Are you craving a juicy, succulent piece of meat that's full of intense beefy flavor? Welcome, my fellow carnivores, to your ultimate guide for making the best American Wagyu Flank Steak. I'm here to take you on a flavorful journey, revealing all the secrets for achieving the perfect steak right in your own kitchen (or backyard). Let's transform your average meaty dinner into a culinary masterpiece!
1 - Why You Will Love This Recipe
Think about biting into a well-cooked steak, the texture is tender, the flavor is intense and beefy, and the juices just ooze out. That's the experience this Wagyu flank steak recipe delivers. It's the perfect choice for a fancy dinner, yet versatile enough for your steak sandwiches or a hearty stir-fry. You'll love how simple seasonings can enhance the rich flavor of this cut. And believe me, your taste buds will thank you!
2 - The Best Cut of Meat For This Recipe
- Recommended Cut For This Recipe
The star of our show is the American Wagyu Flank Steak. This cut of beef, hailing from the lower chest, is known for its lean nature and coarse grain, lending itself to delicious results when prepared right. Wagyu beef is the result of amazing genetics and a stress-free environment, yielding superior marbling and intense beefy flavor. One of my favorite sources is Snake River Farms, offering fullblood Wagyu flank steak that is top-notch in quality. When buying locally, look for a deep red color, even marbling, and a fresh smell for the best steak.
- Other Cuts You Can Use For This Recipe
Don't worry if you can't get hold of a Wagyu flank steak, as you can also use a skirt steak or a London Broil. You'll need slight modifications in the cooking time due to the natural variations in thickness and tenderness. Don't forget to adjust your thermometer to ensure the perfect doneness.
- Using Wagyu Beef, Grass-Fed Beef, or Dry-Aged Beef
Wagyu beef, like the ones from Snake River Farms, is the crème de la crème. Its intense marbling gives it a rich flavor and tenderness that is hard to match. But, if Wagyu is out of reach due to product availability or your budget, grass-fed or dry-aged beef can be great alternatives. Grass-fed beef offers a distinct, robust flavor, while dry-aged beef, thanks to the aging process, has a deeper, nuttier flavor profile.
3 - Tools Needed
- Grill or Cast-Iron Skillet: A grill or a heavy-duty cast-iron skillet is essential for achieving that beautiful crust on your steak. They distribute heat evenly, ensuring your steak cooks perfectly. Plus, they can handle medium-high heat required for this recipe.
- Meat Thermometer: This little device will ensure your steak reaches the desired internal temperature for your preferred level of doneness. Always insert it into the thickest part of the steak for the best results.
- Sharp Knife: To cut your cooked steak into thin slices, you'll need a sharp knife. A dull knife can tear the fibers, leaving you with uneven slices and a less appealing presentation.
4 - Seasoning
- Using a Marinade
Marinades work wonders by adding flavor and tenderizing the meat. I have included my favorite marinade for this recipe to the recipe card attached. Just whisk the ingredients together, let your steak bathe in it for at least 2 hours or overnight if you have time, and you'll end up with a flavorful Wagyu flank steak.
- Using a Rub
A dry rub creates a crusty, flavorful exterior. Mix together salt, black pepper, and some spices like cumin or chili powder, rub it all over the steak before cooking, and enjoy the magical crust it forms during cooking. However, remember that a rub doesn't tenderize the meat like a marinade.
- Other Seasoning Options
Other options include using garlic butter or herb-infused oil to brush over the steak as it cooks. These simple additions can amplify the steak's natural flavor and add an extra layer of yumminess.
5 - Cooking Methods
- On the Grill
Cooking on the grill gives your steak a smoky flavor and a beautiful charred crust. However, you need to control the heat to prevent it from burning. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, place your steak, and flip every 4-5 minutes until it reaches your desired doneness.
- In the Oven
If you prefer a more hands-off approach, the oven is your friend:
- Prep the Steak: As always, start by removing the steak from the fridge and letting it come to room temperature. This helps with even cooking.
- Marinate the Steak: Follow the same marinade instructions as in the original recipe. Let the steak marinate for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight.
- Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). This high heat will help you achieve a nice crust on the steak.
- Sear the Steak: Before placing your steak in the oven, sear it on both sides on a hot skillet over medium-high heat. This should take about 2-3 minutes on each side. This step is important to achieve a nice crust and lock in the flavors.
