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Cumin-Seared Flank Steak with Lime

4 Servings

40 minutes

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To make the Cuban classic bistec de palomilla, thin-cut steak is marinated in garlic and lime juice before it is pan-fried, and it is served under a pile of sautéed onions. Though sirloin or top round is commonly used, we opt for flank steak and skip marination. Instead, we score the surface of the meat with shallow crosshatched cuts before cooking. The grooves not only grip the seasoning mix of crushed cumin, dried oregano, salt and pepper so they stay on the meat instead of winding up in the pan, they also help produce better flavor-boosting caramelization. Serve rice and black beans alongside.




Don’t cut too deeply when scoring the steak. The slashes should be no more than ¼ inch deep. The best way to score the meat is to draw the knife blade across the surface in a continuous motion while applying only light pressure. Also, when slicing the steak for serving, be sure to cut against the grain for the tenderest texture.

40 minutes


  • 2

    teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly crushed

  • ¾

    teaspoon dried oregano, divided


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Brendan S.
April 27, 2024
My wife was skeptical, but the flavors work so well together. Really flavorful and wonderful taste that lingers on your tongue.
Patricia E.
February 22, 2024
Tasty beef dish
Very tasty. I would make more of the tomato/onion relish(?) next time.
Amy G.
May 30, 2024
Great meal and leftovers!
We placed the leftover steak and onions on a toasted baguette the next day for a lovely sandwich.
Deborah R.
April 7, 2024
Great dish
Great flavors and the tomato onion was a fantastic addition to the steak.