Flank steak with tamarind-tomato chutney recipe

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Flank steak is lean, cooks quickly and easily, and tastes great. Try this simple rendition, panfried with an Indian-inspired spice crust, then thinly sliced and eaten with a chutney made from tamarind syrup, available at any Indian or Middle Eastern market, and tomatoes. A cast-iron pan is a good choice for this dish. You’ll need a bottle of old-vine Zinfandel or perhaps Petite Sirah to stand up to its assertive flavors.

  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings


  • ½ cup cored, seeded, and diced tomato
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind syrup
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
  • Healthy pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • Healthy pinch of kosher salt
  • 1½ pounds flank steak
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, plus a few drops for rubbing the meat
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground star anise
  • Kosher salt
How to Make It
  1. Put the tomato, tamarind syrup, maple syrup, coriander, pepper, and salt into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, until the mixture is nicely reduced. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  3. Place the flank steak on a cutting board and rub it with a little olive oil. Sprinkle on the pepper, coriander, star anise, and salt to taste. Flip it over and season the other side.
  4. Heat a heavy skillet over high heat, add the oil, and swirl it around to coat. Add the flank steak and cook until the crust is nicely browned, about 3 minutes. Flip it and cook the other side until well browned, another 2 to 3 minutes. This should produce a steak that’s rare in the middle and medium toward the edges.
  5. Depending on the thickness of the cut, you may want to place the pan in a 400°F oven for a few minutes, to ensure that it’s not too rare in the middle. But even if you have a thicker cut, it shouldn’t be in there very long—3 or 4 minutes at most.
  6. Remove when done and let it rest on a cutting board for about 5 minutes (a 10 minute rest is preferable if you can spare the time; a longer resting period usually results in juicier meat). Slice it thinly against the grain and make a nice mound on warmed plates. Spoon some chutney next to it and serve as hot as possible.

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