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Chile-Rubbed Flank Steak with White Polenta

Jing Tio hand-delivers bottles of Spanish arbequina olive oil to chef Ron Siegel of the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco. Siegel uses the artichoke-inflected oil to marinate flank steak. The oil has such a wonderful flavor that Siegel also uses it in place of butter in the soft polenta that accompanies the beef.


slideshow  More Steak Recipes


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • One 1 3/4-pound flank steak
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Thai bird chiles, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 cup white polenta or stone-ground white cornmeal (5 1/2 ounces)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Aged balsamic vinegar, for serving


  1. In a large, shallow dish, coat the flank steak with the garlic and chiles. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and set aside at room temperature for 2 hours.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Gradually whisk in the polenta and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderately low heat, whisking often, until the polenta is thick and no longer gritty, about 45 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, light a grill. Season the steak with salt and pepper and grill over a hot fire until nicely browned on the outside and medium-rare within, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the steak to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. When the polenta is tender, stir in the mascarpone, Parmesan and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the polenta with salt and pepper.
  5. Slice the flank steak against the grain 1/4 inch thick. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve with the polenta.

Make Ahead

The flank steak can marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before grilling.

Suggested Pairing

Arbequina olives are grown primarily in Spain's Catalonia region, also the source of some of the country's best red wines, which go perfectly with this juicy steak.

Contributed By Photo © Earl Carter Published March 2006

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