Grilling is a year-round activity in Austin, but that doesn’t mean there are certain times of the year when it’s more enjoyable to be outside tending a fire than others.
We’re in that not-too-hot-not-too-cold sweet spot right now, which means you might be in need of some inspiration for perking up your pork chops. Ted Reader’s new book "Gastro Grilling: Fired-Up Recipes to Grill Great Everyday Meals" ($25, Pintail), which comes out this week, is an excellent way to recharge for the many nights of grilling ahead, especially now that it’s getting darker later.
Although this week’s featured recipe is all about the red meat, Reader’s book isn’t all about how to cook steak. He shares plenty of recipes for grilled vegetables and fish, as well as some inventive ideas for using the ingredients you cook on the grill, such as a sandwich stuffed with marinated and grilled chicken and bell peppers and a smoked risotto with fire-roasted squash.
Reader kicks up the heat in this teriyaki marinade, but you can cut back on the chili sauce and horseradish if you think it might be too spicy for your taste buds. He also recommends serving this meat rare to medium-rare because the lean flank steak can get tough if you overcook it.
Teriyaki Flank Steak
1 (1 1/2 to 2 lb.) flank steak
For the marinade:
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup mirin (a Japanese rice wine similar to sake)
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. extra-hot prepared horseradish, squeezed of excess moisture
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Asian chili sauce
2 whole star anise
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
Drizzle of Asian sesame oil
For the rub:
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cracked Szechuan peppercorns
1 tsp. kosher salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
Using the tip of a sharp knife, score both sides of the flank steak in a diamond pattern about 1/4-inch deep. Make your cuts about an inch apart. This will allow for the marinade to penetrate into the meat. Place the steak into a self-sealing storage bag and set aside.
To make the marinade, combine sherry, soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, rice wine vinegar, ginger, horseradish, garlic, chili sauce, star anise, black pepper, green onions and cilantro in a bowl. Drizzle in a little sesame oil and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Reserve 1/2 cup of the marinade for basting and set aside. Pour remaining marinade over flank steak and seal bag, removing as much air as possible. Marinate overnight, turning every few hours to marinate evenly.
In a bowl, combine brown sugar, Szechuan pepper, kosher salt and cinnamon. Set aside. Fire up your grill to 550 to 650 degrees.
Remove flank steak from marinade, discarding leftover marinade. Rub the flank steak with the Szechuan pepper mixture, pressing the spices into the meat.
Grill flank steak for 2–3 minutes per side, lid open, until lightly charred and the meat is tender and rare. Remove from grill and allow the steak to rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and thinly slice the steak on the bias into 1/4-inch thick strips. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
— From "Gastro Grilling: Fired-Up Recipes to Grill Great Everyday Meals" ($25, Pintail) by Ted Reader