In seeking out something different than the standard burgers, brats and hot dogs for the Fourth of July, I stumbled across an easy and delicious recipe for marinated grilled steak from Marcela Valladolid. I saw it on a couple of other blogs where it had some great reviews so I decided to give it a try as well. The flavors are summery but still deep and savory while the beer and soy sauce marinade also tenderizes the meat beautifully. It took only a few minutes to prepare the ingredients for the marinade. It did the work for the rest of the day in the fridge while Adam and I hung out, had some beers, played with the dogs and prepared for our neighborhood fireworks.

The recipe recommended a lager style beer so (again) we used Adam’s Helles lager home brew. It imparted the meat with a delicate sweetness and complimented the orange flavors really well. Because the soy sauce gives depth of flavor, I think using a dark beer would be overpowering in this recipe and the orange would be lost. If you don’t have a resident home brewer, some great Munich Helles lagers you can use include: Hofbrau Original, Weihenstephaner Original, New Glarus Yokel and Surly Hell.

Don’t worry – the beer does not get lost with all the flavors here! It is a prominent feature, even after grilling. And it is really wonderful. Not only is this super flavorful but the marinade works to break down the tough fibers of the flank steak. The result is a soft, buttery, easily sliceable and versatile steak. 

The original recipe calls for 2 ¼ pounds of skirt steak but that’s a lot for just two people and at $11.99 per pound was way too heavy on my wallet. Instead, I got 1.30 pounds of flank steak at $8.99 per pound. I prefer this cut over skirt steak anyway. It’s thicker and I like my steaks medium rare. It’s easier to control how it’s cooked. I did not change any of the amounts for the marinade, and it worked perfectly fine. I’d definitely try this marinade on chicken too!

What can you serve with this? Anything you want! The marinade doesn’t necessarily fit into any one flavor profile so you could do whatever you wanted with it. Flank steak is great for tacos. Or throw it on a salad of mixed greens and tomatoes. To make lettuce wraps, just add a little hoisin sauce and top with pickled daikon and carrots.

Beer Marinated Flank Steak
1 orange, thinly sliced
½ large white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
½ cup soy sauce
1 cup lager style beer
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Thinly sliced green onions for garnish after grilling

If using flank steak, lightly score the meat against the grain on both slides with a sharp knife.

Prepare a shallow glass or ceramic dish large enough to hold the meat and all marinade ingredients. Scatter half the orange, garlic and onion slices on the bottom of the dish.

Salt and pepper the meat well on both sides. Place on the bed of oranges and onions. Cover meat with remaining slices of onion, orange and garlic.

Combine beer and soy sauce together. Pour evenly over meat, etc.

Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for at 1 hour at room temperature, or up to overnight in the fridge. I marinated this for 8 hours in the fridge.

After marinating, remove meat from marinade and pat dry. Discard marinade and all components. Brush 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil on the steak before grilling.

Preheat grill to medium-high and grill to desired doneness (approx. 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare). Let steak rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice thinly against the grain. Sprinkle with thinly sliced green onions before serving.