1 1/2 lb flank steak
2 portobello mushrooms
3/4 cup aged Balsamic Vinegar from Modena
1/4 cup good red wine with an assertive character
2 t good quality extra virgin olive oil
10 garlic cloves, rough chopped – or 1 (4 oz) container chopped garlic in olive oil.
1 t smoky paprika
2 T cilantro, chopped
1/4 t or so of freshly ground black peppercorns
a couple twists of the salt grinder
Peppers and Onions:
2 T olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 sweet red pepper, deseeded and sliced
pinch of salt
Spoon Mate™ Note:
Do not buy a flank steak labeled as “tenderized”. One of the most delicious things about flank steak is the mouth feel – and that is destroyed in “tenderizing”. Marinade it, cut it correctly – diagonally across the grain so that the meet fibers are short.
Make the Marinade:
Measure the vinegar, red wine, and then the olive oil into a bowl or Pyrex measuring container. If you don’t like chopping garlic, dump in the entire jar of garlic. Yes, it is a great lot of garlic, but most of it will be discarded when you drain the marinade leaving only its essence on the steak and mushroom. Add the paprika, cilantro, pepper, and salt Stir well.
Marinate the Steak and Portobello:
Put the steak in one of the zip lock bags. Do not seal the bag.
Rinse the portobellos. Yes, I do this right before using mushrooms and if you saw where they grew, you would too. Pat them dry with a paper towel. Break off the stem if it sticks out beyond the cap. Put the rinsed and dried mushrooms into a second zip lock bag. Do not seal the bag.
Divide the marinade between the steak and the portobello bags. Partially seal the bags.
Turn the bags a few times and gently massage to make sure that the marinade coats the steak and mushrooms well on both sides. Press out as much air as you can and yes, finally you can seal the bags. You may want to make sure there will not be leaks and insert those bags into another ziplock. If you buy a good brand of freezer bags, you should not need this.
Let the marinade do its magic in the refrigerator for anywhere from 1-5 hours. The longer the better.
Remove from the fridge about half an hour before grilling.
Both the meat and the mushroom grill much better when brought to at least near room temperature.
While the marinade does its thing, set a pan over medium-high heat, Add the veggies, sprinkle with salt. Let it cook with infrequent stirring until the vegetables are soft and browned. Reserve in a bowl. You can always microwave them a few seconds to heat them up while the meat is being sliced.
When the coals are hot, discard all extra marinade. No need to baste during grilling. Grill together turning every now and then until the mushrooms are cooked and the meat done the way you like it… medium – medium rare is best for fajitas. Depending upon how hot your coals are, this will take 3-4 minutes on each side.
Let the meat rest a few minutes after grilling. Then slice it into strips cutting across the grain of the meat diagonally. Never slice flank slice along with the grain. Tender meat comes with short fibers. Try a test slice and give it a look. If the fibers run vertically up and down the short side of the slice, you are good. If the fibers run the long length of the slice, it will be pretty tough, so try another test slice.