Let's say you instruct your life-mate to purchase a flank steak at the grocery store, but don't really make any plans for its preparation. And then the day comes when you intend to eat it, and you learn a little lesson about planning ahead: the Internets agree completely that flank steak should be marinated for hours. And you kinda wanted to eat it right quick. That's a pickle to be in, readers.
So here is my advice: screw the Internets! What do they know anyways? The answer to your troubles is dry rub, and I don't mean fancy pants, bought-in-a-jar dry rub. When pressed for time, it's all about pulled-from-the-cabinet-and-tossed-together dry rub.
With some advice from a few different recipes, I pulled down: cumin, chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I kinda eyeballed the mixture, but I think it was between 1-2 teaspoons of cumin, chili powder and garlic powder and just a pinch of cayenne.
You'll want to pour some olive oil over the steak, and then massage it into the meat. You want to have an intimate moment with this flank, is what I'm saying.
Then you'll want to up the ante and cover your fingers (remember to take off that engagement ring!) with your homemade rub, which you will then press into the meat until you feel confident every crevice is covered in spice. Squirt the juice of half a lime (or half of a fake plastic lime) over the steak.
Cover the container with plastic and pop in the fridge to marinate for about an hour.
Then you attempt to sear the steak on your grill pan and then lower your heat to cook. Or, if you're me, you'll grill it till it's black and then realize you meant to lower the heat. You know what? Either way works.
Then you'll pull out your brand new knives from your sister-in-law-to-be and marvel at their ability to slice through steak like butter. It will be a revelation.