HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Flank steak-- what to serve with?

Barbecue flank steak with a soy-honey-red wine-garlic-thyme marinade (so nothing too piquant). What should I serve it with? My reflex is mashed potatoes but that sounds SOOO boring. (This is for mom on mother's day) Many thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What about an orzo side dish?

    * Exported from MasterCook *

    Confetti Vegetable Orzo

    Recipe By :Linda
    Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories : Side Dish

    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    2 cups orzo -- cooked according
    to package directions
    1 Tbsp butter
    1/2 cup carrots -- sliced in 1/4" thick
    1 slices and then each slice quartered
    1/2 cup frozen corn kernels -- thawed
    1/2 cup frozen peas -- thawed
    1/2 tsp dried thyme
    salt and freshly ground black pepper -- to taste

    Cook orzo according to package directions, leaving slightly on the creamier side.

    Meanwhile, heat butter over medium heat in a nonstick sauté pan. Add carrots to pan and cook in butter for about 4-5 minutes, or under carrots are just barely tender. Add corn, peas, and dried thyme, and continue cooking for a couple of minutes until corn and peas are done.

    Combine vegetables with orzo, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    1. When I was a kid, my favorite dinner was flank steak, rice pilaf (some peas, baked in the oven) and fresh corn on the cob. Rice pilaf is still a fav (as is corn), simple and elegant.

      Since its home cooking:

      The basic technique (I hope I'm not insulting anyone here, just trying to be thorough) - saute any combination of onion, shallots and garlic for a few minutes in some oil (butter isn't a good choice for this), add the rice and stir/saute for a bit until it is all coated and starts to smell nutty, then add a bit of wine (if you do wine in food) and stir it through. Add some peas (fresh is great, frozen works), I like the little ones, salt, pepper and, to pick up the flavor from the steak, some thyme. Add stock or water or broth in the correct proportion to your rice (not quite 2 to 1), stir, cover and put in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ccbweb

        If you think mashed potato`s are boring, how about a baked potato, or like he said
        rice pilaf. with a green salad, fresh salad dressing, peach cobbler/ice cream, iced

      2. It's pretty basic, but what about roasted potatoes? You could use fingerlings or red new potatoes with rosemary, salt and pepper and olive oil? You could also include sliced onions and once done, the potatoes and the onions will be caramelized and fragrant.

        Or grilled sweet potato "fries" is always a favorite!

        1. One more idea...what about individual ramekins of macaroni and cheese (you could even jazz it up with black truffle or green chilis)? Or individual potato gratins?

          Both of those can look sloppy on a plate when done casserole style, but in individual dishes look elegant.

          1. I would do a stuffed potato. Scrub large baking potatoes and bake (without foil) until done, about one to one and a quarter hours. While potatoes are baking, put into a large mixing bowl: sour cream, butter, shredded cheddar cheese, finely chopped sweet onion, and bacon bits, salt and coarse ground black pepper. Amounts to taste, depending on how many potatoes.

            After they are baked, holding in one hand in a clean towel, slice in half and scoop most of the potato directly into bowl of condiments. Try to not pierce the skin. Set scooped out skins on a baking sheet. Mash ingredients together until blended well, then spoon carefully back into skins, It will be mounded higher than a half potato. Bake again until set and heated through.. Sprinkle some more grated cheese on top just before removing from oven. Dee-lish

            2 Replies
            1. re: steakman55

              That sounds delicious and easy! Great idea!

              1. re: steakman55

                Mmmm, just how my grandma would make them! thanks for the memories, I'll have to make these soon. I've also read that for easy, fast flavor you can add Boursin packaged cheese for cheesy, herby flavor with good texture. Cheers, and thanks again!

              2. My mother used to serve a pilaf-type rice dish which I still make almost every time I do flank steak.

                It's just rice cooked separately in water with salt as usual.

                While it's cooking, she chopped up some bacon (I mostly use turkey bacon which is almost as good) and sliced some mushrooms and sauteed both with some garlic. She added the rice to the bacon/mushroom pan, added about 4 chopped scallions, and mixed it all in. At the end she sprinkled some of the green parts of the scallions over the top. It's really great. I don't know the proportions, but usuall use about 4 strips of bacon and a bunch of mushrooms. I've also added some sliced, soaked porcini at times.

                1. How about something easy like Hobo Potatoes? Here's a link to one version we enjoy...Google for more.


                  1. I vote for risotto. I'm on a huge risotto kick these days.

                    1. I'd do a baked potato casserole, something I concocted one Thanksgiving years ago.
                      Do layers of sliced potatoes with layers of cheese and sour cream, with green onions and bacon scattered throughout. Can't say as I remember about temp and cooking times, but I would do it it at high heat first to get a nice cheesy crust on top and then back it down and let the potatoes bake.

                      1 Reply
                      1. I also like to serve couscous with flank steak.

                        1. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/38072...

                          see above link for my roasted cauliflower suggestion....in fact I'm making it tonight again..even those who hate caulflower will love it...it's so much easier than potatoes, but really kinda tastes like lemon garlic potatoes, but in veggie form.....think it would go well with the steak.....also, like the idea of orzo..would make something simple with scallions, fresh mint, and feta, black pepper, and olive oil, and lemon---and calamata olives chopped....easy and wonderful as side dish.......

