I have been a sugar statistic for oh, about the last million days. OK, just a week, but sugar makes me dramatic.
You know all those graphs that show how many teaspoons of sugar the average American consumes in the form of double caramel macchiatos/Coca-Cola/Twizzlers every year? I always give a self-righteous chuckle when I read those and think, ‘ha, that’s not me.’
Well, it totally has been me. And it feels so good to be bad.
Every year the Booze Hound and I host a Gluhwein party. Gluhwein is the German term for mulled wine. Hot wine hasn’t really taken off in the States as much as it has in Europe, where they’ve combined perhaps the most brilliant concept ever: staying warm by drinking wine. Hello! Meet my favorite way to stay warm.
In addition to providing as much liquid mirth our guests care to consume (plus a liquor bar so you can customize your Gluhwein for optimal merriment), I lay out a spread of desserts. True, spiced wine might not scream ‘desserts’ to everyone, but baking is my thing. I like to fit in my jeans, so I don’t do it all the time, but the holidays bring out my weak side. And my stretchy pants. So I bake.
The nice thing about a dessert-centric party is that you can bake during nap time the entire week before the party. The thing that makes me a sugar pig is that I baked during every nap time the entire week before the party. And along with baking comes the batter eating, as well as the sampling of things warm from the oven during every nap time the entire week before the party.
Believe it or not, one can OD on sugar. Even with my super-high ‘December threshold,’ I eventually reach a point where I need an antidote.
That antidote is steak.
I swore off flank steak this past summer because I discovered the virtues of skirt steak, but I come back to flank for my Garlic Herb Marinade. Skirt steak would just give in to the power of the marinade like Lindsay Lohan gives in to a round of martinis.
(For the record, I really like you, LiLo. Girl, you just need to step away from the vodka and head on over to my place for some flank steak and homemade gingersnaps. I’d offer you Gluhwein but your alcohol bracelet would go off.)
My favorite herb in the universe is rosemary, and there isn’t enough of it in the world. There IS enough of it in this marinade, which means there’s lots and I’m happy. If you’re not a rosemary lover, don’t worry- there’s not too much that it tastes like you’re eating your Christmas tree. But the rosemary, along with the garlic and thyme, make a killer flavor combo that permeates the thick flank steak perfectly, giving you the right amount of herb flavor and the right amount of meat flavor. Just take the 10 minutes to mix everything together, massage it into your beautiful steak, and let it sit overnight.
You could make yourself a beautiful spinach salad to go next to your steak if you want to be super-virtuous and smug like moi, or you could fill the rest of your plate with mashed potato-esque scoops of gingersnap dough and I totally won’t judge you. Secretly, I want to be you.
Every time you open the fridge to christen yet another package of butter for your next baking adventure, you can see your path to redemption in the juicy marinating steak that you will eat for dinner like a normal human, not gingersnap dough like a sugar pig.
(PS- note the theme of gingersnap dough. It’s coming. Get ready.)
- 3 T red wine vinegar
- ½ c olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- 1 T chopped fresh thyme
- 2 T chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 t Kosher salt
- 1 t freshly ground black pepper
- 2 lbs flank steak (or other meat of your choice)
- Mix first 8 ingredients in a large bowl (vinegar through black pepper), whisk well. Place flank steak in a large, resealable bag (preferably freezer-safe thickness) and pour marinade on top. Refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat grill.
- Remove steak from bag and discard marinade. Season steak with salt and pepper and grill on high approximately 7 minutes per side for medium rare. Let rest about 5-10 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute.