When the CSA week 3 box contained radishes, I was stumped. Too many to put in a salad, too dicey to trust that a supposedly “delectable” dip from one of my vegetarian cookbooks would really get eaten…but the crock pot DID seem like the right place to put them.
My hope was that the crock pot would neutralize the bitterness of the radishes, and the answer is…well, not so much. So, I’d only recommend adding the radishes to this meal IF you love radishes. If you don’t love radishes, by all means – skip ’em. They don’t add any flavor to the dish, in my opinion, and they lose all their color, which is just a little strange when you’re only ever used to radishes being this really pretty pinkish-red color. I also used a white onion in the original version of this recipe, but a yellow onion would be far superior, so the recipe below lists a yellow onion instead.
Now, why is this flank steak semi-drunk? First off, I didn’t really want to make flank steak. This was our Rosh Hashanah dinner this year, so I really wanted brisket. When my grocery store only had 6 lb briskets, and I just didn’t feel like butchering a $30+ slab o’meat into smaller portions, I was ready to give up…until I saw the perfect little flank steak beckoning to me. As to the drunk part, I wanted the meal to be simple yet tasty. And, like my early fall beef crock pots, I wanted something that wasn’t overly heavy. So, I went for the beef broth in the fridge (left over from my Crock Pot Beef with Beets) and then reached for a bottle of Madeira. There’s nothing like some wine to really make a dish vibrate on a higher frequency. A little water, and there was plenty of liquid to keep the meat nice and moist throughout cooking. The Madeira gave the meat a nice sweetness that really just worked for me.
You can let this one go for up to 12 hrs if you want the meat to fall apart on you, and you can turn the liquid into a gravy easily enough (instructions below). OK, enough yakking…on to the recipe.
Prep Time: 5-10 mins
Cook Time: 8-10 hrs on LOW
1-1/2 to 2 lb flank steak
1 medium or large yellow onion
1/2 cup low sodium beef broth
1/2 cup Madeira (or other flavorful red wine)
1/2 cup water
1 bunch radishes, greens removed, washed & stems/roots removed (optional)
1-1/2 Tb cornstarch + water to dissolve it, for thickening a gravy (optional)
Make it Happen
1. Peel the onion and slice it thinly, no more than 1/3″ wide. Layer the bottom of the crock pot with the onion slices to make a bed for the flank steak.
2. Place the flank steak on top of the onion slices. (If adding the radishes, put them on top of the flank steak.)
3. In a measuring cup, pour in the three liquids so they can mix a little, then pour the combined liquid over top of the flank steak. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hrs.
4. When cooking is done, remove the flank steak and place on a cutting board; remove the onions and radishes and place them in a serving bowl (or put them on a platter to serve with the flank steak). Slice the flank steak against the grain. Note: if you put the flank steak in for a longer cook time, cutting might be difficult because it may just fall apart on you. There are worse problems to have.
5. If you want to make a gravy with the liquid in the crock pot, pour the liquid into a skillet and heat to a boil over medium-high heat. Let the liquid boil for about 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to medium. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and enough water to dissolve the cornstarch completely. Add this mixture to the skillet and whisk briskly until the cornstarch/water mixture has blended completely into the liquid from the crock pot. Pour into a gravy boat and serve with the flank steak, onions and radishes.