Flank Steak with Grilled Corn Salsa
What we love about living in SoCal is the near-perfect, never-ending summer days. The days when the sun begins to slide into the ocean and — even if you’ve been outside all day, even if you’ve had your fill of the beach, the hills, or whatever — you just can’t bear the thought of going inside. This steak is for just those sort of days, and it’s meant to be consumed on the patio, in your bare feet, with a glass of something very cold, and the music blaring. (We hear Santos & Johnny, but you do you.)
We coat the steak in a homemade dry rub of ancho chile powder, mustard, cumin, garlic, and paprika. It’s got some light brown sugar in it too. As you sear the steak on the grill, the sugar and aromatics caramelize into a spicy-sweet and tangy crust. All that charred goodness is wonderful with the bright, fresh salsa. It’s made with all the usual suspects — cilantro, juicy tomatoes, jalapeño, lime — plus grilled corn, so it’s got a little of its own smoky sweetness.
We like to serve our steak with slabs of grilled toast coated in olive oil, salt, and pepper. A few slices of avocado are also nice. For other sides, we might throw some veggies on the grill, like endives, asparagus, or zucchini squash. Their clean flavors will be nice with the big spices of the meat.
Our tip: The side benefit of this recipe is that it’s a small treasure trove of handy condiments. We use the rub on other proteins — salmon, chicken, pork — as well as veggies. And the salsa is terrific scrambled into eggs or scooped up in salty tortilla chips with your afternoon beer.
For the dry rub:
2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp ancho chile powder
1 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp mustard powder
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
For the steak and salsa:
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill
3 corn ears, shucked
¼ red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeño, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup Gelson’s organic fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
⅓ cup fresh lime juice
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 ½ lb flank steak
To make the dry rub: combine the brown sugar, chile powder, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne, granulated garlic, mustard powder, coriander, and cumin in a small bowl.
To make the salsa: Prepare a grill for medium-high heat and oil the grate. Grill the corn, turning occasionally, until lightly browned all over, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the corn to a cutting board, and let them cool. Cut the corn kernels from the cobs and place in a medium bowl. Add the onion, jalapeño, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice to the corn and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside. Note: you can make the salsa ahead, and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.
To make the steak: Coat the steak with the dry rub, adding in layers if needed, to use all of the rub. Drizzle the steaks with 2 tablespoons of olive oil to help the rub adhere.
Grill the steak, turning occasionally and moving to a cooler spot on the grill as needed to control flare-ups, until nicely browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak registers 130°, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Return the steak to the grill just to re-crisp the exterior, about 1 minute per side. Transfer it back to the cutting board and slice it against the grain. Serve topped with the salsa.
Recipe source: Bon Appétit