Flank Steaks with Shallot and Tarragon Pesto

I firmly believe that when trying to get out of bed in the morning, a person goes through those same five steps of grief that you would after losing a loved one. First comes denial. It’s that defense mechanism that helps you cope with the inevitable. Then there’s the anger. You’re just not ready for this. Somewhere in the back of your head, you know that this isn’t your bed’s fault. Nonetheless, you pound your mattress. You bang your headboard against the wall. It’s not your neighbor’s fault either, but you’re angry, damn it! Next comes bargaining. Everyone knows this stage all too well. While it’s a turning point, it is perhaps the most painful stage of the grieving process. Five more minutes. Number four – depression. It’s subtle and pitiful, but painfully obvious. There are often small tears and whimpers. The whole acceptance thing happens rather quickly, believe it or not. As soon as the depression wears off, there’s a brief “screw it” moment where you rip off the bandaid and remove the blankets. It’s more painful than any of the previous stages, but I suppose it must be done. I’m only addressing this because, while I have been waking up and seizing the day, my dog has been less than cooperative lately. Getting her in and out of multiple layers shaves a good ten minutes off of my morning. My agonizing morning ritual has nothing to do with today’s recipe. This Flank Steak with Shallot and Tarragon Pesto is a delicious main dish for dinner. Grilled steaks are the perfect canvas for this flavorful pesto made with warm caramelized shallots, fresh tarragon, and Grana Padano cheese.

Grilled flank steaks topped with warm caramelized shallot, grana padano, and fresh tarragon pesto sauce

Prep time
15 mins

Cook time
30 mins

Total time
45 mins

Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large shallots, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • ½ cup grated Grana Padano cheese
  • 2 pounds flank steak


1. Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over low heat. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 30 minutes, until the shallots are tender and caramelized. Transfer the shallots to the bowl of a food processor with the tarragon, cheese, and ⅓ cup of olive oil and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

2. Meanwhile, place a grill pan over medium-high heat. Rub the steak with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and grill for 6 to 8 minutes per side, until a golden brown crust forms and the meat is cooked through. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice the steaks against the grain and transfer to a platter. Spoon the pesto over the top and serve.

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