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Chef Eric's Observations on Brown Sugared Flank Steak with Corn and Egg Noodles-June Menu

Here are a few thoughts on the methods I used when preparing this dish for my family….

First, I read through the recipe and got out the pots and pans I would use.

A. 3qt pot filled 2/3 thirds with water, 1 teaspoon of salt for the Egg Noodles. Put it on high heat to bring the water to a boil. This is the longest process of this meal (frequently, it is the longest process of any meal.) I live by the rule of getting my water on first! Bring it to boil while preparing the other ingredients. This way we are doing two things at once! Plus, we are not having to wait for the water to boil because…a watched pot never comes to a boil! (Haha)

B. Corn: 1 qt pot with 1” of water and 1 T of butter (from my fridge). Get the water hot, melting the butter. I add 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Turn off once the water is hot.

C. So, this recipe says you may cook the Flank Steak on the Grill, Under the Broiler or in a Crockpot. I cheated and did mine in a cast iron skillet that is ribbed so it gives nice marks like a grill. I am able to do this inside on my stove top.

Here are some thoughts on other methods of cooking your Flank Steak...

1. If using a GRILL, get it hot with the lid closed. I place my meat on an angle, turn the heat to medium high. I cook each side approximately 3-5 minutes, turning the meat 45 degrees at the 2-minute mark (gives you the cross mark on the meat) and flipping at 5 minutes. Turn again at the 2-minute mark. We like to “double cross” our meat, so it doesn’t double cross us! You can shorten the cooking time if you allow the meat to come to room temperature before cooking. Place on the counter with a plate under it. If you have dogs, be sure to put it in a place that they cannot reach!!!

2. You may use a SKILLET to cook the meat. Get it hot, 1 Tablespoon of butter or oil. When it smokes, add the meat. Cook 3-4 minutes per side until seared.

3. BROILER, place rack 2’ below broiler. I like to foil my pan so it makes clean up easier. Place meat on pan and under broiler. I crack the oven door so I can watch the meat. Check after 3-4 minutes to be sure you are not over browning the meat. Take meat out, flip and place back into oven for another 3-4 minutes.

4. CROCKPOT: follow the directions on the menu card…honestly, I am not an experienced Crockpotter...

Using my ribbed cast iron pan to cook the Flank Steak, I get it smoking hot, put the meat on an angle, turn down the heat to medium high. I cook each side approximately 4-5 minutes, turning the meat 45 degrees at the 2-minute mark (gives you the cross mark on the meat) and flipping at 5 minutes. Turn again at the 2-minute mark. We like to “double cross” our meat, so it doesn’t double cross us!

Once the meat is cooked, place on a plate and cover to allow it to “rest” for 5-7 minutes. This allows the meat juices to flow back from the center of the meat. It provides moisture throughout the meat. Also less juice will be released onto the cutting board when slicing. NOTE: when slicing flank steal, hold your knife at a 45-degree angle and cut thin slices of meat across the grain. When providing you with the meat, we will attempt to have this 45-degree angle started for you so all you have to do is follow it.

Once you put your meat on whatever cooking method you have chosen, bring the water for the Egg Noodles back to a boil. Add the egg noodles on the flip of the meat. They will take 6-8 minutes to cook. Stir. Grab a strainer to be ready to drain the pasta. Once they are done, strain and place back into pot. Stir in 1 Tablespoon of Butter or Olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking. For these egg noodles, I added some chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese to enrich the culinary experience.

Turn on the corn water and allow it to come to a boil. Add corn and cook 3-5 minutes until your happy with doneness…add freshly ground pepper. I was fortunate enough to have some chopped spinach and grape tomatoes that I added to my corn during the cooking process. Other idea would to be add chopped garlic, diced peppers or onions, green beans etc… What do you have in your fridge that needs to be eaten?

Plate and serve.

Further Thoughts...

A) You may find, after cooking for a short period of time, the mental centering that comes with using your equipment and preparing your food proves to be Zen like. Just get in the flow of the activity… the world stops, and this is what is important. {Note: when preparing your meals, give thanks to the farmers, the harvesters, the transportation folks, the packagers, the grocery stores, the people who built your home, produced your culinary equipment, the lights, gas, electricity etc… We take it for granted, but a whole lot of people are involved in producing the meal you have in front of you… None of us could likely do all this on our own!}

B) Get the kids to help set the table. Placemat, Fork, Knife, Folded Napkin, Cup or Glass for their drinks. Teach them: Forks go on the left and knives and spoons go on the right. (To remember: “Fork” has four letters, as does “left”; “knife” and “spoon” both have five letters, as does “right.”) Folded Napkin under the Fork on the left side. A set table sets up a nice protocol for family time. Not always easy to do and it gives kids a chance to share about their day.

C. NO CELL PHONES...that includes mom and dad!

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