Flank steak is a flavorful cut of beef that is known for its tenderness and lean texture. It’s a great choice of meat for grilling, stir-frying, and other quick cooking methods. Knowing how to properly cut flank steak can help you make the most out of this delicious cut of beef. In this article, we’ll show you the best way to cut flank steak for maximum flavor and texture.
What is Flank Steak?
Flank steak is a lean cut of beef that comes from the abdominal muscles of cows. It is full of flavor and is very tender. It is best when cooked quickly, such as on the grill or in a stir-fry. Due to its lean nature, it can easily dry out if cooked too long or at too high of a temperature. Flank steak is typically sold as a flat, rectangular piece of meat.
Why is it important to know how to cut it?
It is important to know how to cut flank steak correctly in order to get the most flavor and tenderness from this exquisite cut of beef. If it is not cut properly, it can dry out quickly or become tough and chewy. Knowing how to cut flank steak correctly will help you get the most out of this lean and flavorful piece of meat. Additionally, cutting the steak into even slices will help it cook more evenly and prevent burning or drying out.
Preparing the Flank Steak
Cleaning the Meat
Before cutting your flank steak, it is important to properly clean and prepare the meat. Begin by rinsing it off with cold running water and rubbing it with a paper towel. Pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Trim away any large pieces of fat or gristle from the edges of the steak with a sharp knife. Once trimmed, the steak is ready to be cut.
Trimming the Fat
After cleaning and preparing the steak, you will need to trim away any large pieces of fat or gristle from the edges of the steak. To do this, use a sharp knife to carefully cut away any excess fat that runs along the edges of the steak. Be sure to remove all visible fat, as it can become tough and chewy when cooked, detracting from the flavor of the meat.
Tenderizing the Meat
Before cutting your flank steak, it is important to tenderize the meat. This will help to break down the muscle fibers and make the steak more tender. To do this, use a meat mallet or heavy bottomed skillet to gently pound the steak. Start at one end and work your way to the other, making sure to evenly distribute the pressure across the steak. You can also use a meat tenderizer or marinade to further tenderize the meat.
Cutting the Flank Steak
Identifying the Grain
Before cutting your flank steak, it is important to identify the grain of the meat. This will help you make sure that you cut the steak in a way that maximizes tenderness and flavor. The grain of the meat is the direction that the muscle fibers run. To identify the grain, look for thin lines running through the steak and note which direction they are facing. This is the grain of the steak, and you should cut perpendicular to these lines for optimal tenderness and flavor.
Slicing Against the Grain
Once you’ve identified the grain of your flank steak, it is time to begin slicing. For maximum tenderness and flavor, it is important to make sure that you are cutting against the grain. To do this, hold your knife parallel to the lines of the grain and slice thin strips perpendicular to them. Make sure each slice has a uniform thickness so that they will all cook evenly.
Cutting the Flank Steak into Strips
Once you have identified the grain of your flank steak and sliced it into thin strips, it is time to cut the steak into strips. To do this, hold your knife parallel to the grain and slice thin strips perpendicular to them. Make sure each strip has a uniform thickness so that they will all cook evenly. You can also use a sharp kitchen scissors or a slicing knife for larger pieces of steak.
Other Ways to Cut Flank Steak
Slicing into Small Pieces for Stir Fry
Another way to cut flank steak is to slice it into small pieces suitable for stir fry. To do this, begin by cutting the steak into thin strips against the grain. Then, take each strip and cut it crosswise into small cubes or strips. This method will ensure that the steak cooks quickly and evenly in a hot wok or skillet.
Cutting into Cubes for Kabobs
Kabobs are a great way to enjoy flank steak in an interesting and delicious way. To cut your steak into cubes for kabobs, begin by cutting the steak against the grain into thin strips. Then, take each strip and cut it crosswise into small cubes. Use a sharp knife or kitchen scissors to make sure each cube is the same size for even cooking.
Butterflying for Stuffing
Butterflying is a great way to prepare flank steak for stuffing. To butterfly your steak, begin by slicing it against the grain into thin strips. Then, take each strip and carefully slice it horizontally in half lengthwise. You should be left with two thin pieces of meat that can be opened up like a book. Once butterflied, you can stuff your steak with a variety of ingredients and bake or grill.
Cutting flank steak is a great skill to have in the kitchen. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your steak is flavorful and tender every time. Remember to always cut against the grain for maximum tenderness and taste. Additionally, marinating your flank steak before cooking will help to add flavor and make it more tender. With these tips, you can now enjoy perfectly cooked flank steak every time.