Beer-Marinated Flank Steak with Aji

IMG_0943For those who know me, you know I am a seasonal cook – and summer is certainly time for grilling. There is nothing like smelling meat on the grill (sorry, vegetarians!) and relaxing outside with a cold cocktail. As summer continues, you will surely see more and more grilling recipes from me.

I made this one last Saturday and it couldn’t be easier. It originates from Columbia and takes a basic flank steak and gives it a South American twist.

You do need some marinade time, so do this one when you have some time 4-5 hours before like on a weekend (or even the day before). The time to the make marinade is mere minutes, then it is ready to go. The sauce can be made in advance as well.

I will warn you – the aji will sneak up on you! I cut the jalapeno portion in half (and I LOVE spice) because it seemed like a lot, and it was! Even with two jalapenos, the sauce had a kick. I suggest adding one then tasting it to see if it needs more heat.

Thanks to my favorite, Bon Appetit, for this one!IMG_0941

BEER MARINATED FLANK STEAK WITH AJI

(6 servings)

2 1.3-pound flank steaks
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced green onions
1 12-ounce bottle dark beer
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
Side of Aji Sauce (recipe below)

Using a sharp knife, lightly score flank steaks about 1/8 inch deep on both sides in a crosscross patter at 1/2-inch intervals. Place steaks in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle steaks on both sides with oregano and cumin and generous amount of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle olive oil over both sides of steaks, rubbing oil and spices into meat. Add green onions, beer and Worcestershire sauce, turning steaks several times to coat both sides. Cover and chill at least 3 hours, turning occasionally. Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush grill rack lightly with oil. Grill steaks to desired doneness, 2-3 minutes total per side for medium rare, turning steaks 1/4 turn about 1.5 minutes to form crisscross grill marks, if desired. Transfer steaks to cutting board; let rest 5 minutes. Thinly slice steaks across the grain. Transfer to platter and serve with Aji Sauce.

AJI SAUCE (3/4 cup)
One coarsely chopped seeded jalapeno (recipe calls for 2, but I would start with one and see if the heat is enough for you)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped green onions
1/3 cup coarsely chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons (or more) red wine vinegar or fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine jalapenos, green onions, sweet onion and cilantro in processor, puree until paste forms, scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula several times. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar/lime juice and process until mixture is blended but some texture still remains. Transfer to small bowl. Stir in 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and more vinegar to taste. Can be made 1 day ahead.

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