Chili-Crusted Flank Steak With Mango Salsa 4.000

James M. Thresher for The Washington Post

Nourish Apr 28, 2010

This dish is spicy and cool at the same time.

Unlike a lot of lean cuts of beef, flank steak is a flavorful one that can stand up to seasoning. Here, I lay it on with a rub of chili powder and cumin spiked with a small dose of smoked chili powder. I like to use ground chipotle powder, but smoked Spanish paprika or any other chili powder made from smoked, dried chili peppers would be fine.

Champagne mangoes are particularly good to use here, because they are on the small side and have sweet, smooth flesh. But any ripe mango will do.

Make Ahead: The spice-rubbed steak should be refrigerated for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours before grilling. The mango salsa can be covered and refrigerated up to 12 hours in advance.

Servings: 4 - 6
  • For the steak
  • 2 teaspoons mild chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle powder or smoked Spanish paprika (optional; see headnote)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • For the salsa
  • Flesh of 4 or 5 small, ripe mangoes, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups; see headnote)
  • 3 or 4 scallions, white and light-green parts, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime (about 1 teaspoon zest and 2 or 3 teaspoons juice)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons honey, or more as needed
  • Leaves from 3 or 4 stems cilantro, finely chopped (2 tablespoons)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, or more as needed


For the steak: Combine the chili powder, cumin, chipotle powder, if using, and salt in a small bowl.

Lay the flank steak out on a large piece of aluminum foil covered with plastic wrap. Rub both sides of the steak with the spice mixture, making sure to evenly distribute the spices, then rub with the oil. Wrap the steak in the plastic wrap and then the aluminum foil. Refrigerate for 2 to 12 hours.

For the salsa: Combine the mango, scallions, the zest and juice of the lime, the vinegar, honey, cilantro and salt; mix well. Taste, and adjust the seasoning and/or honey as needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours (and up to 12 hours) until ready to serve.

Prepare the grill for direct heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 4 or 5 seconds. Lightly coat a grill rack with oil and place it on the grill.

Place the spice-rubbed flank steak on the grill; cover and cook for 6 minutes. Uncover, and turn over the steak to finish cooking to your desired degree of doneness. The total cooking time for medium-rare will be 10 minutes for a 1-inch steak and up to 15 minutes for a thicker one.

Transfer the steak to a platter and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting against the grain into thin slices.

Serve portions of the steak with the salsa spooned on top.

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Recipe Source

From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

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