Chef John's Best Steak Recipes
Chef John's been around the butcher's block. He knows his flank from his flap, his strip from his skirt, and the best way to cook each cut. Yes, Chef John has created a ton of top-rated steak recipes. And these are just some of our very favorite recipes. You'll love the simple preparations that bring out the best flavor in each beautiful cut of beef. Now you really can make great steaks at home.
Chef John's Grilled Flap Steak
Cut of steak: Flap
This cut of beef looks like skirt steak, but it's actually cheaper (usually) and equally delicious. "It did make for some extremely tasty Asian-style lettuce wraps," says Chef John. "You can use flap meat in so many other wonderful ways. You should try this in tacos or Philly cheese steak. I used the grilled meat with lettuce, carrots, red onions, chopped peanuts, and cilantro leaves to make a salad. For the dressing I combined the reserved meat juices, sambal, fish sauce, and rice vinegar to taste. I didn't measure anything, and neither should you."
Butcher's Steak (Hanger Steak)
Cut of steak: Hanger
With this recipe, you can enjoy restaurant-quality Steak Frites at the homestead. You'll love this inexpensive cut; it turns out as tender as filet mignon and as flavorful as ribeye. "Butcher (or hanger) steak is great pan cooked, broiled, or grilled," says Chef John. "It takes to marinades wonderfully, and really can be substituted for any cut of steak. Just be sure to take the time to trim it well." And for the frites part of the equation, check out Chef John's French Fries.
Chef John's Grilled Mojo Beef
Cut of steak: Skirt
"This Cuban-inspired mojo marinade would work great as an all-purpose marinade for just about anything destined for the grill, but skirt steak is my top choice," says Chef John. Enjoy on nachos or in quesadillas, tacos, or low-carb lettuce wraps.
Chef John's Steak Pizzaiola
Cut of steak: Tenderloin
You can use almost any cut of steak. They get a quick high-heat searing, then it's all about the sauce. "There are hundreds of ways to make pizzaiola, from versions featuring slowly braised tough cuts of beef to quickly seared tenderloin medallions, like I used here," says Chef John. "The one thing most people agree on is that you should, if at all possible, use really fresh, very sweet, vine-ripened tomatoes. Serve on top of toasted bread with mozzarella cheese."
Garlic Steak with Garlic
Cut of steak: New York strip
This grilled steak gets a double-shot of garlic and a blast of balsamic vinegar at the end to balance everything out. "If you are a fan of garlic, this garlic steak with garlic confit will surely put a smile on your face," says Chef John.
Cut of steak: boneless top round
"If you've ever wanted to channel your inner barbarian and cook a large hunk of meat right on the coals, no grill, then this the recipe for you," says Chef John. "The flavor of this beef lands somewhere between grilled and smoked, and I've got a great garlicky, acidic pepper sauce to go with it. Try this recipe with a more expensive cut of meat plus any sauce of choice, from chimichurri to barbeque. You can't go wrong!"
Tuscan Flank Steak
Cut of steak: Flank steak
The key here is a simple marinade featuring classic Tuscan ingredients like olive oil and fresh rosemary, blended up with fresh lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes. "I've only been to Tuscany once, but I do remember a grilled steak coming off a charcoal fire, which was then sliced and splashed with olive oil, lemon, and rosemary," says Chef John. "While I'm sure my version is far from traditional, it's really tasty and the very user-friendly flank steak is the perfect cut."
Ropa Vieja (Cuban Beef)
Cut of steak: Flank
Chef John recommends that you use beef flank steak if possible, as it produces the most stylish shreds. "This Cuban braised beef dish literally translates to 'old clothes,' because apparently some people thought the fall-apart meat and colorful strips of onions and peppers, tangled together, looked like old, tattered clothing," says Chef John. "You'll love this dish if you're into big, bold flavors, since there's nothing subtle about the seasoning here. Delicious served with beans, rice, and plantain chips. Garnish with more cilantro."
Beerbecue Beef Flank Steak
Cut of steak: Flank
Beer is the key ingredient of an amazing barbeque sauce for grilled flank steak. It's actually sauce, marinade, and basting liquid all in one. "There are very few things in life as beautiful as a glistening, smoky flank steak on a grill, being painted with beerbecue sauce," says Chef John. "Any beer will do, but try to use something on the more aggressive side if you can. The subtle bitterness from the beer in the background really makes this sauce pop."
Manhattan Filet with Pan Sauce Bordelaise
Cut of steak: New York strip
"This simple technique not only provides you with a NY strip steak that eats like a filet mignon, but the trimmings are used to make a world-class pan sauce," says Chef John. "Even if a faux-bordelaise isn't your cup of tea, you can always save the scraps for a Sunday sauce or meatballs. The overnight 'dry-aging' step is optional, but does add a little something extra to the final product."
Santa Maria Grilled Tri-Tip Beef
Cut of steak: Beef tri-tip
The tri-tip is a great cut of beef for this type of high-heat barbequing. The key here is to get the signature very dark, caramelized crust. "Santa Maria, California, is home to one of America's most delicious barbecue specialties: black-on-the-outside, pink-on-the-inside, grilled beef tri-tip steak," says Chef John. "The tri-tip is cut from the bottom sirloin, and if cooked properly produces a very flavorful, extremely juicy piece of beef."
Chef John's Beef Rouladen
Cut of steak: Round
"For something that looks and tastes as impressive as this beef rouladen, it's actually one of the simplest stuffed meat recipes I know," says Chef John. "You can pretty much use any cheap cut of beef; I used round steak, but rump, chuck, flap meat, and other similar cuts will work work."