Friday, 22 June 2012

Food & Wine Magazine: June Cover Recipe

Balsamic Marinated Flank Steak
Rating: 5 out of 5. Summertime BBQ perfection in a dish. Enough said.

This is my 8th month testing Food & Wine Cover recipes with Jasmine of Cook That Book! Time flies when you're eating well. 


It was refreshing to see a cover recipe that didn't have a list of ingredients that was 8 feet long. Not that I mind that sort of experimentation - in fact, I love it - but given how the general hubub of summer is beginning and that we'd had a less than a perfect week, it was nice to be able to relax a little with this recipe. Given how pricey the cut of meat was, too, it was a welcome reprieve to realize I already had most of the other ingredients on hand.

Looking over the recipe, I realized right away that it was a beauty, and was sure it would be a hit with F. Given that the recipe called for 3 whole pounds of flank steak, however, I also knew this would be a great excuse for a dinner party. By now, you can probably guess who we ended up inviting over, if you've read the past few posts here.

When I went to get my steak the night before, I was praised by the butcher for choosing such a great cut, and he outright swooned when I told him what I'd be doing with it, especially when I said I'd be marinating it for nearly 24 hours. Ha! I couldn't exactly take any credit for the choice of recipe, but it did affirm my suspicion that we were in for a great night of dining in.

To give you an idea, the flank steak I ended up purchasing was just under 2.2 lbs, and it was too big to fit in a 9x13 casserole dish to marinate. I had to get out my largest serving platter, and even then it was a tight squeeze!

Whole grain mustard.
A tablespoon each of fresh Rosemary and dried Oregano.

While this probably doesn't look very appetizing, I wanted to give you an idea
of just how far this marinade went! 


The lovely Jasmine - creator of this cover recipe challenge - warned me it would be delicious, and delicious it certainly was!

Our flank was ever-so-slightly overcooked - more medium-well and not the medium-rare we would have preferred - but it was still wonderful. F. tried grilling our steak on the smoker, using only charcoal, because as I've mentioned before, we are sans BBQ for the season! The meat was tender and flavourful, and when added to the bread and roasted veggies, made for an almost gourmet steak sandwich. We also opted for a side of broiled, tri-coloured baby potatoes to round out the meal.

The other darling of the evening was the marinade-turned-sauce, though I'd have to say the 1/4 cup reserved (as called for by the recipe) wasn't nearly enough. If I were to make this again, I'd probably reserve more for drizzling, using a little less for the overnight marinade, as clearly from the photo above there was more than enough.

The recipe called for pairing with a juicy, spicy Portugese red, so we opted for this Duque de Viseu which claimed to be exactly that. It didn't necessarily stand out in any way, but it certainly did go down smoothly with the dish and flavours in front of us.

We served the flank steak and sides family-style, with everyone assembling their own meals from dishes set around the table. It was the perfect way to end an imperfect week, with full bellies and plenty of laughs along the way. It was also a refreshing and interesting way to use steak in a recipe for dinner, and the novelty and depth of flavour was appreciated by everyone around the table.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to check out Jasmine's Flank Steak, and I have a bonfire to attend!

Cover Recipe

Balsamic Marinated Flank Steak by Grace Parisi.


NOTE: If any of you would like to follow along with Jasmine and I and join in on the fun, we'd love to compare notes! So pick-up a copy of the latest issue of Food & Wine and get cooking. Be sure to send your comments and photos to

The mission of Food & Wine Magazine is to find the most exciting places, new experiences, emerging trends and sensations in the culinary and wine industries. From travel and entertaining to luxury and design, this magazine brings an energetic and stylish take on food and wine. For more information on Food & Wine Magazine, please visit


  1. Happy to have discovered your blog! You make this recipe look amazing...def going to make...would you choose the same wine again or do you think I should give another a try instead?

  2. Oh wow, this looks amazing and I love the simple bread and veggies with it!

  3. This DOES look wonderful! Just 3 ingredients for the marinade? How much Whole grain mustard is required?

  4. Wow - way to go F! Using the smoker must have given the meat such an amazing smokey flavour! Glad you could make the recipe work sans BBQ :) Wasn't this recipe a hit?! Can't wait to make it again. Might try adding some soy sauce for added depth. And eight covers! Yay you :) Glad to have your company! Now if only we could get some more recruits to join us!