Spicy Flank Steak Po’ Boy

Posted on Mar 29, 2012

Liquid Gold week continues with an über simple beef recipe. I picked beef because upon reviewing the stats for MTK, it’s pretty clear that you prefer chocolate, bacon, beef and baked goodies nearly 2 to 1 over any seafood recipe I’ve posted! Oh, you don’t know what you’re missing – Cioppino Angel Hair Pasta is killer! So, though I do have a FABULOUS mussels recipe–with bacon(!)– waiting in the wings, I defer to your tastes and give you a foolproof Spicy Flank Steak Po’ Boy.

I grew up on a beef farm in Ohio, so I know cows. Boy, do I know cows.

Fun yet disgusting cow facts my sister warns me you don't want to read. Proceed with caution:

Did you know that you have to stick tubes in both ends of a cow to make dual escape routes for gas buildup when they bloat. Yes, cows can and will die from the inability to burp or fart gas that builds up in the middle chambers of their four-chambered stomach. In extreme cases you must perform an emergency rumenotomy to release the gas, or to remove the cause of the problem. [DISCLAIMER: Don’t go to these links if you’ve just eaten, or plan to eat soon, or would like to eat ever again. But if your constitution is on the high side and your tendency to squeamishness is extraordinarily low, then click away. You have been warned.

This recipe takes a humble flank steak (hangar and skirt work as well here) and elevates it. But Po’ Boys I don’t know, or at least I didn’t until I visited NOLA in 1993 while on a tour of Oklahoma! (the show, not the state) and ate my way through the French Quarter, pausing briefly for a trolley ride.  A free sample of pralines, a heaping plate (or two) beignets, chicory-laced café aux lait, three bowls of gumbo, two Po’ Boys, and a couple of Hurricanes later,  and I was in love with the people, the place and the food. Yeah, I come from the land of hoagies, but let’s face it, even the name ‘Po’Boy’ sounds tasty! I was hooked, and so I give you this…

Spicy Flank Steak Po’ Boy

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes | Servings: 4 servings | Difficulty: Easy


1 lb flank steak
1 loaf french bread (not too crusty)
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup dijon mustard
Rosemary Garlic Olive Oil (click for recipe)
Coarse sea or Kosher salt
1 tomato, sliced


1 tbsp Frank’s Red Hot sauce
¼ cup red wine
2 tbsp red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp crushed red peper flakes
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce


Mix the marinade in a gallon sized zip top bag. Add the steak and reseal. Put in in the fridge and let it marinate for at LEAST one hour, ideally four hours, or even all day (or overnight).

When you are ready to cook the steak, remove it from the marinade and pat it very dry with a paper towel (discard the marinade). Heat a cast iron skillet or other heavy skillet or grill pan over high heat until it is very hot (don’t use non-stick for this because it isn’t considered safe to heat an empty non-stick to these temperatures, AND it won’t sear the meat sell anyway). Brush or rub the steak with Rosemary Garlic Olive Oil to coat, and season both sides VERY liberally with coarse salt (about a 1/2 tsp per side) and freshly ground black pepper.

Don't move it until you flip it!

When the pan is very hot, put the steak in and let it sear on the first side for 2 minutes a side per half inch of thickness for medium rare (a half inch thick steak would get just 2 – 2.5 minutes; a incher would get 4 minutes.) Add 30 seconds to a minute per side for medium or medium-well, but if you like your steak cooked well done, this is not the cut of steak for you–flank steak will toughen considerably if allowed to cook through and it won’t matter how thin you slice it, it’ll still be a rough chew.

Outdoor grill instructions

Yeah – you can cook this on a real grill, too. Heat it until the grates are very hot, use paper towels and grill tongs to oil the grates with canola oil, prepare the marinated steaks as above with Rosemary Garlic Olive Oil, salt and pepper, and grill to medium-rare.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and cover with foil. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes [DO NOT skip this step or you’ll lose twice as much juice as you would if you’d waited. I made up that stat, but really, it matters a lot especially since you’ll be slicing it so many times and every slice releases more juice!]

Slice the bread long-ways for sandwiches and cut into individual sandwich sized lengths. Brush the cut side with the Rosemary Garlic Olive Oil , sprinkle with kosher salt and grill cut side down, or broil cut side up, just until it’s toasted (this is what toaster ovens were meant for!).  While you wait, mix the mayo and mustard for a creamy dijonnaise. Spread the dijonnaise on both halves of the bread and layer on the lettuce and tomato.

Sliced as thin as you dare... the thinner, the better!

Now it’s time to cut the steak. First, notice that this steak has long muscle fibers running the length of the steak. You want to cut perpendicular to these fibers (across the grain, as it were) as thinly as you can (you’re keeping your knives sharp, right). Pile on the beef and you’ve got yourself a Po’ Boy. Enjoy with a sensible salad or french fries – be as healthy as you want – but for God’s sake, finish that red wine you opened to make the marinade. I mean, you only used a flippin’ quarter cup, for pity’s sake!