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~Grillmarked -- Things to Know about the Flank Steak~

6a0120a8551282970b019b00f2ad09970bThe flank steak is one of my favorite steaks.  It cooks quickly, it's tender and juicy when cooked and sliced properly, and, in terms of the economy, it's less expensive than many other steaks. That said, culinarily, the flank steak is technically not a steak.  It's a tough cut of beef coming from the cow's belly muscles, which is why it's important to take the time to learn how to cook it properly. For me, that's under the high heat of the oven's broiler, or, on the high heat of my grill.

What part of the cow does the flank steak come from?

Flank-steak-definition-336252-7bb8a88cdae54e429b1755d5e6998316 2Flank steak comes from the cow's lower chest or abdominal muscle.  It's about a foot long and about an inch thick.  It almost always gets cooked whole (like any other steak rather than dividing it into smaller individual-size steaks).  That said, a flank steak can be sliced into thin beef strips prior to cooking for use in culinary applications like Mexican fajitas or tacos and Asian stir-fries.  

Flank-steak-definition-336252-7bb8a88cdae54e429b1755d5e6998316The cut is known as the jiffy steak, Babette steak, and, occasionally, London broil.  That said, the London broil flank steak is identified by the steak's visible direction of the cross-grain.  Due to it's low fat content, it needs no trimming prior to cooking. It takes to seasoning well, salt and pepper, a dry rub, and/or a flavorful marinade.  Whether your slicing it into strips prior to cooking or after cooking, it's very important that it be sliced thinly, against the grain, while holding the knife at a 45° angle, as slicing with the grain will result in stringy, chewy pieces.

What's the best method to cook a flank steak?  

Experts say flank steak can be cooked low and slow to gradually break down the dense connective tissue, but, as I said above, and because I love my flank steak done medium-rare, my favorite methods are under the high heat of my oven's broiler, or, over the high heat of my barbecue grill grids. It's my opinion that a well-done flank steak is not well done at all.  Period.

6a0120a8551282970b019b00f2ad09970b"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2023)


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