Saturday, June 18, 2011

One Big Plate of Howard County: Laurel Meat Market Flank Steak On A Salad W/Gorman Peas

Step One: Flank steak from Laurel Meat Market.

Step Two: Snow peas from the CSA at Gorman Produce Farm in Laurel.

Step Three: Lettuce, radishes, and carrots from the back yard.

Shake it up with the spiciest sauce that you can expect from the people at Cook's Illustrated.

Flank steak turns out to be easier than a hamburger.  Salt and pepper on both side sides, then grilled on high heat for five minutes per side.  We ended up with meat that was cooked well on the edges, but firm and pink through the center.

Perfect cut for Mrs. HowChow, who doesn't like gristle.  A small flank steak easily makes four or five salads.  I made "Sweet-and-Sour Chipotle Sauce" from The New Best Recipes.  That was brushed on the meat, then served as the dressing on the simple salad.  It's actual flavor from folks who normally teach technique, not ethnique.

Spice isn't the wheelhouse of Cook's Illustrated's, which burned me out after a year or two of roasts, meats, and traditional vegetables.  But The New Best Recipes is a terrific reference.  They explain technique, but in about half the length of the magazine's articles.  It's great for problems like "I have a flank steak.  What do I do with it?"

These are just some of the places that you can get great food around Howard County.  I'm trying new cuts from Laurel Meat Market -- aiming for new recipes from Planet Barbecue.  Talk is that the Gorman produce stand could open next week.  The CSA had garlic scapes, greens, peas, and squash.  I don't know how they already have squash.  These professionals.

Sweet-and-Sour Chipotle Sauce
from The New Best Recipes

1/4 c. honey
3 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
2 TBL balsamic vinegar
2 TBL whole grain mustard
1/2 c. lime juice (3-4 limes)
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp ground cumin
2 TBL chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
ground black pepper

1) Grill a flank steak over high heat.  Grill five minutes per side.

2) While the steak is grilling, put the honey, chilis, vinegar, mustard, lime juice, garlic, and cumin in a food processor.  Puree them.  Then add the cilantro and salt/pepper to taste.

3) When steak is done, brush the steak with the sauce.  Let it rest five minutes.  Then slice the steak against the grain.

4) I put the steak over some lettuce and used the sauce as a salad dressing.  You could just serve the extra sauce on the side and let people add it.


Jen said...

I'm headed to Pasta Plus today to pick up some (hopefully) authentic Italian provisions for the weekend. I came here to find your writeup on this place b/c it has been around for years and I've never been. Nothing?!

David Hobby said...


FWIW, Pasta Plus is not in HoCo. HowChow does visit outside of Howard County, but he generally concentrates inside the lines.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, Laurel Meat Market is not in HoCo.

RDAdoc said...

Yummy! It looks delicious. I am going to try your recipe.

HowChow said...

Actually, the truth is that I have only been to Pasta Plus once, and the pictures turned our dark and horribly unappetizing. (David - Dark even by my standards.) I delayed a bit, and I ended up not remembering enough detail/inspiration for a post. Many people love it. One cellphone photo and three paragraphs is a "Trolling" guest post!

I don't follow Ken Ulman's nuanced, methodical view on how to take statewide power from Howard County. Instead, I have unilaterally annexed most of Laurel, the Cuba de Ayer strip on Rte 198 in Burtonsville, and Catonsville as far as Pioneer Pit Beef and Home Anthology. You can do that when you're running a hobby, not a political campaign.

I concentrate inside the lines, but you need to follow the food.

Jen said...


FWIW My visit to Past Plus was a bust. Basically they had everything you could find at the supermarket and a few homemade packages of sauces/pasta thrown in a freezer. I was expecting displays of meats, cheeses, etc. I lived on Long Island for some time and the "pork shop" was a staple. I thought this might be the same thing, but i was disappointed.

Niche- you need to be filled!