Get ready to dust off your superhero cape if you haven't worn it lately. Here's a plan to walk through the kitchen door, flip on the oven and get things rolling to enjoy this flavor bomb of Flank Steak with Pomegranate Glaze and Smashed Potatoes. Your dining companions will shower you with praise and they'll never know it was one of the easiest tasks you accomplished today.
Have you ever wondered how restaurants always manage to get everything cooked and ready to be plated at the same time? Structure and timing - that's the short answer. In a meal like this that involves different cooking methods, if you set out a game plan from the start, it's easier to make everything land on your table at the same time. First, start by preheating your oven while you gather and prep the ingredients. We encourage you to approach every recipe this way. Ok, oven ready yet?
Start with the potatoes. Since the baking time of the potatoes is the most time consuming portion of this meal, getting them started and out of the way frees you up to focus on the flank steak and glaze. Choose small to medium sized Yukon Gold or Yellow Creamer potatoes. Once they are fork tender, turn the oven off. Pull the potatoes out and gently smash them with the bottom of a glass or back of a spoon. Put them back into the oven just to crisp the skins for 3-4 minutes. They are creamy on the inside, crispy on the outside and just the right amount of salty; ideal for this meat-and-potato pairing.
The potatoes will spend about 20 minutes in the oven. Believe it or not, that gives you plenty of time to prepare the flank steak and pour yourself a glass of wine.
Once the potatoes vacate your oven, switch the setting from bake to broil. Allow the broil element to heat up, and in goes the flank steak. Next, move on to the pomegranate glaze by combining the pomegranate molasses and remaining ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmering for 3-4 minutes until the flavors are imbued. Careful not to let it bubble over. You'd hate us for the mess it would make.
Pomegranate molasses is simply a reduction of pomegranate juice. A Persian friend introduced it to us years ago as a staple ingredient to prepare dishes from her childhood. Since then we've found that it has many delicious uses, such as in a vinaigrette and over roasted vegetables. It has a not-too-sweet pucker about it that brings life to the flavor of a dish.
The flank steak will only spend 7-10 minutes in your oven. When you remove it, allow it to rest a few minutes on your cutting board to retain its juices. The wallet-friendly price of this cut is the reward only if you slice it correctly. See the horizontal lines in the photo to the left? That's the grain. See how our knife goes perpendicular to the grain? You want to slice your flank steak against the grain just like that. Notice how our knife is at a 45 degree angle too. While slicing, angle your wrist like you are fanning out a deck of cards and you'll get the same results.
Spoon the glaze over the steak before serving and that's it. Make sure to use a rubber spatula to scrape up every last bit. Put together a quick arugula salad with a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil to accompany this family-style dinner.
Flank Steak with Pomegranate Glaze and Smashed Potatoes
2 lbs small Yukon Gold or Yellow Creamer potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
coarse sea salt and pepper
1 lb flank steak
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
5 garlic cloves, chopped
coarse sea salt and pepper
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses*
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp minced shallot
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss potatoes with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper. Spread out on baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes until potatoes are fork tender. Turn the oven off. Take the potatoes out of oven and gently smash each one using the bottom of a glass or back of a large spoon. Return to oven for 3-4 minutes. Then remove and cover with foil. Adjust oven to broiler setting.
Brush flank steak with oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and slather with garlic and rosemary. Place it in a oven-proof pan on a lower rack in the oven to keep garlic from burning. Broil for 2-3 minutes per side for medium rare, 4-5 minutes for medium. (Alternately, the flank steak can be grilled.) Remove from oven. Place the steak on a cutting board that can capture any juices, setting steak pan aside. Tent steak with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes or so.
Combine the glaze ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Pour the glaze into the steak pan, along with any juices that have been released from the resting steak. Gently stir to combine.
Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the steak at a 45 degree angle, cutting across the grain of the meat. Arrange the slices on a platter and pour the glaze over the steak, using a rubber spatula to get every last drop.
*Pomegranate molasses can be found in the ethnic foods aisle of the grocery store or in many specialty food markets.