I hope you are enjoying the series I started a couple of years ago with blogging friends called Progressive Eats. Progressive Dinners originally started as a way to share a meal through the progression of visiting each others homes. We forayed that offline communal experience into a virtual one by visiting each others blogs to make up the components for a meal. We’ve had whole meals and sometimes just variations of a particular dish. This month our theme is ‘It’s Grilling Time!’ and I could barely wait to share the dish I made; this Grilled Flank Steak and Asparagus with Béarnaise Butter was amazing!
Starting next month we’re heading back into the realm of what we did with #ProgressiveEats originally where our themes will include components of an entire meal much like this month. I thought it would be fun to celebrate what would have been Julia Child’s 104th birthday by getting back to our roots with dishes for the entire meal using Julia’s recipes. I hope you’ll join us; it should be a good one!
I couldn’t wait to get into the theme for this month since I love to grill; rain or shine or even snow but maybe not blizzard; even I have limits. So of course my grill is giving me fits. I’ve replaced some parts and thought I was finally ready to go when I noticed some hornets buzzing around it right above the controls. Not thinking they were meat eaters (or hoping) I sprayed those critters and they’ve now disappeared. Now the gas line seems to have a leak but I’m nothing if not tenacious (no, NOT stubborn) and managed to get one section going strong enough to make this dish.
My choice for this month was a recipe I noticed in Fine Cooking Magazine. Of particular interest was their calling for Beef Flap Meat. It sure looked like flank steak so I was off to find out more about it and possibly source some locally. Supposedly less expensive than flank steak it comes from the same area of the cow and shares the same characteristics. Like flank and flatiron steak, beef flap steak can also be fibrous and chewy like the other less tender cuts of the animal.
Preparation is key. Scoring the meat and marinating it for tenderness is essential. Cooking it hot and fast is important too and maybe most important is not overcooking it. There is little fat in flank, flatiron or flap steak so this is not for well done steak lovers. For me, medium means it’s been overcooked; a nice quick cook with medium rare results is perfect. Last but not least, slicing it across the grain is the final step to assure a tender, juicy piece of meat. When done right I don’t think it can be beat! When done wrong, it’s been likened to trying to eat rubber bands. Don’t mess it up! 🙂
The one thing I found that sets flap steak apart from flank steak was that it was nowhere to be found (much like flatiron meat which gets sourced by restaurants so I don’t even try to find it). I checked a couple of local stores and even a specialty store and nada. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Reminds me of trying to find pork belly a couple of years ago.
So flank steak it is. And I’m not complaining. I love this cut of meat; it is so versatile. Changing the marinade ingredients can see it go from Italian to Mexican to Asian in a nanosecond. I love it for fajitas, a quick stir fry and now this; no doubt I will be making this again and again. The seasoning was perfect and this Grilled Flank Steak and Asparagus with Béarnaise Butter was so easy to make on the grill and well there is butter. Oh the butter.
You know how anything with a French name sounds sophisticated and thus must be complicated? This is not. Simply butter, shallots, tarragon, white wine and white wine vinegar and it’s magical what happens. Of course slathering butter over meat is always a good thing but this was beyond that; it was truly superb. It was fantastic. It was a gift from Heaven. It was perfectly seasoned meat and asparagus with a divine butter! Enough superlatives? Want to know how much I loved it? I did not share it with my neighbors. Nope…I was happy to have leftovers for 3 nights in a row after the first dinner!
Now if I could just get my virtual friends to join me ‘for real’ that would be perfect! Be sure you check out their dishes after the recipe. This is such a talented group of cooks; they will not disappoint.
Grilled Flank Steak and Asparagus with Béarnaise Butter
- 2 large sprigs fresh tarragon
- 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 Tbs. minced shallot
- 1 Tbs. dry white wine or vermouth
- 1 Tbs. white wine vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1-1/2 lb. beef flank meat, gently scored
- 1 bunch asparagus, preferably thick, trimmed
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- Strip the tarragon leaves from the stems, finely chop the leaves to yield about 2 tsp., and set aside.
- In an 8-inch skillet, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and tarragon stems, and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, vinegar, and 1 Tbs. water, increase the heat to medium, and cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, remove and discard the tarragon stems, and let cool completely. Add the remaining 3 Tbs. butter, the chopped tarragon, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper, and mix with a fork until well combined. Set aside until ready to use.
- Prepare a medium-high (400°F to 475°F) gas or charcoal grill fire. Put the meat and asparagus on separate sides of a large rimmed baking sheet (or similar). Coat with the olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill the meat, turning every 2 minutes, until cooked to your liking, 6 to 8 minutes for medium (140°F). Transfer to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and let rest. Meanwhile, grill the asparagus, turning after 1 minute, until charred and tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter. Thinly slice the meat against the grain, arrange on the platter with the asparagus, top both with dollops of the butter, and serve.
The butter may be made up to 1 week ahead; refrigerate and return to room temperature before using.
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month we’re featuring It’s Grilling Time! hosted by Jane Bonacci, the author of The Heritage Cook. Today we are sharing recipes that are prepared on a barbecue or grill. Savory and sweet, you can cook your entire meal outside keeping your kitchen cool and perfect for hot summer evenings. We know you’ll enjoy the kiss of smoke in every bite!
- Succulent Grilled Prime Rib (Gluten-Free) from The Heritage Cook
- Grilled Flank Steak and Asparagus with Béarnaise Butter from Creative Culinary (you’re here!)
- Grilled Brazilian Rub Salmon from Jeanette’s Healthy Living
- Grilled Fattoush Salad with Chickpeas-Sweet Peppers Naan from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Grilled Belgian Endive from Mother Would Know
- Buttermilk Panna cotta with Grilled Mango Sorbet from Spice Roots
- Grilled Buttermilk Pound Cake with Peaches and Mascarpone from The Red Head Baker
- Grilled Peach Melba from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Smoked Caramel Pineapple Ice Cream (No Churn) from Pastry Chef Online
One of our own, Jane Bonacci, the host for this month’s Grilling party has a book coming out this fall, The Gluten-Free Bread Machine Cookbook! If you or someone you knows needs a great resource for making their own gluten-free bread in a bread machine, you can Pre-Order NOW!