Flank steak marinated in a 5 ingredient marinade, then seared and charred on both sides until medium-rare. Served with a punchy herb sauce – this chimchurri flank steak has some serious flavour going on.
This recipe was first published here on 29th February 2016 and has been updated with new information and images.
Why you’ll love it
Flavour: This flank steak with chimichurri sauce is loaded with flavour. From the tang of vinegar in the sauce, to the fresh and vibrant flavour of herbs and the umami-packed steak. This steak will set your taste buds alive.
Texture: Chewy and juicy with a nice crisp char on the outside.
It’s quick: Like super quick and easy too. Plan ahead to marinate for 1 hour but other than that, this steak cooks up in less than 10 minutes. The chimichurri sauce takes even less than that to make and this is best served immediately.
Table of contents
What is chimichurri?
This flavour packed, zesty sauce is a South American staple. Recipes can vary slightly but they are all loaded with fresh herbs – most often coriander / cilantro – and red wine vinegar.
Chimichurri is often associated with churrasco, a South American cooking style of grilling or barbecuing meat.
So what is flank steak?
Flank steak is a cheaper cut, that comes from the belly area of the cow. Often minced (ground) due to it’s tougher texture though, with a few tricks, it will melt in your mouth. This dish is also often made with skirt steak which comes from below the ribs
We love flank steak in our house. It is loaded with flavour and, as long as you give it a little TLC, is a delicious cut for things like fajitas and tacos.
- Marinade it: Giving the meat a quick bathe in a great marinade can help to add flavour and tenderise
- Cook it quickly: The aim is to get the outside nice and dark and charred, while leaving the inside pink and tender
- Medium-rare – never well-done: Making sure it’s pink inside means there is still moisture and it will be less chewy.
- Slice very thinly, across the grain: This is a fibrous cut of meat so you’ll easily see the direction of the grain, so make sure to cut across it, not with it.
Follow these simple steps and you will be rewarded with the most delicious steak ever! Yes, flank is a tougher cut than the many other cuts available, however, the tougher cuts are generally the most flavourful too. So just remember to cook it high and quick and you’ll be hugely rewarded.
Ingredients for Chimichurri Flank Steak
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Steak and marinade (image 1): this marinade is made up of soy sauce, oil, red wine vinegar, mustard powder and pepper.
- Coriander / cilantro (2): you can replace some of this with things like parsley and oregano if you prefer.
- Garlic (3): make sure to use fresh garlic, as opposed to powdered.
- Olive oil (4): I prefer a mild flavoured variety but just make sure to use a good quality, extra-virgin olive oil.
- Chilli (5): Long red chilli adds a gorgeous pop of colour to the sauce. You could also use jalapeno or red pepper flakes in it’s place, to taste.
- Salt (6) and pepper, not pictured, are the seasonings for the steak, while a little salt only is added to the sauce.
- Red wine vinegar (7): or sherry vinegar works just as well.
- Shallot (8): a very mild onion, perfect for using raw. Finely chopped red onion will also be fine.
The flank steak marinade
This is an optional step and not always used for this style of steak, but we love it. A simple mixture of soy sauce for umami flavour and salt, oil for coverage, vinegar adds flavour and tang, mustard powder and pepper.
The steak sits in the marinade only for ½ or up to 1 hour, then remove it, let it drip off a little and start cooking.
Technically, if you want to skip, just season the meat with salt and pepper then grill or fry.
How to make it
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
Making this dish is a simple case of mixing up the marinade (photo 1) and adding the steak (photo 2). Let it marinate for ½ an hour. Cook it in a large skillet or frypan (photo 3) until medium rare, then slice it thinly (photo 4).
The sauce is even easier – just mix your ingredients together in a bowl and it’s ready to go but this steak would also be great with my pesto butter as a sauce.
Can I use other types of steak?
It’s worth mentioning, you could use any cut of steak to make this but the flavour of the skirt steak or flank steak really makes this something special. Rump would also work well.
More quick dinners
- Steak Enchiladas
- Crispy Asian Chilli Beef Mince
- Beef Shish Kebabs with Mojo Verde
- Creamy Peppercorn Chicken
- Chicken Fajita Nachos
- Stuffed Crust Pepperoni Pizza
IF YOU TRY THIS chimichurri steak recipe, please take a moment to leave a rating and comment below. I love hearing from you, and it helps other readers too!
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Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
FOR THE STEAK & MARINADE
- 750 g flank steak
- ¼ cup light soy sauce
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (light flavoured)
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
FOR THE CHIMICHURRI SAUCE
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small shallot
- ½ long red chilli, or to taste
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup coriander (cilantro), packed
- ⅓ cup parsley
- Mix together the marinade ingredients (soy sauce, olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard powder, pepper) in a casserole dish or high rimmed plate.
- Trim any visible sinew from the flank steak and, if it's very large, cut in two pieces. Place into the marinade and chill for ½ an hour. Let it come to room temperature for ½ an hour before cooking (giving it a total marinating time of 1 hour).
- Finely chop the onion, chilli and herbs and combine in a bowl with the vinegar, salt, and garlic. Whisk well. While whisking, drizzle in the oil until all fully combined.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan, skillet or alternatively you can use a grill or BBQ but do not pour oil over. Once it starts smoking, gently place the steak in the pan.
- Sear for two minutes, then turn over for another 2 minutes. Depending on the thickness of your steak, keep flipping it until the outside is nicely charred and the inside is medium-rare. Medium rare will register 65C / 150F on a meat thermometer.
- Remove the steak from the pan, and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
- Use a very sharp carving knife to carefully slice the steak into thin strips (2-3mm thick), across the grain. Lay it out on a platter, spoon the sauce over the top and place in the middle of the table for everyone to dig in.
- Please take a moment to rate this recipe – it's more helpful than you know.
- I use an Australian standard 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons)
- If you prefer to skip the marinade, just season the meat with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper right before cooking.
- If you don’t feel like chopping, feel free to use a food processor or electric blender to cut finely chop the onion and herbs.
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