When I think of Romania, I think of the dark romance from all the myths and stories we have all heard and grown up with. I think of the traveling bands of gypsies and wolves running through dark, mysterious forests, and of course Count Dracula. When I think of Romanian foods, I thinks of rich beefy stews like goulash and borscht made with beets. I never really gave much thought about other foods found in Romania, other than good hearty foods with lots of garlic. But the other day, I came across this recipe for a Romanian garlic steak that just sounded to tempting to let slip by. The Romanian name for this dish is fleica. I was 1/2 right; other than the steak, garlic is the most important ingredient in this simple recipe, and lots of it. Don’t be afraid to load up on the garlic. The more garlic you add, the better the steak will be. After dining on this steak, fear not, the vampires will be no where near you for quite some time. It will drive them away by using garlic and a different kind of steak than what all the folklore tells us about.
This recipe has only 7 ingredients.
8-16 cloves of garlic, minced – According to the recipe, we are all encouraged and have the blessing of the original chef to “double the amount of garlic”, if we dare. I of course, will always accept a dare, especially one like this.
1 1/2-2 lbs. of flank steak, bone-in rib-eye or a thick top round
1 tsp salt
1-2 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
fresh parsley, chopped
fresh ground black pepper to taste.
Combine 1/2 the garlic with the salt and lemon juice and pour over the steak, making sure to cover the steak on both sides. Rub the garlic and salt mixture into the steak and refrigerate for up to several hours or even overnight before grilling it up.
Right before placing the steak on the grill, whisk up the remaining garlic, olive oil, parsley and pepper and again pout it over the steak and really press it in. Put the steak directly on the fire of the grill and cook to your desired doneness. Depending on the thickness of the steak, it should be about 4-5 minutes per side for a nice juicy medium-rare steak. Although, the steak we used was about 2 ” thick, so it took a little longer on each side.
When slicing the steak, slice into thin strips, cutting the steak against the grain to ensure a nice tender and flavorful cut. If you cut along the grain, the steak will be tough and chewy.
I served the steak with a red potato salad with a dill-mustard vinaigrette, and the leftover green bean and cannellini salad I made the other day. My wine choice was a full bodied, bold syrah with hints of chocolate and cherries to really compliment the big, bold flavors of the steak. Delicious!