Bourbon and Brown Sugar Marinated Flank Steak

Earlier this week I was standing in my kitchen prepping dinner. It was about 7 pm but it was still as bright out as if it were noon. Two of my neighbors were mowing their lawns and a light evening breeze ensured that the smell of freshly cut grass was wafting into the kitchen. We were grilling that night so dinner was quick and easy and clean-up was a cinch. When we finished, I grabbed my Nook and read on the back deck for a half hour. It was pretty much everything I love about summer, all wrapped into one. All we were missing was a trip to our local ice cream shop for dessert :) And to think, summer hasn’t even officially started yet!

Bourbon and Brown Sugar Marinated Flank Steak

It’s only in the past few years that I’ve discovered flank steak, but it’s become one of my favorite things to grill. Burgers, chicken and veggies are the norm for summer grilling here, but the steak feels more special (for lack of a better word) and yet it’s just as easy to prep and cook as any of the other options. Here, the steak is marinated is a simple 5-ingredient sauce that you’ve probably already gathered includes bourbon and brown sugar, but there’s also soy sauce, Dijon mustard and hot sauce. In less than 10 minutes on the grill, it was cooked to perfection and we were eager to dig in. The thinly sliced steak was super tender and quite flavorful, thanks to the marinade. The sugar in the marinade helps the outside of the steak to caramelize on the grill, giving it a nice crust. Paired with a salad (for me) and some rice (for Shane), it was a wonderful summer meal!

One quick note about the marinade – the recipe recommends reserving it and then boiling and reducing it to serve with the steak after cooking. I’m completely comfortable with this, but if it concerns you to reuse the marinade, I’d simply recommend making one and a half times or double the recipe and setting some aside. Marinate the steak in the remaining sauce and reduce the portion you set aside for serving.

Bourbon and Brown Sugar Marinated Flank Steak
from Fine Cooking

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup bourbon (or other whiskey)
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 1/2 to 2 lb flank steak

Whisk the soy sauce, bourbon, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce together in a small bowl until the sugar dissolves. Pour the ingredients into a resealable plastic bag, and add the steak. Let the steak marinate for at least 20 minutes or pop it in the fridge for up to 2 hours before grilling. Return the steak to room temperature before grilling.

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Oil the grates lightly (I use the tongs to hold a paper towel that’s been dipped in oil and rub it over the grates).

When the grill is hot, remove the steak from the marinade, shaking off excess (no need to pat the steak dry). Set the marinade aside, don’t throw it away. Grill the steak for 4-5 minutes per side, or until cooked to your desired doneness (the cooking time is going to depend on how thick your steak is, how hot your grill is, etc. I use an instant read thermometer to test the temperature for best results). Transfer the steak to a cutting board, tent with foil, and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.

While the steak is resting, pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced and syrupy. Slice the steak thinly across the grain and serve with the sauce.