Several years ago, when I had a lot less confidence in the kitchen, my husband and I invited a friend over for Shabbat dinner, as we often do. Knowing that I don’t keep a kosher kitchen, and that this friend kept kosher, I wanted him to feel comfortable welcoming the sabbath at my dinner table. I had a storage cabinet full of appliances that were gifted to us for our wedding that we hadn’t yet used, and in it, I found an electric grill. My husband and I agreed that we would only cook kosher meats on the grill, thus giving us an option for entertaining our friends who keep kosher.
(*note, we have since kashered our rotisserie, and invested in separate place settings and serveware designated for our kosher friends.)
I imagined that with his winning personality and friendly nature, Howard, our guest of honor, must get invited to countless shabbat tables, and must be sick of the traditional roasted chicken fare. So, I set out to find something different for our dinner menu. Luckily, I live near one of the most densely populated areas of kosher markets, and had the opportunity to shop around for the basics I was looking for. I knew I didn’t want to make chicken, and I also knew that it had to be something that worked on the grill. When I arrived at the busy meat market, and explained to the kosher butcher that I was thinking flank steak for shabbat dinner, he gave me a good chuckle as he packaged up my cut. “What?,” I said. “There’s no rule about eating chicken on Shabbat. I want to change it up a bit.”
Despite the giggles and smirks I received at the kosher market, I was determined to make a killer flank steak. Fortunately for me, my Midwestern meat-and-potatoes husband reminded me that his mom is famous for her steak marinades. On her flank steaks, she uses a marinade consisting of soy sauce and Italian dressing, two ingredients that don’t necessarily scream cohesiveness, but surprisingly bring out the best elements in each other.
That night, when we broke bread with our soon-to-be Rabbi friend, Howard, we were treated to a flavorful, juicy, cooked-just-right piece of steak, and we opened up the doors to opportunity for trying new and exciting dishes for Shabbat.
I’ve since taken my mother-in-law’s original recipe, and “Cuba-fied” it by adding garlic. I also splash in a bit of Worcestershire sauce, because I like the taste, and think it adds a certain depth of flavor. Depending on what I’m service alongside and whether or not I have some squirreled away in the fridge, I’ll add sliced green onions to the marinade. Ultimately, the base is always the same (soy sauce and Italian dressing), but can easily be enhanced with a plethora of flavors you might have in your kitchen.
Plus, the leftover possibilities are endless!
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup Italian dressing
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- fresh ground pepper
- 1-1½ lbs. flank steak, cleaned and trimmed
- In a plastic resealable bag, combine soy sauce, dressing, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and fresh ground pepper. Add flank steak, seal bag, and massage meat, making sure it is evenly coated with the marinade.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, turning once.
- Remove bag from refrigerator, and allow to come to room temperature.
- Heat grill to medium-high, and grill steak 5-7 minutes on each side.
- Allow meat to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing thinly.
- Serve immediately, or reserve for leftover dishes.