Venison Flank Steak has always been a cut of meat for which I could never find a recipe that I actually enjoyed. The texture was always tough, or stringy, or I didn’t like the mouth feel. Well, with this recipe I found my “Flank Steak Goldilocks.” Juuuust right.
I love finding ways to use parts of the animal that would otherwise be considered either “a throw away item,” or “of poor quality.” Working with these “lesser cuts” is how many great dishes have come about. Osso Bucco; BBQ Ribs; delicious Brisket… the list goes on. Some of these cuts are now pretty expensive and are considered culinary delights, but they used to be considered among the lowest quality items in the butcher’s meat pile.
I like this recipe, because most of the work is on the front end, and it is a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. All you have to do toward the end is get a good sear on the meat, and veggies, and you’re good to go.
After I successfully cooked Deer Ribs Recipe – BBQ Venison Ribs by first boiling them in crab boil until tender, I thought “Maybe I can use the same technique for venison flank steak.” With beef flank steak, you just have to cook the meat over a hot fire very briefly, and it turns out great, but not so with venison. If you do that with venison, it still has all of that gristle that I can’t stand. So I tried the boil first method.
It’s very simple:
- You first boil the flank steak in crab boil, and some seasoning to tenderize the meat, and soften up any connective tissue in the meat,
- Then you coat the meat in a marinade to add flavor and aid in the browning process, and
- Sear the meat and veggies, slice across the grain and serve with your favorite fajita fixins.
1. After you clean the flank steak of as much deer fat or connective tissue (silver skin, etc.) as you can, you place it in the crab boil mixture mentioned blow, and boil from 1 to 1.5 hours. This depends on the age, gender, and toughness of the deer. Just test a piece, and if it isn’t the way you like it, then put it back and boil for longer. This was a rutting 10 point and it turned out tender, and delicious, so don’t be scared to try this method with whatever you’ve got.
Ingredients for the Boil:
- 4 oz Liquid Crab Boil (if you can’t find liquid, you can use powdered, just eyeball it);
- 10-12 cups water (or enough to cover the meat)
- 3 tbs Minced Garlic
- 5 tbs Salt
- 3 tbs Black Pepper Corns (or fresh ground black pepper)
- 1 cup Rough Chopped Onion
- 3 tbs Chilly Powder
- 3 tbs Cumin
- 3 Bay Leaves
While it is boiling you can prep your veggies, and marinade (or have one of those drinks with an umbrella in it). You can use the traditional chopped bell pepper and onions, or you can use whatever you like. Some of my kids don’t care for bell pepper, so I opted for sliced zucchini, yellow crook necked squash, fresh mushroom, and diced onions. Whatever tickles your alligator, man.
Ingredients for the Fajitas:
- 1-1.5 lbs Venison Flank Steak;
- 1 Zucchini sliced length ways
- 1 Yellow Crooked Necked Squash sliced length ways
- 8 oz of you favorite sliced Fresh Mushrooms
- Flour Tortillas
- Sour Cream
- Grated Cheese
- Whatever you want to serve on these badboys..go nuts, you only live once (break out the Guacamole, lime juice, pico de gallo, cilantro, etc like it’s 1999).
Second… The Marinade!
2. Once the meat comes out of the boil, and is checked for tenderness, it needs to be placed into an air tight container to prevent the meat from drying out. It will look grey and very unappealing, but don’t worry, it’ll be looking like Cinco de Mayo throat punched it before we are done.
I actually refrigerated mine over night, and cooked it the next day, and it turned out great. Next you will make the marinade and coat the meat, and veggies in the marinade.
Ingredients for the Marinade:
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- 4 tablespoons Worchishire Sauce
- 1 tablespoon of Dale’s Steak Seasoning if you have it (this can be substituted for soy sauce, but the Dale’s is better)
- 2 tablespoons Vinegar (white or apple cider)
- 1 tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 1 tablespoon Cumin
- 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cajun or Creole Seasoning (or substitute salt if you don’t have any). However, a fairy dies every time you run out of Cajun seasoning, so don’t let this happen…think of the fairies.
- 1 tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar (or substitute regular white sugar)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Third… The Sear!
3. Next you get a black iron skillet hot, and put a little oil for frying. Once hot enough, place the steaks in the skillet providing enough space between the pieces to allow them to blacken. Brown it until like it owes you money. All you are doing is getting a blackened crust, you are not cooking these (they’ve been boiled already, remember?). If it wasn’t 17°F outside, I would have done this on a charcoal grill. I don’t care how much I want a good grilled char on the meat, 17°F makes the black iron skillet look pretty darn good to this coonass.
After you’ve blackened your meat, then place them somewhere covered so they won’t dry out. Throw in your veggies…all the kids in the pool.
A little high heat, and they will blacken not steam (I had to remove some and do 2 batches after this pic, b/c they were steaming instead of blackening).
Then you simply slice the meat, and BUILD YOUR PERFECT FAJITA!!!
So trying this 🙂
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Lemme know what you think. I’d love to try it with elk too, but they don’t grow down here.