We’re not eating nearly as much beef as we used to. But that doesn’t mean we’ve given it up altogether. These days, when I do cook beef, I like it to really give it flavor. When I saw this recipe from Chef Brian Luscher I was intrigued by the spicy and sweet rub he’d invented for Flank steak, one of my favorite cuts because it starts out with great beefy flavor.
Chef Luscher owns a restaurant in Dallas TX called Luscher’s Red Hots (2653 Commerce St., Deep Ellum, Dallas Tel: 214 434 1006). I digress at this point because I found Chef Luscher’s menu intriguing. I don’t know whether I need to tell you but a Red Hot is a hot dog, generally hailing from Chicago. An all beef frankfurter, what stands out about a Chicago Red Hot is not necessarily the dog itself but what surrounds it: Stuffed into a poppy seed
|Chef Luscher’s take on a Red Hot
bun, the hot dog is topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, bright green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery salt. You’ll note that all that’s missing is Ketchup. In Chicago, there’s a strong belief that ketchup is an unacceptable condiment for a hot dog. Apparently, many Chicago hot dog vendors do not even offer ketchup. I note that on Chef Luscher’s menu, there’s a line that reads “Ketchup’s over on the counter”. This breach of Chicago etiquette likely prompted the tagline: “Taste Texas Chicago Style”. In Texas, I assume ketchup is permissible. And while Chef Luscher put ketchup on his counters, he did not put his Dry Rubbed Flank Steak on the menu. I cannot think why not.
This recipe is perfect for right now. The rub not only brings great depth of flavor to the steak; it also gives it a little heat always welcome on a chilly night. There are plenty of elements to the rub but chances are you have every one of them in your spice rack. They are mostly staples like cumin, paprika and mustard powder. Then there’s the salsa. It’s a glorious addition to the plate and one of those sides that makes a dish look incredibly healthy. It is a bit counter seasonal, the fault of using corn. But I found ears of corn in my market and you can usually find frozen cobs of corner in the freezer case. I think this needs corn on the cob so that you get the slightly smoky taste of the grill on the corn. However, I did spy Roasted Corn in the frozen section of Trader Joe’s so if you’d like to try that, I’d love to hear how it turned out. And if anyone knows the secret of why Chef Luscher, who does indeed have menu items that are not based on Red Hots, I’d love to hear from you too. Here is the recipe.
Recipe for Dry-Rubbed Flank Steak with Grilled Corn Salsa
from Chef Brian Luscher in Bon Appetit Magazine.
Active Time: 40 minutes. Total Time: 50 minutes. Serves 4.
For the Dry Rub:
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon English mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
For the Steak and Salsa:
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grill
3 ears of corn, shucked
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeño, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pound flank steak
Make the Dry Rub:
1. Combine brown sugar, chile powder, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne, granulated garlic, mustard powder, coriander, and cumin in a small bowl.
2. Coat the steak with all of the dry rub, packing on more than once if needed, and drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil to help it adhere.
For the Steak and salsa:
1. Prepare a grill for medium-high heat; oil grate. Grill corn, turning occasionally, until lightly browned all over, 8–10 minutes; let cool.
2. Cut kernels from cobs and place in a medium bowl. Add onion, jalapeño, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice to corn and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper. Set salsa aside.
3. Grill steak, turning occasionally and moving to a cooler spot on grill as needed to control flare-ups, until nicely browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 130°F, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. Slice against the grain. Serve topped with salsa.
Do Ahead: Salsa can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.