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Korean-Style Flat Iron Steak (Gochujang Chili) with Cilantro-Lime Chimichurri

Zesty Korean chili marinated beef meets cilantro & lime chimichurri for guaranteed goodness in every single bite. Oooh man, this. is. soooo. YUMMY!

Here’s a little bit of history for you if you’re into bits of random information. The flat iron steak was “discovered” in 2001…yep, it’s that new. That’s odd, really, because it’s such a tender cut of beef, but it didn’t become popular until beef farmers tried finding new cuts in order to minimize waste. I can’t tell you who discovered it, but I sure am glad they did because the flat iron steak is a showstopper for this recipe!

Let’s chat for a minute about Gochujang, too, the fermented soybean paste that so many are falling in love with. Don’t let the word “fermented” scare you off; cheese, yogurt and sourdough bread fall in that category, too, so stick with me and you’ll learn why it should be a staple in your refrigerator.

Gochujang is made from red chili peppers, sticky rice, fermented soy beans and salt. It’s sweet and spicy, thick and deep red in color, and eaten by the spoon-full instead of the cup (that heat will get you quick!). When it’s mixed with honey, soy sauce, sesame oil and a couple of other spices, it’s divine! The sweetness of the honey tames the heat of the chili paste, and it’s incredible on ribs, beef, chicken and so much more.

For this recipe, I used the paste sparingly with some of the items I mentioned above, and then I made a traditional chimichurri sauce to go on top of the beef, and the result is incredible. I believe this will become one of your favorite new steak recipes!

Marinade ingredients & directions:

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Gochujang (Korean chili paste)

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger

  • 3 green onion, white part only, minced

Start with 1.5-2 pounds of flat iron steak. The meat needs to have uniform thickness, so if necessary, use a meat tenderizer to slightly flatten any portion of the meat that is thicker than the other, careful not to tenderize too much as you will want the beef to be between 1-1/2 inches thick.

Then, mix all marinade ingredients and pour over meat. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours, minimum (overnight is best). Adding 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to marinade during the last 15 minutes will help create an even more tender piece of meat.

You can also make the Chimichurri sauce ahead of time, too! I used to be an A-1 sauce type of girl. Yes, I know, asking for steak sauce when you’re at a fancy restaurant serving top-notch steaks is a no-no, but what can I say? I love my condiments. But, when I discovered how easy it is to make chimichurri and tasted it for the first time, I never looked back! Traditional chimichurri is made primarily with parsley, but I started making mine with cilantro and lime juice, too, and the flavor is out of this world good!

Chimichurri Ingredients & directions:

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, packed

Toss parsley and cilantro in a food processor and chop, chop, chop. You want the leaves to be very fine for the sauce, so after giving them a go in the food processor for a few seconds, scrape down the sides with a spoon and chop for a few seconds more, and then scoop out into a small mixing bowl.

Then add:

  • 3/4 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 3/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon Korean chili paste (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Pinch red pepper flakes

Stir it all up, and that’s it!

Time to cook the steak:

This process is simple, too. You just want to be sure you bring your meat to room temperature before starting, and be sure to have a super hot cast iron skillet and oven mitts because we’re about to turn up the heat.

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place skillet in oven while it is preheating. When preheat is finished, carefully remove pan from oven and place on stove top over medium-high heat.

  • Remove meat from marinade and let excess liquid drip off meat before placing in cast iron. Liquid will splatter a little. Place meat in skillet and let it sit still. Remember the phrase “set it and forget it?” That’s exactly what you want to do here, for two minutes (for medium-rare), not moving the meat so it gets a nice sear on it. Then flip and do the same on the other side.

  • After each side has a nice sear on it, place skillet in preheated oven and bake according to your preference:

Rare: 3 minutes
Medium-Rare: 5 minutes
Medium: 7 minutes
  • This last step is very important. You have to let your meat rest. Resting your meat allows all the flavorful juices to be reabsorbed and makes for the absolute best tasting steak this side of Heaven!


The Galloways

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