- Cook in the Oven: Transfer the seared steak to a baking tray and place it in the preheated oven. Cook for about 15-20 minutes for a medium-rare steak, or until it reaches your desired level of doneness. Use a meat thermometer to check - 130-135°F for medium-rare or 140-145°F for medium.
- Rest and Slice the Steak: After removing your steak from the oven, let it rest for 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute. Slice it against the grain into thin slices.
- Serve: Serve your oven-cooked, flavorful Wagyu flank steak with your favorite side dishes and enjoy!
- Sous Vide
Sous vide, though a bit more technical, guarantees a perfectly cooked steak every single time. You'll need to place your steak in a vacuum-sealed package, cook in a water bath at a precise temperature for about 4-8 hours, and finally sear on high heat for a beautiful crust. However, this method requires special equipment and extra cooking time.
- Other Cooking Methods
Stovetop using a cast-iron skillet is another great method. It provides a nice sear and allows you to control the cooking process closely.
6 - Cooking Tips
Cooking a premium steak like Wagyu flank is as much art as it is science. Here are three detailed cooking tips that will help you achieve that perfectly cooked steak:
- Dry Brining Your Steak
Dry brining is a simple process that can dramatically enhance the flavor of your Wagyu steak. To dry brine, generously sprinkle kosher salt on both sides of your steak, ensuring it’s evenly coated. The salt draws out the moisture from the steak, which then dissolves the salt and is reabsorbed into the meat, bringing the salt (and flavor!) along with it. Do this a few hours before you plan to cook the steak, and let it sit uncovered in your refrigerator. Prior to cooking, make sure to pat the steak dry with paper towels. This method not only enhances the natural flavors but also tenderizes the steak, giving you a juicy, flavorful result.
- Perfect Doneness with a Thermometer
Achieving the perfect doneness on your steak can be tricky, especially with a cut as precious as Wagyu flank steak. The best way to ensure the perfect doneness is by using a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak. For a medium-rare steak, you should aim for an internal temperature of 130-135°F. If you prefer your steak medium, aim for 140-145°F. Remember, the steak will continue to cook a little as it rests, so it's a good idea to take it off the heat a few degrees before it hits your target temperature.
- Rest Your Steak and Cut Against the Grain
After you've cooked your steak to the perfect temperature, resist the urge to dig in right away. Let the steak rest for about 10 minutes. This allows the juices, which have been pushed to the center of the steak during cooking, to redistribute throughout the meat. The result? A juicier, more flavorful steak. When it's time to slice, always cut against the grain. Look for the direction that the muscle fibers are running in and cut perpendicular to them. This shortens the fibers and makes the steak much easier to chew, giving you tender, melt-in-your-mouth bites every time.
7 - Storage Instructions
- In the Fridge
Place any leftover steak in an airtight container and store it in the fridge. It'll stay fresh for up to 3 days.
- In the Freezer
You can freeze cooked steak. Ensure it's cooled completely, place in a freezer-safe bag, press out as much air as possible, and freeze. It should last for up to 3 months.
- The Best Way to Reheat This Recipe
Reheat your steak in a preheated oven at 250°F until it reaches an internal temperature of 110°F. This method ensures your steak re-heats slowly, preventing it from drying out or overcooking.
8 - Side Dishes
Here are three tasty side dishes - a salad, a vegetable, and a carb option - that would make great companions for your Wagyu flank steak:
Classic Caesar Salad: This is a favorite that pairs beautifully with any steak. Crisp romaine lettuce, a creamy homemade Caesar dressing, crunchy croutons, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese create a balance of flavors that complements the rich taste of Wagyu beef.
Roasted Asparagus: For a vegetable side, I recommend roasted asparagus. Simply toss fresh asparagus in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast in a hot oven until tender-crisp. The slight bitterness of the asparagus is a great counterpoint to the richness of the steak.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Finally, for a carb option, you can't go wrong with creamy, flavorful garlic mashed potatoes. Boil some Yukon Gold potatoes until tender, then mash them with butter, cream, and roasted garlic for a rich, comforting side that's the perfect companion to your Wagyu steak.
Remember, these are just suggestions! Feel free to put your own twist on these dishes or substitute them with your personal favorites. Bon Appétit!
Final Take Away
Cooking the perfect Wagyu flank steak may seem daunting, but with these tips and tricks, you're ready to master it. Just remember, good quality meat, proper seasoning, and the right cooking method are key to achieving the best results.