The key to a great tasting flank steak is the marinade. In this recipe, the steak is marinated in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with mustard, honey, and garlic too. Grilled to your liking and served with blistered tomatoes and melted bocconcini, Grilled Flank Steak Caprese is a quick and easy, family-friendly meal!
When it comes to simple dinners, this recipe is a winner! Not only is flank steak relatively inexpensive, it’s also easy to find. Once you prepare the marinade, which takes just a minute or two, it will do most of the work for you. It will tenderize the steak and season it too. Grilled Flank Steak Caprese is a complete meal that is prepared entirely on a grill.
Now, in the case that you don’t have an outdoor grill, you can use use a stove top grill pan, or an electric grill like this. I know it’s considered a panini press, but I own one of these and I use it for everything – especially when it’s too cold to go outside to grill.
Because flank steak can vary a bit in size and thickness, it’s best to use a meat thermometer to get it just right. I love steak that is well done, even though most red meat lovers will turn up their nose at that. With flank steak, the way to go is medium or medium well. For medium, you will want an internal temperature of 130 degrees F, while for medium-well, let it go until the temp reaches 135. Anyway, let’s get into the details!
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3 OF MY FAVOURITE CUTS OF BEEF TO MARINATE AND HOW TO DO IT RIGHT
Flank Steak – This cut works well when marinated for at least 4 hours, but no longer than 24 hours. Be sure to grill it to medium or medium-rare and to slice it thinly across the grain for best results.
Skirt Steak – This is a long cut of steak with is cut from the underbelly. Skirt steak has less fat than flank steak, but is more marbled. Prepare it just like flank steak. Skirt steak is more flavourful.
Sirloin Tip Steak – This is one of those cuts that can be expensive or cheap, depending on the day. I tend to buy this whenever I find it on sale. It is moderately tender with good beefy flavour and can certainly use a marinade to maximize the tenderness. Marinate for at least 4 hours, but no more than 12.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR THIS RECIPE:
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this Grilled Flank Steak Caprese recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Flank Steak – I’m using two pounds of flank steak. You can use one pound and use half the amount of each marinade ingredient if you don’t need that much steak.
- Olive Oil – The olive oil will pull the flavour out of the other ingredients and infuse them into the beef. In addition, you won’t need to grease or oil your cooking vessel when you’re ready to grill, fry, or sear! Use a light olive oil, rather than a full-bodied olive oil.
- Balsamic Vinegar – As a rule, I’m not a fan of balsamic vinegar, but it’s very common in Italian-inspired recipes! In this recipe, the balsamic adds the perfect amount of acidity to the dish, even for someone like me who does not normally care for the taste!
- Grainy Mustard – This adds warmth and texture.
- Honey – This will add a bit of sweetness and a gorgeous shine. Because honey is thick, it’s also a great ingredient to suspend seasonings into as well.
- Garlic – Freshly minced garlic is best. You will get more flavour.
- Ground Black Pepper – Lots of it! Beef dishes love to be generously seasoned with this warming spice.
- Bocconcini – Drain the bocconcini well and pat them dry with clean paper towels. I’m using mini bocconcini, but you can use the larger size if that’s all you can find. Leave them whole or quarter them.
- Tomatoes – Smaller tomatoes, like grape or cherry tomatoes, work very well, because you can easily blister them for more flavour.
WHAT IS BOCCONCINI
Bocconcini are small mozzarella cheese balls that are usually the size of an egg. In the case of this recipe, I’m using mini bocconcini, which are similar to a grape or a cherry tomato. Like other mozzarellas, they are semi-soft, white, and rindless. It is a mild cheese that originated in Naples and were once made only from the milk of water buffalo. Nowadays, they are usually made from a combination of water buffalo and cow’s milk. Bocconcini are packaged in whey or water, have a spongy texture, and absorb flavors.
The cheese is made in the pasta filata manner by dipping curds into hot whey, and kneading, pulling, and stretching. Bocconcini made solely of water buffalo’s milk is still produced in the provinces of Naples, Caserta, and Salerno. Alternatively, the type made with whole cow’s milk are also manufactured, in which the higher liquid content, in comparison to standard mozzarella, lends them the soft consistency. Bocconcini can be bought at most supermarkets. They are often used in caprese salad, or served with pasta.
HOW TO MAKE GRILLED FLANK STEAK CAPRESE
The first thing you will need to do is to marinate the flank steak. To do this, measure the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, grainy mustard, honey, garlic, salt, and ground black pepper into a bowl. Whisk to combine. Place the flank steak into a bowl or a Ziploc bag. Pour the marinate over and ensure the steak is completely covered with the marinade. Cover the bowl well or seal the bag. Refrigerate the steak for 4-12 hours to marinate.
When ready to grill, pre-heat the grill to medium-high. It’s imperative that the grill is fully preheated, otherwise, the steak will not sear, but it will steam. You run the risk of overcooking the interior of the steak before those grill lines form, which is not good! Shake off the excess marinade and grill the steak for 4 or 5 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches your desired doneness.
