Andy Bates’ Steak Recipe with a Brazilian-Inspired Pesto

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Nothing beats a simple, perfectly seared steak – but a marinade can transform even tougher, cheaper cuts into tender, flavourful meat.

While helping to launch cookware brand Le Creuset’s Vida Brazil collection, we asked chef Andy Bates – an expert in Brazilian street-food – to show us how to make his recipe for marinated beef flank with a pesto drizzle. It tastes great – and it’s surprisingly easy to make. Here’s how.

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  • 1kg beef flank
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 2tsp garlic powder
  • 1tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 lime
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 1 echalion (banana shallot), finely chopped and fried
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and fried
  • 200g baby spinach
  • 150g feta cheese
  • 1tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 125ml evaporated milk
  • 50g toasted brazil nuts
  • salt
  • pepper

To make the marinade

Mix the cumin, garlic powder, chilli flakes, lime and olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and pour over the steak. Seal in a zip-top bag or in a bowl with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.

Put the fried echalion and garlic, spinach, feta, basil, evaporated milk and brazil nuts in a food processor with a little salt and pepper and blend together.

Remove your marinated beef flank from the fridge around an hour before cooking and pat it dry with kitchen towel if you like.

Preheat your pan to a medium heat. Drip a little water in the pan to test it – if the water sizzles and evaporates almost immediately, you’re good to go. Place the steak into your pan and cook for three to four minutes each side for medium rare. Flip the steak once – don’t prod and poke it.

After cooking, rest the meat for 10 minutes, then slice (across the grain) and serve with the pesto.

Andy was cooking on the Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron 26cm Square Grillit, £99, buy from Le Creuset

Jonathan Shannon
Former editor

Jonathan Shannon was the editor of the Coach website from 2016 to 2024, developing a wide-ranging experience of health and fitness. Jonathan took up running while editing Coach and used the training plans on the site to run a sub-40min 10K, 1hr 28min half marathon and 3hr 6min marathon. He’s an advocate of cycling to work and is Coach’s e-bike reviewer, and not just because he lives up a bit of a hill. He also reviews fitness trackers and other workout gear.