Brown Sugar-Chili Flank Steak 3.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Aug 11, 2015

Crisped bits and chewy ends are why grilled flank steak remains popular. The cut pairs perfectly with this coarse rub of garlic, onion, brown sugar and three incarnations of pepper, inspired by Lynne Rosetto Kasper’s cowgirl days in Colorado.

You’ll need an instant-read thermometer.

Make Ahead: The meat needs to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

3 - 4

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 3-4 servings

  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 generous tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sweet paprika (Hungarian or Spanish)
  • 1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2-to-2-pound flank steak
  • Coarse salt


Combine the brown sugar, black pepper, garlic, sweet paprika, onion, soy sauce, oil and crushed red pepper flakes in a food processor; puree to a coarse paste. Transfer to a zip-top bag large enough to hold the steak.

Add the steak to the bag and thoroughly massage the marinade into all sides and nooks and crannies of the meat. Refrigerate overnight. You will cook the steak cold.

Prepare the grill for indirect heat: If using a gas grill, preheat to high (450 degrees) with the lid closed. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them on one side of the cooking area. For a hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 3 to 4 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames. Brush the grill grate.

Place the steak on the direct-heat side of the grill; cook uncovered for about 2 minutes per side or just until the steak has a nice crust. Use tongs to move the steak to the indirect-heat side of the grill; turn it over and cook uncovered until the interior of the meat registers 130 degrees (medium-rare) on an instant-read thermometer. (Turn the meat over as many times as needed to ensure even browning.)

Transfer the meat to a cutting board to rest; immediately season well with salt on both sides and let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting it on the diagonal into thin slices (against the grain). Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from the Splendid Table’s “How to Eat Weekends: New Recipes, Stories & Opinions from Public Radio’s Award-Winning Food Show,” by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift (Clarkson Potter, 2011).

Tested by Andy Sikkenga.

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