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Waking the Steak

March 05, 1997|BETTY ROSBOTTOM | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Rosbottom is a cooking school director and author of "American Favorites" (Chapters, 1996)

There are many ways to grill a steak. During the summer, the simplest method is to cook the meat on an outdoor barbecue. A stove-top grill pan also works well, although the smoked flavor of cooking over coals is missing. I also pan-fry or broil steaks occasionally.

A few weeks ago, I prepared a large flank steak in an interesting but simple way. I made a dense marinade of crushed garlic cloves, dried thyme and rosemary leaves, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard with seeds that gave the meat an extra boost of flavor. I broiled it, but it would also be wonderful grilled.

I served this at a family meal with fresh sauteed spinach and couscous as quick side dishes. It would also make a fine entree for casual entertaining accompanied by mashed potatoes with fresh herbs, a salad of mixed greens in a red wine vinaigrette dressing and a basket of warm sourdough bread. The recipe serves four but can easily be doubled.

MUSTARD AND GARLIC FLANK STEAK

3 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons country or whole-seed Dijon mustard

1 1/3 pounds flank steak, trimmed of all fat

Nonstick cooking spray

Sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme for garnish, optional

Using mortar and pestle or small bowl and fork, crush together garlic, thyme, rosemary, pepper and salt. Stir in mustard and mix well.

Place flank steak on dinner plate and brush mustard-garlic mixture evenly over both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, up to overnight. Remove meat from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.

Arrange oven rack about 5 inches from heat and preheat broiler. Line broiler pan with aluminum foil and spray broiler rack with nonstick cooking spray.

Place meat on rack and broil about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Check for doneness by making small incision in thickest part.

Remove steak from pan and cut on diagonal and against grain into 1/4- to 3/8-inch-thick slices. Arrange meat on warm serving plate in overlapping layers. Garnish with fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs.

4 servings. Each serving:

194 calories; 655 mg sodium; 70 mg cholesterol; 8 grams fat; 1 gram carbohydrates; 24 grams protein; 0.13 gram fiber.

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