Because friends and family know I love all things related to food, I’m sometimes asked to help with meal planning for campouts and picnics. Between my over-the-top menus and others’ suggestions to simplify, we eat well and without too much fuss.
One recipe that’s became a favorite started as Polynesian flank steak, and with a few of my own tweaks has become Tropical Flank Steak. This marinated steak is ideal for transporting because you can place the pineapple, garlic, and ginger marinade in a zip top bag and add the still-frozen meat. This helps keep the other foods cold, and as it thaws it becomes flavorful and tender in the marinade. In addition, when you’re ready to eat it’s thawed and cooks quickly, so it’s a good first-night-at-the-campsite dinner for after the tents are set up.
And not just for camping: Place the meat (frozen or not) and marinade in a zip-top bag and freeze for a quick dinner you can thaw in the refrigerator during the day and grill in the evening. Whether it’s camping, a picnic, or an anytime grilled dinner, this steak is smoky, caramelized, and easy.
Flank steak is long and flat and flavorful. I like it at least as well as some of the more expensive cuts. It tends to be tough, so it’s best marinated, and it should be thinly sliced across the grain. London broil, hanger steak, and skirt steak are similar and would also work well in this recipe.
My changes from the original recipe include leaving out honey (pineapple juice makes it plenty sweet), using chives instead of green onions, and replacing soy sauce with coconut aminos. Coconut Secret coconut aminos are gluten- and soy-free and have a salty flavor similar to soy sauce.
If you can only find large cans of pineapple juice, you’ll have a lot left over. You can freeze it in ice cube trays, pop out the cubes, and store in a labeled plastic bag in the freezer. Drop a cube or two into a glass of sparkling mineral water, optionally with a splash of coconut water, for a refreshing, low-sugar “cocktail.”
|Tropical Flank Steak|| || |
- 1/3 cup pineapple juice
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos
- 1/4 cup chopped chives or thinly sliced green onions
- 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds flank steak (allow about 3 ounces per person)
- Oil or cooking spray for grate
- In a gallon-sized zip-top plastic bag, place the pineapple juice, soy sauce or coconut aminos, chives or green onions, ginger, and garlic. Add steak (frozen if you wish) to bag. Seal and place in a bowl, dish, or in your camp cooler and marinate for at least 3 hours, turning once if possible.
- Heat grill to high.
- Remove steak from bag, reserving marinade. Coat or spray grate with oil. Grill 16 to 20 minutes or to desired doneness, turning a few times and basting with reserved marinade.
- Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Slice thinly across the grain.
- For a make-ahead meal, freeze meat and marinade in the bag. Defrost in refrigerator before grilling.
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