about twice as hot as Jalapeno (about 10,000 to 15,000 Scoville units). It is the second most popular chile pepper in Mexico. This chile is used mostly for salsas but can also be used in soups, sauces, chili or stews. Try these as a hotter substitute for Jalapeno.
Serves: 6 to 8
2 flank steaks, about 1 and 1/2 pounds each
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Marinade & Dipping Sauce & Salad dressing
1 cup pineapple juice (from canned pineapple)
1/2 cup soy sauce, or tamari for gluten-free
2 tablespoons packed lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, grated
1 chile pepper, seeded and diced
2 teaspoons grated ginger
2 cups cubed pineapple
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber, cubed
1/4 purple onion, diced
1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro (celery hearts), chopped
1 lime, juiced
Chopped cilantro and toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Grilled corn on the cob, tomatoes, and onion as sides
Cooked rice or noodles as a side
Combine every ingredient for the marinade in a bowl and whisk to mix well.
Place the flank steaks in a large baking dish, pour over half of the marinade, or just enough to cover half of the steak. Arrange the steaks carefully so the bottom side is well coated with the marinade. You should still have half or a third of the marinade left for the salad and dipping sauce. Let marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes but no more than 4 hours. Flip once. (*footnote 1)
Chop vegetables and mix the salad in a bowl while marinating the steak. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
When the steak is ready to cook, remove the steak from marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Discard the marinade. Brush the steak with a thin layer of oil. Lightly season both sides with sea salt.
To cook steak on a grill:
Build a modified two zone fire and let the grill heat up.
Cook the steak on direct fire until the surface turns dark brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Flip 2 to 3 times during grilling. Move the steak to the indirect zone and lift one side with a pair of tongs. Check doneness by inserting a thermometer into the thickest part of the steak: 51 degrees C (125F) for rare, 54 C (130 F) for medium rare or 57 C (135 F) for medium. Cook the steak more over direct heat if needed.
To cook steak on stove top:
Heat a large cast iron pan or a heavy duty pan on high heat until hot. Place steak in the pan and sear for 2 to 3 minutes without moving, until the bottom side is browned. Check by lifting up a side of the steak to see if nicely browned. If so, flip the steak and sear the other side for 2 to 3 minutes. If you’re using a cast iron pan, remove the pan from the heat and let the steak continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes on the residual heat. If you’re using other types of pan, place the pan over low heat and cook until it reaches the desired doneness.
To serve & leftovers:
Transfer the steak to a large plate and cover loosely with aluminium foil. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
If you will serve the steak later, let it cool down a bit, wrap it with aluminum foil, and store it in the fridge. Gently heat up the steak in the oven at 93 degrees C (200 F) until warm.
If you have leftovers, you can bring the steak to room temperature and use it in a sandwich or on a salad. It will be just as tasty.
1. The enzymes in the pineapple tenderize the steak but the meat will turn mushy if marinated for too long. Transfer the steak to a ziplock bag and discard the marinade if you are not planning to cook immediately.