Home & Leisure

These spiced steaks become a complete meal with a side of rice and beans

Jessica Rudolph, America's Test Kitchen on

A cilantro and jalapeno paste added verdant flavor and subtle spice to black beans and rice as well as a creamy avocado sauce.

Ancho-Rubbed Flank Steak and Cilantro Rice with Avocado Sauce

Serves 4

1 cup long-grain white rice

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed

1 (2-pound) flank steak, trimmed and cut into 4 equal steaks

1 tablespoon ancho chile powder

2 teaspoons table salt, divided

3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided

2 tablespoons vegetable oil


2 cups fresh cilantro leaves and stems, chopped coarse

1/4 cup jarred sliced jalapeno chiles

1 teaspoon grated lime zest plus 2 tablespoons juice

1 avocado, halved, pitted, and chopped coarse

1. Bring 2 quarts water to boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 12 minutes. Drain rice in a fine-mesh strainer and return it to the saucepan. Stir in beans and cover to keep warm.

2. Rub steaks with chile powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook steaks until well browned and meat registers 125 degrees (for medium-rare), 4 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a carving board, tent with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.

3. Pulse cilantro, jalapenos, lime zest and juice, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor until finely chopped, about 10 pulses, scraping down bowl as needed. Transfer 2 tablespoons cilantro mixture to rice and stir to combine. Add avocado and 1/2 cup water to the processor and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Slice steaks and serve, drizzling with sauce.

(For 25 years, home cooks have relied on America’s Test Kitchen for rigorously tested recipes developed by professional test cooks and vetted by 60,000 at-home recipe testers. The family of brands — which includes Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country — offers reliable recipes for cooks of all skill levels. See more online at

©2024 America’s Test Kitchen. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



Caption It Bart van Leeuwen David Fitzsimmons Joel Pett John Branch Bob Gorrell