Thin slices of beef are marinated with fresh lemon juice, chopped garlic, and seasonings before being skewered and grilled to perfection! Be sure to serve this Lemon Garlic Steak with lots of fresh lemons for extra zip and zing!
When it comes to simple dinners, this recipe is a winner! Not only is flank steak relatively inexpensive, but 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. Lemon Garlic Steak is my way of squeezing the last bit of grilling out of summer!
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. Even if you grill inside, be sure to skewer the steak, because everyone likes to eat food on sticks!
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FOOD ON STICKS
What is it about food on sticks that appeals so greatly to the masses? Think of any carnival or summer fair you’ve been to. Now, think about all of those lineups of hungry people at those brightly coloured food trucks. How many of those food trucks serve food on sticks? Is it a cleanliness issue? Do we love food on sticks because it eliminates the need for us to get our hands dirty? Pulling food off of the stick with our teeth certainly helps to keep the germs on our hands from spreading to our food.
I think it goes a little deeper than that. Preparing food on sticks is primitive really. Many, many years ago, before the invention of skillets and grills, meat was mainly cooked on sticks over an open fire. In many cases, that skewered rabbit or chicken was passed around the fire and every family member took a bite to help fill their bellies.
But, we’ve come a long way since mankind needed to cook meat that way. So, why is the appeal still? Personally, I think it has continued to maintain its popularity simply because it’s fun. I can remember being a kid and eating those battered hot dogs on a stick and dipping it into ketchup or mustard. It was such a change from the everyday fork and knife routine that I’m not sure if the battered hot dog was as good as it seemed at all or if it was just that it was on a stick!
Speaking of food on sticks, I’ve got lots of those types of recipes! Click here to see all of them!
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. In this case, because the steak is thinly sliced before the marinade is added, 1 hour of marinating time is good. With that said, you can leave it to marinate a bit longer but don’t exceed 4 hours.
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 a 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 Lemon Garlic Steak recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Beef – I’m using two pounds of flank steak. You can use sirloin or ribeye too if you wish. Also, 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.
- Garlic – As a rule, you should always use fresh chopped garlic, especially when it is one of the main ingredients. This recipe uses 8 cloves of garlic.
- Lemon Juice – Now is the time to splurge on fresh lemons. Please do not use the stuff in the bottle; you need freshly squeezed lemon juice to get the right flavour.
- Ground Black Pepper – Lots of it! Beef dishes love to be generously seasoned with this warming spice.
- Parsley and Fresh Lemons – For garnish.
HOW TO MAKE LEMON GARLIC STEAK
Begin by slicing the beef into long thin slices, approximately ¼ inch thick. Be sure to cut across the grain which will result in a more tender piece of meat. Transfer the prepared beef to a bowl.
Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and ground black pepper to form a marinade. Pour the marinade over the beef and massage it into the beef until all of the pieces are well coated. Cover the bowl with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a minimum of 1 hour. Don’t allow the beef to marinate for more than 4 hours. Beef does not do well if left too long in a very acidic marinade.
When ready to cook, preheat your grill to 400 degrees F. Skewer the beef in long strips and discard any leftover marinade. Grill the beef for 2 minutes per side or until it reaches your desired level of doneness. Aim for a minimum temperature of 145 degrees F. Transfer the grilled beef to a serving platter and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with extra lemon wedges.
LET’S TALK ABOUT MARINATING
When it comes to marinating meat, some of us think that it’s okay to marinate it all day or even overnight. That might work for some marinades, but not all. Let me explain. If you’re using a marinade that has acidity in it, then I would not marinate longer than four hours. The acid will react with the enzymes in the meat and actually toughen it.
My favourite marinades for chicken always use buttermilk. Buttermilk helps to make for a more tender chicken dish. The acidity of the buttermilk will break down protein structures in the chicken and help it retain moisture a whole lot better. But, my favourite marinade for beef or pork is always prepared with oil. The oil has the unique ability to pull the flavours from the other marinade ingredients and infuse them right into the meat.
Therefore, a marinade consisting of more mellow ingredients, like a mixture of oil, garlic, onion, herbs, etc., would allow for a longer marinating time. For this particular marinade, I would highly recommend you allow the beef to marinate for at least one hour, but no longer than 4 hours because of the acidity in the fresh lemon juice.
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR GRILLING
If you’ve been baking and cooking for some time, I’m sure you already know that pre-heating is key! Just like when you preheat your oven when you bake a cake, preheating a grill is vitally important for several reasons, but there are two I’ll discuss now.
First, preheating a grill will prevent the meat from sticking. When the grill is hot, and the steak is placed on it, it will instantly begin to sear the meat. This sear not only adds flavour and looks pretty, it also prevents the meat from sticking.
Secondly, preheating the grill will pretty much eliminate the need to overcook! If you place the steak on a cold grill and turn on the heat, before the grill is hot, the steak has already started to cook from the heat building on the grill. This will overcook the steak and make it dry and not very appealing.
Do You Like This Recipe?
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Lemon Garlic Steak
- 2 pounds flank steak, sliced into 1/4 inch slices across the grain (you can also use sirloin or ribeye)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- parsley, finely chopped for garnish
- Begin by slicing the beef into long thin slices, approximately ¼ inch thick. Be sure to cut across the grain which will result in a more tender piece of meat. Transfer the prepared beef to a bowl.
- Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and ground black pepper to form a marinade.
- Pour the marinade over the beef and massage it into the beef until all of the pieces are well coated. Cover the bowl with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a minimum of 1 hour. Don’t allow the beef to marinate for more than 4 hours. Beef does not do well if left too long in a very acidic marinade.
- When ready to cook, preheat your grill to 400 degrees F.
- Skewer the beef in long strips and discard any leftover marinade.
- Grill the beef for 2 minutes per side or until it reaches your desired level of doneness. Aim for a minimum temperature of 145 degrees F.
- Transfer the grilled beef to a serving platter and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with extra lemon wedges.
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