Low Carb Cooking 101: Low-Carb Lesson #64: Mustard Butter Flank Steak
Now, while I eat more chicken than anything else, I love steak. In general, I’m too cheap to buy steak at full price, so I keep an eagle eye on the “used meat bin” at the grocery store and always snap up any good steaks that I find there. I’ve never gotten a bad piece of meat from the “used meat bin,” but I do make certain that I either cook the meat immediately or put it into the freezer as soon as I get home.
Flank and skirt steaks are my favorites. I particularly like flank steak because it tends to be moist, full of flavor, and chewy. Not tough (unless you overcook it) – chewy. I like the fact that it takes more time to work my way though a piece of flank steak. It makes me feel like I’m getting more chew for my buck.
My husband likes his steaks well done, and prefers fish and seafood to beef. I keep telling him that the reason he likes fish better than steak is because he always wants his steaks overcooked, but does he listen? Of course not. Fine with me; I get more steak that way. But I refuse to overcook flank steak to his liking. If you do that, you end up with tire treads, not moist, succulent pieces of beef.
So be forewarned: if you like your steak well-done, don’t cook flank steak. Choose another, fattier cut of beef for this recipe, one that won’t dry out as much in the cooking process.
Here’s this evening’s menu:
- Mustard Butter Flank Steak
- Creamed Spinach
- Saucy Tomato Salad
Here’s the shopping list for the meal. You may very well already have some of these things on hand:
1 large flank steak (or cut of your choice)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon minced shallots
4 red leaf lettuce leaves (or lettuce of your choice)
2 large ripe tomatoes
2 packages frozen chopped spinach
crumbled bleu or feta cheese
purchased Italian or Greek Vinaigrette salad dressing (or salad dressing of your choice)
Here’s the game plan:
About 45 minutes before you want to serve the meal, prepare the Mustard Butter for the steak according to the recipe instructions. Set aside.
Prepare the Creamed Spinach according to the recipe directions, cover, and lower the stovetop temperature to “Low” or “Warm.”
Turn on the grill.
Set the table and construct the salads while the grill is heating up.
Cook and slice the steak according to the recipe instructions. Place the steak slices on the dinner plates. Add the heated Creamed Spinach, and take the plate to the table.
Sit down to a well-deserved, relaxing meal.
And, finally, here’s the recipes:
Mustard Butter Flank Steak Recipe
- 1 large flank steak
- 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
In a small bowl, combine the mustard, parsley, and shallots. Whisk them briefly with a fork to combine them thoroughly. Cut in the softened butter and whisk the ingredients with the fork until they are thoroughly blended. Season to taste with the salt and pepper, stirring again to incorporate them evenly throughout the butter mixture. Set aside or cover and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use the mustard butter.
Preheat the grill.
Cook the flank steak on the grill, turning it once, until it reaches the desired doneness. (Well-done is not appropriate for flank steak; it gets too darn tough if cooked too long. The steak should still be at least pink in the center when you take it off the grill.)
Place the cooked steak on a cutting board. Using a spatula or wide-bladed knife, spread the mustard butter over one side of the steak. Flip the steak over and spread more mustard butter on the second side.
Use an electric carving knife to cut the steak into thin strips, cutting across the grain.
Arrange the steak slices on a serving plate or on the dinner plates, then brush the slices again lightly with any remaining mustard butter.
***Note: Leftover strips of Mustard Butter Flank Steak are wonderful in a main dish salad the next day.
Creamed Spinach Recipe
- 2 packages frozen chopped spinach
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- pinch nutmeg
- 1 cup heavy cream
Defrost the spinach completely.
Drain all the liquid from the spinach, either by pressing the spinach with your hands or pressing it into a siecve with a wooden spoon. ***See note below.
Melt the butter in a large skillet or frying pan over medium high heat. Add the salt, black pepper, paprika, and nutmeg to the butter. Continue cooking over medium high heat, sitting the ingredients with a wooden spoon, until the butter begins to bubble and foam.
When the butter has changed color to a rich golden brown, remove the skillet or frying pan from the heat. Stir in the cream.
Lower the heat on the stove to medium low and return the skillet or frying pan to the stove. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens. This should take about 5 or 6 minutes. The sauce is thick enough when you can coat the wooden spoon with the sauce, run your finger through the sauce on the back of the spoon, and the streak you made with your finger remains.
Remove the skillet or frying pan from the heat. Break up the thawed spinach and sprinkle it into the cream sauce. Stir the spinach into the sauce completely. Return the skillet or frying pan to the stovetop, and continue cooking over medium high heat for 1 or 2 minutes, again stirring constantly, until the spinach is heated through.
Saucy Tomato Salad Recipe
- 4 red leaf lettuce leaves, washed and trimmed (or choose your favorite lettuce)
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced thickly into 8 slices
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced into 8 slices
- 4 tablespoons crumbled bleu or feta cheese
- purchased Italian or Greek Vinaigrette salad dressing
To construct the salads, place a lettuce leaf on each salad plate. Place tomato slices on each lettuce leaf, overlapping the slices slightly. Where the tomato slices intersect, place a cucumber slice on each side.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of crumbled cheese over each salad, then drizzle each salad with a small amount of either Italian or Greek Vinaigrette salad dressing. (You can, of course, substitute any salad dressing you prefer.)
Makes 4 side dish salads.
***Note: My grandmother, God rest her soul, never wasted a thing. When she drained spinach – or any other vegetable, for that matter – she always saved the liquid in a container she kept in the freezer. She always used this liquid, which she claimed was chock full of vitamins and flavor, in place of water when she was making soup.