Zesty Cuban Style Grilled Flank Steak

Try this Cuban Style Grilled Flank Steak with a zesty marinade that tenderizes and creates a magical Caribbean flavor. Perfect for grilling all year.

December 7, 2022

Cuban style grilled flank steak on a platter with chimichurri sauce

Mojo Meal

My oldest daughter inspires this zesty citrus-based recipe for a Cuban Style Grilled Flank Steak. We call it a MOJO meal because of its magical charm in our family history. A flank steak was the first “adult” meat she ever ate as a young child. She devoured flank steak and lovingly mispronounced it as “flying steak.”  Back then, I marinated the steak in soy sauce and still use that nickname and the easy marinade.

Grilled flank steak marinade ingredients on a cutting board

Cuban Style Grilled Flank Steak

Fast forward a bit when she is in her twenties. On a New York City trip to visit her in “The City,” we ate at an excellent Cuban restaurant near her East Village apartment. This location is where I had my first experience with Cuban food, namely mojitos and Steak with Chimichurri Sauce. All the music, atmosphere, and spicy food were unforgettable. A few years later, she went on a first date to this restaurant with a man who later asked for her hand in marriage. They even served mojitos at their wedding reception in the Caribbean. In other words, the mojo or magic continues with this Cuban fare.

Cuban Mojo Sauce – Citrus Marinade

We can’t get the recipe from the restaurant because it closed after Hurricane Sandy. We created a marinade that flavors and tenderizes the flank steak using the juice of limes, oranges, and the zest of both. It’s a zesty marinade that also gets used as a sauce to pour over the meat and creates a magical flavor that brings mojo to everyone. 

Caribbean-Inspired Side Dishes

Try a Cuban-inspired feast; it will be a big hit. There are so many sides that complement the meat, making it hard to decide. Still, my favorite combination is the Orange Fennel Salad and baked sweet potatoes with a bit of chimichurri sauce or spicy roasted sweet potato fries. This recipe also pairs well with mojitos and key lime pie.

Grilling Indoors? Use a Cast-Iron Skillet or Grill Pan.

For great results in the winter, rainy days, or when you’ve discovered too late, for instance, that the propane is running on fumes, you can use a cast-iron skillet or grill pan. See the recipe below.

Cuban style grilled flank steak on a plate

What to do with Leftover Flank Steak?

Leftover flank steak is delicious cold the next day

  • Cut into cubes and add to a salad with blue cheese dressing
  • Make an open-faced sandwich with flatbread. Spread bread with goat cheese and some fruit jam or hot pepper jam. Layer 3 pieces of meat and top with arugula or other green.

Charm your family and friends with this recipe for grilled flank steak. It is a delicious meal that will make a memorable feast for your family.

For further reading and resources:

Learn about Cuban cuisine and food history with this article from Spruce Eats.

Recipe Steps

Marinating flank steak in a Stasher Bag.
3

Marinate flank steak in a silicone Stacher Bag or zip- lock bag.

Digital thermometer reaches 135 degrees or medium on Cuban style flank steak
2

Cook on outdoor grill until internal temperature reads 135º - 140º with a meat thermometer.

Grilled flank steak sliced on cutting board
1

Thinly slice flank steak on an angle that is opposite to the meat grain.

Print
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Cuban style grilled flank steak on a platter with chimichurri sauce

Zesty Cuban Style Grilled Flank Steak


Description

Try this Cuban Style Grilled Flank Steak with a zesty marinade that tenderizes and creates a magical Caribbean flavor. Perfect for grilling all year.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Meat

  • 2 lb flank steak or skirt steak; weight is approximate – 1 flank steak may weigh 1.5 – 2.5 pounds

Marinade

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce* or coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari – see note for the Paleo diet and gluten-free diet
  • 1 lime, zested, and reserve for sauce below
  • 2 limes, juiced (use zested lime and one other)
  • 1 orange zested and reserve for sauce below
  • 1 orange, juiced (use zested orange)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For grilling 

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil for grilling

For sauce 

  • Leftover marinade
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Lime zest
  • Orange zest

Instructions

  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a zip lock bag or Stacher Bag. Place steaks in the marinade bag and swirl to coat both sides with marinade.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 1 – 24 hours, flipping steaks halfway through refrigerating.
  3. Preheat grill to 400º.
  4. Remove the steak from the marinade and transfer the marinade to a small saucepan.
  5. Pat steaks dry with paper towels and rub with olive oil on both sides to keep from sticking to grill grates.
  6. Cook steaks on a  preheated grill for 5 minutes per side or until well browned and the meat’s internal temperature registers 130 to 135 degrees (for medium). Try not to cook beyond 145 degrees F.
  7. Transfer steaks to cutting board, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Bring marinade to boil over high heat and boil for 30 seconds. Transfer to a serving bowl or gravy boat and stir in lime zest, orange zest, and 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.
  9. After the steaks have rested for 10 minutes, cut steaks on bias against the grain into ½-inch-thick slices.
  10. Arrange slices on a serving platter, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of sauce, and serve, passing extra sauce separately.

Grilling indoors? Use a cast-iron skillet or grill pan for excellent results in the winter, on rainy days, or when you’ve discovered too late that the propane is running on fumes.

  1. Preheat a cast-iron skillet or grill pan on the stovetop to medium-high heat.
  2. Sear steak in the pan for approximately 4 minutes.
  3. Flip the steak to the other side. Cook for 3-4 minutes and remove. The temperature should read 130 -135 degrees for medium.
  4. Let steak stand for 5 – 10 minutes before slicing thinly.
  5. Serve and enjoy with the boiled citrus marinade – step 8 above.

 

Notes

  • Replace soy sauce with coconut aminos for a Paleo diet, and use gluten-free Tamari Sauce or coconut aminos for Gluten-Free Diet

Serve with Chimichurri Sauce,  mojitos, and Blood Orange Fennel Salad. 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Marinade: 60
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: Cuban

Keywords: skirt steak, Valentine’s Day Dinner

Let me know your thoughts on this post!

3 responses to “Zesty Cuban Style Grilled Flank Steak”

  1. Grill meat to desired doneness, approximately 4-5 minutes per side for rare to medium rare or 6 minutes for medium. I wouldn t cook flank steak more than medium or it will be tough.

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