                          1. I agree with LindaWhit's suggestion - except, I've been really into grilling up veggies, like zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, sweet onions, etc. - after they are all grilled and somewhat caramelized, I chop them up and throw them into orzo - with a tad of olive oil and some fresh grated parm. Yum. Really ridiculously simple - and you can pre-grill all of the veggies if needed. Just an idea -

                            1. Not sure where you are located but in CT the season has finally changed and jfood is changing the food from the winter to the summer. Lots more shrimp and lighter sparlier meals. So when jfood saw the flank steak, wanted to think of a non-comfort type side.

                              So jfood would recommend a couscous with a perky feel. Add some ginger, some scallion and maybe a little wasabi to give it a kick. A little soy and sesame oil. Top the plating with sesame seeds.

                              Then jfood would add some grilled asparagus on top.

                              1. My vote since you have a honey soy marinade would be pansit, or a rice stick mein.
                                Oh I just noticed the thyme, in that case a light pasta such as a couscous, or orzo with grilled veggies would be nice. Or an onion and potato tart.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                  okay, i believe you are a bonafide chef because i've never heard of pansit or rice stick mein. :)

                                2. Just last night, I grilled the first of many flank steaks this summer. We had it with homemade tabbouli, homemade babaganoosh (with eggplants I'd cooked on the grill prior to the steak going on) and Afghani bread (not homemade, from Montreal) that I warmed over the coals just after I pulled the steak. Very light and refreshing, not at all the usual heavy steak dinner.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                    I marinated and grilled flank steak last weekend and served it cold sesame noodles made with tahini, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and crushed red pepper. To balance the heat, I made a salad with sliced cucumbers and sweet onions, champagne vinegar and sugar. It was a delicious start of the spring season.

                                    1. re: greenstate

                                      Oh, I like that---but I would some sesame seeds and chopped scallions to the noodles---and I love cucumber salads (the persian cucumbers) with chopped roman tomatoes and fresh mint and feta or some goat cheese..so simple and great...

                                  2. I just made a Rachel Ray dinner last night that was flank steak marinated with ginger/soy/lime, etc., wasabi mashed potatoes and stir fried green beans and peppers. It was really good (needed to add more wasabi than what she said) and not that difficult. Definetly different from the usual way I make it (soy, ginger, garlic, scallions)


                                    1. potato/cheddar gratin, and green beans -- either sauteed w/ onions or green bean salad w/ shallot vinaigrette & grape tomatoes.

                                      1. What about a nice potato roesti? Melt 1 stick of butter (!) in a nonstick skillet. Shred 3-4 medium-large Yukon gold potatoes with the grating disc of a food processor. Squeeze as much liquid as you can out of shredded potatoes. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and transfer them to the skillet over medium-high heat. Press on the potatoes with a large spatula to make a large "cake." After 8 or so minutes, place a large plate over the skillet, invert the skillet so that the roesti falls onto the plate, then slide it back into the skillet. Continue to press with the spatula--the hot butter will ooze up through the potatoes and cook them nicely. When the other side has browned sufficiently, flip it onto the plate again. Sour cream wouldn't be at all out of line, not on Mother's Day!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Tom Steele

                                          that's like my mother used to make! She'd use a vegetable peeler and peel right into the pan. I think there were onions involved too. The best part were the brown crunchy outsides!

                                          1. re: NYchowcook

                                            Some recipes call for onions, some cook the potatoes before grating them, but this really works best for me. Of course, it's little more than an excellent excuse for eating an entire stick of butter, but hey, it's not like I make it all the time!

                                        2. If you like mushrooms, a nice side would be pan roasted button tops with roasted zucchini.

                                          We often serve flank steak in a warm green salad.

                                          1. Thanks guys for all your yummy suggestions. I think I'm going to go couscous for the sake of simplicity.

                                            And I have another big question for you all-- I sent my brother on a mission to get flank steak and he came back with tri tip. Apparently the butcher at Bristol Farms told him flank steak was bad on the barbecue. wtf?!?!? Anyways, I pounded it with a tenderizer to try and flatten it a bit... is tritip going to be the same/worse/better than flank? Will it need to be sliced differently?

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: amandine

                                              Amandine, if you marinate the tri-tip for awhile and MAKE SURE you don't overcook, you should be fine. You also didn't need to pound it flat IMO.


                                              1. re: amandine

                                                Your brother needs to NEVER go to that butcher again, because that butcher either has no idea what he's talking about, or he was deliberately lying to your brother to upsell him to a more expensive cut. Either way, extremely shady.

                                                Flank is one of the best grilling cuts there is.

                                                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                  That's exactly what I thought. And the grill was fired up yesterday... maybe this is all in my head but i remember liking the flank steak more (same marinade). The flavor of the meat itself seemed to overpower the marinade in the tri tip... it was like I was eating slices of Tbone. My brother liked it though... so next time I'll do ALL the shopping. :)

                                              2. A little late for a reply but I just wanted to add that as long as you're grilling the steak, why not grill some nice veggies too? Onions, asparagus, zucchini, tomato, eggplant... all good. Or something different. Pinapple slices dipped in butter and grilled. Sliced ripe bananas.

                                                Also, sometimes when I'm serving something hot - a cold component goes nicely along side. It's a bit of a surprise and offers you the best of both worlds.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: bryan

                                                  We did! I dressed up some big portabello mushroom caps with garlic olive oil and balsamic and salt... bbqued those and they were great. We also did the pineapple (no need for butter!!) and my family liked it... but I think I like my fruit cold. With vanilla ice cream maybe it would have been good but then I'd still rather enjoy the fruit itself. N.B dessert was fresh sweetened whipped cream with almond extract and STRAWBERRIES!