At some point, those who like to cook steaks at home, get curious to know more about the cut of the beef. Mostly, people are used to keeping in the comfort zone and just fall into rhythm with what they know and what they typically do while cooking steaks.
Though, it is not a bad thing to be a little curious from time to time. And if your curiosity has brought you to this article, we are happy to share details of different beef cuts that you can typically use for steaks.
It is good to be informed why some of the steaks on high-end restaurants’ menu are more expensive than the rest of the options. Or what type of beef cut you should get to achieve a restaurant like tenderness? What cut is flank steak?
This brief guide on flank steak part of cow will provide you all the relatable information and hopefully help you make better choices while next time you are shopping for beef cut for steaks.
What is Steak?
If we follow a simple definition of steak, it is “a slice of meat cut from the fleshy part of a beef carcass.” While there are many types of steak made with every type of meat including pork, mutton and chicken as well, but in this article, we are particularly focusing on flank steak part of cow.
Beef steaks are generally obtained from a horizontal cut across the spine and are then further divided into several other primals and subprimals. Steak is usually made with a muscle fiber of a large section of beef that may or may not include a bone. Most steaks come from three prime areas on a cow that are mostly on the rear side of the abdomen of the cow.
Steaks are required to be tender and juicy which is why it is selected from a part of the cow that has limited or minimum work out and areas like shoulder and legs and avoided as these are the most worked areas of the cow and the meat from these parts require a lot of tenderizing.
What is Flank Cut Beef?
Flank cut beef is a part of the cow that is obtained from the rear end of the abdomen. The muscles on this area of the cow have tough fibers and low-fat content which is why flank steaks tend to dry quickly if not cooked properly.
The best technique to cook flank steak is to grill it quickly at a high temperature. Marinating the meat beforehand may also help prevent it from drying out. A better option to serve it is to slice this steak thinly against the grain so it isn’t chewy and is cooked evenly on high temperature. Beside being used for steaks, flank cut beef is also good for braising and it’s often used for making ground beef.
What Cut is Flank Steak?
Flank steak is also known as London broil and skirt steak. This cut of steak comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow, right behind its chest. This part of the cow has a more muscly meat that can be somewhat chewier than steaks made from other parts of the cow.
However, Flank steak is perfectly tasty and juicy when cooked correctly. The steak remains tender. And as the flank steak part of cow gets a lot of blood flow, you get some amazing beef flavor that’s incomparable to other cuts.
Flank Steak Part of Cow
- Other name of Steak: Also known as a London Broil or Skirt Steak
- Where it’s from: Flank Steak part of cow is obtained from the flank. It is located below the loin and sirloin and along the cow’s abdomen.
- What does it look like: Flank is lean meat without much fat and lots of fibers running along its length.
- What does it taste like: The meat from the flank of the cow is beefy and takes well to marinades. However, to achieve excellent texture and flavor of the meat, cut the flank into thin strips against its grain for maximum tenderness.
- How to cook it: The best way to cook tender flank cut beef is to provide quick high heat and cook at high temperature for a short time. Flank also does well to rolling and stuffing.
Cost of Flank Steak
Flank steak part of cow is generally one of the least expensive cuts of cow to purchase. The cost of flank is low probably because it’s so thin that people tend to overlook it as a quality steak. Although, lesser demands for steaks can be a good thing to keep prices down.
Most commonly the flank steak part of cow is the go-to cut for restaurants to use for fajitas and other gravy that usually go for thin strips of meat. The top cost of flank steak usually goes around $11 per pound.
Cooking Methods to Follow While Cooking Flank Steaks
Flank steaks can be cooked using various methods which ultimately affect the tenderness, tastes and juiciness of the steak. This part of the cow can be used in various dishes and can also compliment dishes as meat strips.
No matter which among various flank steak cooking methods you choose, it is important that you pay attention to temperature. The internal flank steak temperature should be around 125-130 degrees when removed from heat, allowing it to rise to 135 degrees for medium-rare as it rests.
Here are some cooking methods that you can used while cooking flank steaks:
- Grilled Flank Steak
- Slow Cooking
- Cooking Flank on Stove
- Oven Cooked Flank Steak
How to Tenderize Flank Steaks?
Flank steak is lean cut beef which is why it doesn’t have the much fat content as other steaks. Fat is broken down during the cooking process to naturally tenderize the steak. However, fat is lacking in this part of flank cut beef, for which you need to do manual tenderizing.
The quickest method to tenderize the flank steak is to use a meat tenderizer. To do this, place the steak in a plastic food storage back. Seal it tightly, remove all air from the bag first. Use the meat tenderizer to pound the flank steak evenly across the meat.
Another option is to make a marinade for your meat. This method may take longer, as you should allow the meat to marinate for at least a few hours. Mix the ingredients of the marinade well, place them in a food storage bag with the steak and allow it to marinate for several hours before cooking.
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