Argentine Flank Steak with Salsa Criolla

To kick off the long weekend we had a great dinner with Ben’s parents who made the trip up from Austin to visit.  I’ve had this recipe from Fine Cooking printed out and in my wonderfully organized recipe binder for a while now with every intention of making it, but just never got around to it.  So, I pulled this out with high hopes that it would be a winner.  Here is the link to the original recipe.

It turned out to be a great meal that we all really enjoyed.  All the preparation can be done 24 hours in advance, so that made this meal an even better choice for company.  I rubbed the meat down and made the salsa about 7 hours before dinner, which was plenty of time for the flavors to infuse the meat and for the salsa to get really yummy.

The steak alone has a bit of kick.  The cool, vinegary, slightly sweet salsa is a great complement to the spice.  I served this with a green salad, simple scalloped potatoes, and baguette.  The recipe recommends using any leftover steak and salsa mixed in with scrambled eggs and cheese.  I wish we’d had more leftovers!

Here are the very few changes I made to the recipe.

I used one 2-pound steak since there were only four of us.  However, I made the same amount of rub, so that makes me think that if you plan to make 4 pounds of steak you may want to consider doubling the rub ingredients.

The 1/2 cup of olive oil in the salsa just seemed like too much to me, so I reduced it to 1/4 cup and added just a slight drizzle more.  Mix up the salsa and use your own judgement and preferences as you do so.  Add a small amount to start, then add more if you need it.

Argentine Flank Steak with Salsa Criolla

Serves 8-10


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced and mashed to a paste with a pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbs. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4-1/2 lb. flank steak (about 3 medium steaks), trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 large ripe tomato, cored, seeded, and finely diced (about 1-1/4 cup)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced (about 1-1/3 cups)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white-wine vinegar


  1. In a small bowl, mix about two-thirds of the garlic paste with 1 Tbs. of the thyme, 2 tsp. of the black pepper, the chili powder, brown sugar, and 1-1/2 Tbs. of the salt. Arrange the steaks on a rimmed baking sheet and pat the spice rub all over them. Cover and let sit for at least 4 hours and up to 1 day in the refrigerator.
  2. In a 1-qt. sealable container, combine the tomato, onion, red pepper, oil, and vinegar with 1/4 cup water, and the remaining garlic paste, 1 Tbs. thyme, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. black pepper. Shake well. Refrigerate for up to 1 day before serving.
  3. Heat a gas grill to medium high or prepare a hot charcoal fire. Grill the steak (covered on a gas grill) until it has good grill marks on the fi rst side, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the steak; if using a gas grill, reduce the heat to medium  and cover the grill. Continue to cook until done to your liking (make a slit in the steak to take a peek), 4 to 5 minutes more for medium rare; 6 to 7 minutes more for medium.
  4. Let the steak rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes and then slice thinly across the grain. Stir or shake the salsa criolla and serve with the steak.