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After making our wills yesterday, we found ourselves somewhat dispirited. Dealing with one’s own mortality, after all, isn’t easy. So we decided it was time for some Margarita Madness, a spread of chips, salsa, guacamole, and frozen Margaritas, to restore our spirits and start the evening.

To follow this festive beginning, we opted for a simple flank steak grilled and served with a compound garlic-and-parsley butter. A visit to one of our butchers yielded one of the finest looking flank steaks I’ve ever seen.

One beautiful flank steak

One beautiful flank steak

Because they are somewhat uneven in thickness, grilling flank steaks can be a little tricky. I get over come this hurdle by keeping the thickest part of the steak closest to the direct heat of my grill pan.

While the pan is heating, I dry the steak with paper towels and liberally season one side with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and drizzle it lightly with extra-virgin olive oil. When the grill pan is hot, I place the steak on the pan, seasoned side down, with the thickest part of the steak closest to the hottest part of the pan, which is directly over the flame.

After one minute, I reduce the flame to medium and cook the steak for about 4 minutes. During this time, I season the exposed side with salt and pepper. When I see the juices starting to appear on top of the steak, I flip the steak and continue to cook for about another 4 minutes. I test for doneness by feeling the steak with my index finger. When it bounce back to the touch, it’s the perfect medium rare, for me the perfect temperature for flank steak.

I place the steak on the cutting board and place a thick round of my parsley-and-garlic compound butter in the middle of the steak and let the meat rest, tented, for about three minutes.

To serve, I slice the steak thick on an angle and serve with steamed spinach dressed with extra virgin olive oil.

For more on grilling steaks, and cooking almost any type of food and knowing when it’s done, I highly recommend James Peterson’s recently published Done.: A Cook’s Guide to Knowing When Food Is Perfectly Cooked.

Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese.

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