Beef candy

“Beef candy” is the name this dish has received from my family, probably due to the sweet, grilled Teriyaki flavor of the thinly sliced flank steak in your mouth. Always a family favorite, this dish is simple to prepare; so, I thought I’d share it with you.

What you’ll need to make this dish is the following:

  • One flank steak (typically feeds six hungry mouths)
  • Some of your favorite Teriyaki sauce (e.g. we like Mr. Yoshida’s Original)
  • A sharp knife (e.g. I prefer one with a serrated edge)
  • A clean cutting surface
  • A glass container (e.g. something you’d bake brownies in)
  • Some plastic cling wrap
  • Room in your refrigerator
  • A barbecue/grill (e.g. I use a gas grill for this dish)

First, remove your flank steak from its packaging and lay it out flat on your cutting surface. I prefer to trim my meat of (some) fat before I proceed. Do remember that fat does impart flavor and a there should be some internal marbling in a flank steak; so, don’t try to trim all the fat away. Here’s what I typical remove ratio-wise:

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Next, thinly cut your flank steak against its grain and on a bias. Slicing this way will result in pieces that are more tender and able to soak in more of your marinade. As I mentioned, I prefer to use a serrated knife on flank steak (e.g. it tends to work better against the grain of this more fibrous piece of beef).

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Once you’re done rendering your flank steak into thin strips, you will need to marinade that result for a few hours. (I tend to aim for five hours in our fridge before grilling.) In your empty glass baking dish, pour your marinade until it covers the bottom of the dish (between an eighth and a quarter of an inch deep). Place your flank steak strips into the glass dish.

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Using your hands (!), knead the strips in the marinade until all are thoroughly covered in the sauce and there are no large pools of unoccupied sauce in the glass dish. Then press down on the strips so that they form an even layer of marinaded meat in the dish. Cover with plastic cling wrap and let the covered dish rest in your fridge. Again, I recommend no less than three hours of resting before you proceed with grilling.

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Now that it’s grilling time, uncover your prepared dish and individually place the properly marinaded strips onto a hot grill. We’re going for more of a quick sear than a “low and slow” exercise. I’ve found that having some space between each piece of meat helps the grilling process; so, if you’re, say, doubling this recipe or have a smaller grill, you may need to grill in waves and not all at once. (If you need to grill in waves, simply cover the initial waves of grilled meat in metal foil to retain heat and juiciness.)

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Usually by the time I’ve finished laying out the strips, I can start turning the initial strips over. My grill starts at 300 degrees (F) and may have cooled to closer to 200 since the cover is open. However, I recommend closing your grill to allow the temperature to rise for a minute or two before turning over your meat.

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Once you’re done turning all the strips to their other side, close your grill again and give the meat another minute or two before turning off the gas. Go ahead and open your grill to see if the strips look as you want them to. Remember that you want a sweet, charred, tender bit, not shoe leather. (I really hate over-cooked meat!).

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This dish is fairly versatile and goes with all kinds of sides (e.g. salads, corn on the cob, etc.). Feel free to try your own marinades, too (e.g. branch out from a traditional Teriyaki sauce).

Bon app├ętit!