Grilled Flank Steak on a Bed of Roasted Peppers and Onions

I wish I could remember the precise origin of this recipe. It came to me as a taste memory of the full flavors of grilled beef, roasted peppers, and balsamic vinegar. The beef is marinated briefly in the vinegar with a little olive oil, and the sauce is composed of roasted peppers and onions seasoned with a bit more vinegar and olive oil. As you may know, balsamic vinegar, a specialty of Modena, has a round rich taste and is not at all sour. It is as mellow as a good wine and adds a wonderful depth of flavor to this dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 flank steaks, about 3 pounds total, trimmed well
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, plus additional to taste
  • 6 large red onions
  • 6 medium red peppers or combination red and yellow
  • Salt

Method

Put the steaks in a shallow nonaluminum container and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 2 teaspoons pepper. Cover and let marinate 2 hours at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Rub the onions with 2 tablespoons oil and roast just until tender, about 1 hour. Halve and peel, then cut into 1-inch-wide slices.

Char the peppers over an open flame or under the broiler until blackened on all sides. Transfer to a plastic container with a lid or a paper or plastic bag. Cover the container or close the bag and let the peppers steam about 15 minutes. Peel the skins from the peppers; then cut the peppers in half, remove the stems, and scrape out the seeds. Cut into 1-inch-wide strips and toss with 2 tablespoons oil.

Heat the grill or broiler. Lightly sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper and grill or broil 2 to 3 minutes each side for medium-rare.

Meanwhile, heat the sliced onions and peppers and remaining 2 tablespoons each oil and vinegar in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium heat until warmed through, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Slice the steaks across the grain on a slight diagonal. Make a bed of pepper and onions on each serving plate and top with the steak. Serve with fried potatoes.