Flank steak is a tough cut, sold locally by the name London Broil. It’s tenderised, marinated and broiled and then cut into thin slices across the grain — all in an effort to deal with a sinewy slab of meat.
What if we dispensed with the tenderizing and the marinading and poached it en sous vide for at least twelve hours? Could this somewhat indigestible steak be redeemed? A challenge worth testing …
- 300g Flank Steak/London Broil approx 20 mm thick, frozen
- Poached at 55˚C for 12 hours (reaching an internal temp of just under 54˚C)
- Pan seared in almond oil at its smoke point (reaching an internal temp of 58˚C)
- Carved and served (with a tablespoon of melted butter and Buffalo Tabasco sauce)
Flank is a robust chunk of meat that is naturally tasty — albeit tough. After poaching it sous vide I patted it dry in paper towels, rubbed in garlic salt, fresh ground pepper and a small amount of almond oil and then fried it in a hot, hot cast iron pan for a minute each side. The result was a genuinely tasty, juicy steak that was pretty tender. Sous vide experimenters before me suggest poaching tougher cuts for up to forty-eight hours, I’ll try that with my next sample of London Broil.
Update Sun April 7th: London Broil at 55˚C for 48 hours. A little dry and quite soft, enough to flake a bit when carved. I’d assess that this steak was a bit overcooked and should have been more juicy, the hallmark of good sous vide — even though it presented well as a medium rare pink.
Try a 24 hour London Broil next, aiming for something more tender than the original 12 hour poach and yet jucier than this 48 hour experiment.