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story.lead_photo.caption For The Washington Post/TOM MCCORKLE Flank Steak "Gyros" With Quick-Pickled Carrots

In my make-believe world of sandwich poker, I offer the following hierarchy: A warm sandwich beats a pair of cold ones. Steak as filling, when cooked properly, ranks right up there with one-eyed jacks. And when a nutritional analysis for the whole thing manages to stay within the healthful zone, well, you've got a winning hand.

Exhibit A: These steak "gyros," juicy and slathered with a charred-onion yogurt sauce. The meat's flavor is enhanced with a quick rub before it is broiled. Thinly sliced onion goes on the same pan, to save time and energy. While those are underway, you give carrot slices the quick-pickle treatment; they lend welcome crunch and acidity.

When you are making this on a weeknight and have the flank steak already in the freezer, you can transfer the meat to the refrigerator the night before, and it will be defrosted and ready to go. On the night of, you can defrost via the microwave.

It's best to fill your pitas just before serving.

Flank Steak "Gyros" With Quick Pickled Carrots

½ pound flank steak

2 (6-inch) whole-wheat pitas

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided use

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ to ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves

½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided use

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided use

½ medium red onion

1 large carrot

¼ cup distilled white vinegar

½ teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons full-fat plain yogurt

Green leaf lettuce (optional)

Position an oven rack 6 inches from the broiler element; heat broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Stack, then wrap the pitas in aluminum foil and place on the rack farthest from the broiler element while the oven is heating.

Whisk together 1 ½ teaspoons of the oil, the cumin, thyme, ¼ teaspoon of the salt and half of the pepper in a wide, shallow bowl. Place the meat on the baking sheet, then rub all the oil mixture on both sides of the steak.

Cut the onion into thin slices, placing them in the bowl that just held the oil mixture. Drizzle the onions with the remaining oil and season them with the remaining black pepper, tossing to coat. Arrange onions around the steak.

Remove the pita packet from the oven. Transfer the baking sheet with steak and onion to the oven; broil (top rack) for 5 to 7 minutes, then turn the steak over; broil for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are lightly charred. Transfer the now-nicely charred onion slices to a plate, then return the baking sheet to the oven and broil for an additional 2 minutes, or until steak is cooked to your liking. Transfer the steak to a cutting board to rest.

While the meat rests, scrub the carrots well. Trim and then cut them on the diagonal into thin slices. Combine ½ cup water, the vinegar, sugar and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then add the carrots and cook for about a minute. Turn off the heat.

Drain the carrots, discarding the quick pickling liquid.

Combine the charred onion slices, yogurt and a small pinch each of salt and pepper in a medium bowl, stirring to incorporate. Cut the steak on the diagonal into thin slices.

Unwrap the pitas and cut each one in half; gently pry open each half and fill with the steak, some lettuce leaves, if using, pickled carrot and onion-yogurt sauce. Serve warm.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving (without pickled carrots) contains approximately 380 calories, 31 g protein, 15 g fat, 31 g carbohydrate( 4 g sugar), 70 mg cholesterol, 520 mg sodium and 6 g fiber.

Recipe adapted from EatingWell.com

Food on 02/06/2019

Print Headline: Flank steak 'gyro' + quick pickles a winning hand

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