Monday, June 30, 2014

Grilled Steakhouse Steak Tips

Before I talk about this grilled steakhouse steak tip recipe, let me jump in and say that this is one of the best grilled steak recipes I've ever had!  Best of all, the marinade wasn't too fussy to make, and the grilling process/time was super quick. Win! Believe me, you will want to make this. Stat.

The older I become, the more I find that I try not to eat red meat more than once a week-- sometimes, even less.  But, every so often, I crave a juicy steak on the grill.

I had bookmarked a recipe for marinated, skewered, steaks that sounded like something I'd like to prepare.  I asked my husband to buy some skirt steak for me, while making a run to Costco for me. He returned with flap meat.  Flap meat?  "That doesn't sound very good", I thought to myself.  I was dubious (and had to squelch my dissappointment that I didn't get the skirt steak that I wanted), but the butcher convinced Craig that it's pretty much the same thing.  Now, what do I do? Risk it or...

As luck would have it, our DVR recorded an episode on Cook's Country for Grilled Steakhouse Steak Tips. Have you ever heard of steak tips before? Well, neither had I. Typically, steak tips come from the bottom sirloin, and that is where flap meat comes from.

The steak was long and thin, similar to skirt steak. The fatty side isn't pretty to look at, but the scientific recommendation is to poke holes in it to break up the fibrous tissues.

Next, the meat is sliced into roughly 2" chunks, because it needs to be marinated for at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours.

The marinade was pretty simple to make: soy sauce, brown sugar, vegetable oil, tomato paste, plenty of garlic, paprika, and cayenne.  Here's the Cook's Country explanation as to how these ingredients make this marinade work (a printable recipe is at the very end of this post):

DARK BROWN SUGAR Delivers depth, complexity, and a caramelized, crusty char.
VEGETABLE OIL Distributes flavors and activates oil-soluble flavor compounds, such as those found in garlic.
SOY SAUCE Its salt penetrates to deeply season the meat. Its glutamates boost meaty flavor.
TOMATO PASTE Adds background savor and enough body to help the marinade cling.

Once I made the marinade, one whiff told me this was going to be good!

We own both a Weber charcoal grill and a gas grill. This time, we decided to use the gas grill-- which Craig heated on high for 15 minutes (cover closed), and then brushed off to make sure that it's nice and clean. We've adopted the Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen way of oiling the grate, by dipping a folded paper towel  into a bowl of vegetable oil.  This works great, to prevent food from sticking.

So, now it's time to slap these on the grill.

It's a challenge to photograph meat, when the grill is hot and there's lots of smoke coming out. This steak will cook very fast, so we have to work fast.

Craig flipped these over at about 4 minutes, and the caramelization of the meat looks glorious! 

You'll want to cook the steaks until it reaches between 130-135F.  I learned that flap meat shouldn't be cooked to rare, or it'll be tough.  The higher temperature allows the fibers to break down enough to yield a tender steak. At least, that's what I hoped would be true.  

It's important to tent the grilled meat, loosely, with foil and let it sit for five minutes.  NOTE: I was ravenous by this time!

Craig was still grilling our fresh corn, and I just couldn't stand the wait any longer. I had to cut into a piece of steak, to see if it was overcooked and I was anxious for a taste.  As you can see, the meat is very juicy and it's not overcooked.  It's just right!

TASTING NOTES:  The overall flavor of this steak made the eyes roll to the back of my head. I did that "food groan" sound and did a little dance.  The marinade has notes of a mild teriyaki flavor-- minus the ginger.  I used reduced-sodium soy sauce, and the steak had just the perfect amount of seasoning. I had cut back on the paprika a bit, afraid it might overpower the steak, and cut back on the cayenne pepper-- because my taste buds are sensitive to heat.  The marinade was perfection!

As for the steak-- it was really tender. I was really surprised, and grateful, that the meat wasn't chewy.  I liked that these were small pieces, so I wouldn't overindulge. I was tempted to eat more than three pieces, but I focused on my salad and fresh grilled corn, as well.  The next time we have a BBQ, with guests, I know that a platter of these will be a welcome addition with our BBQ ribs and Spatchcock Chicken.

We only grilled half the meat, and tonight-- we're polishing off the second half along with a baked potato and salad.  Cook's Country-- you knocked this one right out of the ballpark!  Outstanding!

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Christine said...

I've been wanting to ask the butcher what flap meat is, as well as sirloin tip steaks. Up until a year or so ago, never heard of them. Thanks! I too, would have worried about toughness. These look so juicy and delicious though!

Big Dude said...

Great job Debbie - it looks and sounds delicious, although I'd never heard of flap meat - not a particularly appealing name :-)

Debby Foodiewife said...

I agree, Larry. Flap meat certainly didn't have my jumping for joy when that's what Craig brought home. Thankfully, the ugly name doesn't live up the flavor and inexpensive price!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Beautiful steak and perfectly cooked too. Like Larry, I'm not familiar with the term flap steak.

I crave steak from time to time and refuse to give it up unless my doctor demands that I do :)

Biz said...

I love using different cuts of red meat - I actually flash grill a chuck roast and it's amazeballs.

Ignore the old shitty pictures in that post - but medium rare chuck roast is delish.

Bill said...

I've never heard of flap steak, but I'd sure eat it, especially if it looked like your photos! :-) I'm loving the marinade recipe. This is truly a great recipe, Debby! Love everything about it!

Madonna/aka/Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon said...

I will admit when I heard flap meat I did not think it sounded all that appealing but when you taste it you forget all about that. I have a friend that worked with a butcher and he said that is what the butcher took home - the most flavorful. When people found out about it they raised the price.

Debby Foodiewife said...

I know, right, Madonna. Just like flat iron steak. As soon as people caught on to how tender those are, the prices went up. So frustrating!

judy jursch said...

Am I missing something? I don't see a printable recipe anywhere..can you please provide a link? Thank you!!

Debby Foodiewife said...

Judy, did you scroll all the way to the bottom of the post? I can see the embedded recipe card on Mozilla, Explorer, Safari, my iPhone, my iPad etc. Usually people miss it, because they don't look at the last line, see my signature and then the card. Otherwise, please email me if you can't see it.

Kate said...

Beautiful steaks! We tried flap steak for the first time last is a great cut of meat...a bit like flank steak. There was an article this month in Fine Cooking. We had to try it and I have to try your marinade....sounds delicious!!