While the steak is grilling, transfer the leftover marinade to a sauce pan, over high heat, boil the marinade, whisking until reduced and thickened. Turn off the heat. Once the steak is cooked, remove it from the grill and transfer it to a cutting board. Let it rest for five minutes while you prepare the tomatoes and bocconcini.
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PREPARING THE TOMATOES AND BOCCONCINI
It is worth noting that the tomatoes and bocconcini do not need to be grilled at all. You can simply pile them onto the platter with the steak, or even serve them separately in little bowls on the side. I have done both so that you can see the difference. If you want to add a little more flavour and pizzazz though, take the extra step and grill them both just a little bit. Here’s how:
Place the tomatoes onto the hot grill and allow them to cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side. The goal is to blister the skin, not fully cook. Transfer the blistered tomatoes to a bowl and add the bocconcini to the grill as well. Watch them carefully! It is cheese and it will melt. There is no need to turn them over. Just pop them on the grill for 20 to 30 seconds. They will soften and warm through. Transfer them to a plate and set aside.
Now that the flank steak has rested, slice it into thin slices across the grain. Lay the slices onto a serving platter. Pour the reduced marinade/sauce down the middle of the platter, over the sliced steak. Top with the blistered tomatoes and warm bocconcini. Garnish with finely chopped parsley or fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately.
Lord Byron’s Notes
To ensure your flank steak is tender and moist, be sure to marinate it for a minimum of 4 hours. It’s also very important to let it rest for at least 5 minutes once you remove it from the grill. If you slice the meat too soon, all of the juices run out. Let it rest prevents this from happening. Finally, be sure to slice the steak against the grain. Follow these notes and your flank steak will be super moist and tender!
OTTAWA VALLEY MEATS
The flank steak this Grilled Flank Steak Caprese recipe is from Ottawa Valley Meats. I used two of their grass fed flank steaks. That equals to about two pounds. If you are in Ontario, be sure to take a look at the website. Ottawa Valley Meats offers seafood, beef, poultry, pork, etc. And, they deliver right to your door! I have had other suppliers deliver meat and seafood, but they were the best! It comes in a freezer-refrigerated truck, which means the box doesn’t need to be stuffed with ice packs or dry ice. And, the food doesn’t need to be packaged into those silver cooler bags. Do you know what that means for me? Less waste!
In case your curious, I have used OVM product in other recipes here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen too. Just because today is about steak, I will make mention of this Sweet and Sour Osso Buco, which I prepared using beef from Ottawa Valley Meats. The ribeye steak used in these Chicken Fried Steak Fingers recipe is from there. And, I used their flank steak in this Japanese Beef and Sprouts recipe!
As you can see from the photographs, I served my Grilled Flank Steak Caprese with lots of those blistered tomatoes as well as the warm, slightly grilled bocconcini. I also had served some baked mini potatoes. They are tossed with olive oil, seasoned with salt, pepper, and onion powder, then baked at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or so.
The go-to way to serve flank steak is usually in a burrito or a taco. That’s certainly an option here too. I would consider adding some peppery arugula to the taco as well. If you’re looking for a more filling option, you can serve this steak over mashed potatoes. I know I suggest mashed potatoes often when it comes to my serving suggestions, but mashed potatoes just work with almost everything, so why not? And, they are a favourite in our home, so I do make them often.
Flank steak reminds me of summer, so you might want to think about serving up a few more summery sides with this dish. You will already have the tomatoes and the bocconcini, so some other sides that just scream summer is grilled asparagus. And, we love corn on the cob, so that would be great too. In fact, you can grill the corn and not make any extra pans or pots dirty. That’s always a win!
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Grilled Flank Steak Caprese
- 2 pounds flank steak
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 200 grams mini bocconcini, drained and patted dry
- 200 grams cherry or grape tomatoes
- parsley or basil for garnish and flavour
- Measure the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, grainy mustard, honey, garlic, salt, and ground black pepper into a bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Place the flank steak into a bowl. Pour the marinate over and ensure the steak is completely covered with the marinade. Cover the bowl well and refrigerate the steak for 4-12 hours to marinate.
- When ready to grill, pre-heat the grill to medium-high.
- Remove the steak from the marinade and shake off the excess.
- Grill the steak for 4 or 5 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches your desired doneness.
- While the steak is grilling, transfer the leftover marinade to a sauce pan, and over high heat, boil the marinade, whisking until reduced and thickened. Turn off the heat and keep the sauce hot.
- Once the steak is cooked, remove it from the grill and transfer it to a cutting board. Let it rest for five minutes while you prepare the tomatoes and bocconcini.
- Place the tomatoes onto the hot grill and allow them to cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side. The goal is to blister the skin, not fully cook. Transfer the blistered tomatoes to a bowl.
- Set the bocconcini on the grill next. Watch them carefully! It is cheese and it will melt. There is no need to turn them over. Just pop them on the grill for 20 to 30 seconds. They will soften and warm through. Transfer them to a plate and set aside.
- Now that the flank steak has rested, slice it into thin slices across the grain. Lay the slices onto a serving platter.
- Pour the reduced marinade/sauce down the middle of the platter, over the sliced steak. Top with the blistered tomatoes and warm bocconcini.
- Garnish with finely chopped parsley or fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately.
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