pan-seared flank steak

We’re not big meat eaters, but I do like to cook a flank steak every few months. I’ve written about flank steak before – basically, it’s a tender, easy to cook cut of meat that’s fairly inexpensive. It’s good for grilling – check out this excellent Serious Eats article about marinating and grilling flank steak – but it’s also brilliant on the stove top. This is a good way to cook steak if you really only want a 4 ounce portion of meat, since you can cook a largish piece of beef and then save half for leftovers (steak sandwiches!).

While you don’t need to marinate flank steak, it doesn’t hurt. Inspired by this non-recipe, I decided to marinate in equal parts Dijon mustard and Worchestershire sauce.


I like to marinate in a Ziploc bag:


One thing to know about marinating is that you don’t need to do it for more than an hour or two, especially for flank steak. I tossed this together at about 3 in the afternoon and let it sit in the fridge until I cooked it up at 6.

To pan-fry flank steak, you want a really hot pan (also, don’t use nonstick! Cast iron would be best, but stainless steel is fine too). Let it sit over high heat for two or three minutes, until you can see a little smoke rising off of it. Oh, also – open your windows and turn on your fans. And warn your spouse that you may be smoking up the house a bit. Dry the steak really well, rub with a little oil, and put it into your pan.


Cook, completely undisturbed, for about 3 minutes on each side. Let it rest for 5 minutes and you’ll have perfectly cooked medium-rare steak. If you like your meat more well done, give it another minute or two, but no more or things will get gray in there. No good.

Slice against the grain and serve!


Your meat should be salty enough from the Worcestershire in the marinade, but it’s nice to sprinkle a bit of kosher salt on there before serving, and/or pass the Worcestershire at the table.

Pan-Seared Flank Steak

serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1-pound flank steak
  • vegetable oil
  • kosher salt, for serving


About 3 hours before serving, mix the mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Place in a Ziploc bag with the meat and marinate in the fridge.

When you’re ready to cook, take the meat out of the marinade and pat it completely dry with several paper towels. Rub each side with about a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Set a cast iron or stainless steel pan on high heat for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly smoking. Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan and drop the steak in.

Let cook, completely undisturbed (no peeking!), for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, turn steak with a pair of tongs and cook another 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate, loosely tent with foil, and let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing against the grain and serving.


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