flank steak with poblano molé and seasoned rice

9:05:00 PM




Do you ever have some kind of recipe saved, thinking “I’m totally going to make that sometime soon” and then several years - not days, weeks, or months, but actually years - later, it’s still sitting in your recipe file and every single time you look at it you say “I’m going to make that this week!” and then you look at the long list of ingredients and think about the effort you’d expend and how much easier it would be to just make grilled cheese?

This one followed me around a while, starting with a ripped out page from a magazine, then placed into a binder, and then when I finally went electronic for recipe storage, it lasted through three different recipe storage apps before I finally cooked the damn thing. 

This is a delicious, medium-rare cooked flank steak, sliced thinly and served with a delicious chocolatey molé sauce. The sauce is not beautiful, but it’s tasty. It's served with a nice side of seasoned rice, and I threw in some brussels sprouts because I’m me and we’ve talked about that obsession before. (Also, it’s fall, and they’re everywhere right now, and they are perfect.) 

The original recipe called for bison flank steak. There’s some frozen in my grocery store, and some at the farmer’s market, but it was expensive and I found a good quality beef flank steak at the butcher shop, so I used that. 

I didn’t include any directions for brussels sprouts because they’re basic - these ones, I shredded in the food processor with my slicing blade, and then sautéed them in a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and I think I may have splashed some white wine in there as well. 

The sauce calls for both sliced almonds and pumpkin seeds, both toasted. You can chop almonds if you don’t have sliced ones. They’re all going in the same blender. To toast them, I placed them in a hot, dry skillet until they were starting to get golden. I made a few more toasted pumpkin seeds to garnish. 



flank steak with poblano molé and seasoned rice
adapted (barely) from Cooking Light

for the rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice (I used brown basmati; white works better, but brown is fine)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup broth (vegetable, beef, or chicken) 
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (optional, I omitted)

for the molé sauce
2 tomatillos (I used 3 as mine were small) 
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 seeded, chopped poblano chile
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder or chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup fire-roasted diced tomatoes, canned (you can make do with regular diced tomatoes)
1/4 cup broth (vegetable, beef, or chicken)
1 chopped chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
1/2 (6-inch) corn tortilla, torn into pieces
½ ounce dark chocolate, chopped (I used unsweetened)
1 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted and finely chopped
1 tablespoon pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted

for the steak
cooking spray
1 lb flank steak
salt and pepper to taste

Make the rice: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the cup onion to pan; cook 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in rice; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomato paste, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender (or cook for as long as your rice instructions indicate; since I used brown basmati, this took about 40 minutes.) Remove from heat; stir in cilantro if using. Keep warm.

To make the sauce: Peel and chop the tomatillos. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add poblano, 1/4 cup onion, and tomatillos; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in chile powder, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, salt, and garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, 1/4 cup broth, chipotle, and tortilla; cook 5 minutes. Reduce heat; simmer 6 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add chocolate, stirring until melted; remove from heat. Stir in ­almonds and pumpkinseeds. Place mixture in blender. Remove center piece of blender lid; secure lid on blender. Place a towel over opening in lid. Blend until smooth. Taste sauce and season as needed. Keep warm.

For the steak: Heat a pan (cast iron REALLY works best here to get the best crust on the steak) over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Season steak well with salt and pepper. Add steak to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. I used a meat thermometer and cooked it to 135 degrees  for medium-rare - the meat will continue cooking slightly once removed from the pan. Loosely tent with foil and let stand 5 minutes. 

Using a sharp knife, cut the steak into very thin slices against the grain.

Serve steak with the rice and mole sauce. Great served with a salad or a sautéed or roasted vegetable. 

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