The Best Topping For Grilled Flank Steak

When you think about the best cuts of steak out there, the usual suspects probably come to mind: ribeye, New York strip, T-bone, and filet mignon. But one of the more humble cuts, the flank steak, can yield just as much flavor as any of these, as long as it's prepared and served correctly. The flank steak doesn't have much marbling, meaning it's fairly light on fat and instead offers tight, sometimes chewy meat. As such, one of the best ways to take grilled flank steak to the next level is with a topping. Not just any topping, either, but guacamole — an avocado-based dip of Mexican origin that perfectly pairs with this cut of meat.

If you're a steak purist, hear us out. Flank steak doesn't have that prized juicy texture or ribbons of butter-like fat running throughout. On its own, it can taste like scrap meat. With guacamole, however, it's a different story. The creamy, tangy sauce highlights the flank's subtle flavors, complementing them without becoming overpowering. Guacamole offers the natural richness and fat that the flank steak lacks, and aromatic punches from its cilantro and diced onion pair perfectly with the flank's robust meatiness.

How to pair guacamole with flank steak

You might be wondering why you wouldn't just use sauces designed specifically for steak, like A.1. The reason is that those sauces are often heavy, cloying, and unpleasantly tart, not to mention overwhelming on a lean flank steak. Guacamole, on the other hand, is a much more subtle pairing. One tip is to be generous with the lime juice in your guacamole; beyond adding zesty citrus flavor, this can even help tenderize the flank, which is notoriously easy to overcook and can come out tough, even under ideal circumstances. Lime juice is acidic, which breaks down or denatures the proteins in the steak. This makes for a much more tender, pleasant bite.

To serve guacamole with flank steak, you can always chop the steak up and put it on a tortilla. Opt for some fresh-cut radishes and cilantro for a perfect street taco. If you'd rather serve the steak mainly by itself to align with protein-forward diets like keto or paleo, for example, add a little vinegar and extra herbs to your guac. This will create something closer to guasacaca, a Venezuelan avocado sauce that shares many of guacamole's flavors but has a looser texture perfect for drizzling or dipping.