Flank steak is one of the most delicious cuts of beef in the world, but its preparation must be meticulous to obtain exquisite results that will please your guests. Learning how to cut it correctly is one of those flank steak secrets you should know. It is straightforward!
Flank steak: a delicious but intricate cut
Flank steak is a beef cut taken from the muscles of the animal's diaphragm, the abdomen. The flank steak is obtained from the area below the ribs of the beef, which makes it have too many muscle fibers and is particularly difficult to cut.
The flank steak is a delicious cut with a very intense flavor, but quite thick, challenging, and with a lot of fiber. This fiber must be broken before cooking to optimize the recipe results. The toughness of this cut makes it somewhat challenging to cook and handle. However, you must learn to cut and cook to delight your guests with a unique dish.
Cut the flank steak properly.
The first thing to do is to ask the butcher to clean the steak as much as possible. If not, you will have to clean at home by removing the outermost layers of muscle fiber from the cut; this can be done by making a small cut and pulling with your hand. You can also help yourself with a pair of scissors to achieve this.
In addition, to help ensure that the meat is tender and well done, remove it from the refrigerator two hours before cooking; this will ensure that the flank steak is not hot on the outside but cold on the inside. On the other hand, as it is a very thick and tough cut, it requires quite an extensive marinating time.
The marinade for flank steak depends a lot on the recipe you choose, but it is a cut that goes very well with citrus fruits such as oranges. Orange not only adds a very intense flavor that enhances the meat's flavor but also helps tenderize it.
Softening before cutting and cooking
One option to properly cut the flank steak and make it easier to handle is to tenderize the meat before cooking. To tenderize it, you can use a marinade that takes up to 12 hours (as is the case with flank steak) or other methods, such as pounding the meat with a kitchen mallet.
You can also use a special meat tenderizer and bathe the cut with milk. All these methods help to break down the fibers and make cutting the meat much more accessible.
Remove the fat from the flank steak before cooking.
Before cooking the flank steak, as we have already mentioned, you must remove the membrane of the meat. To do this, use a knife or scissors and break off one corner of the piece of steak. Place the meat on a cutting board, cut the membrane, then pull it out. It should come out very quickly!
If, after pulling the membrane, you notice that it has not come out, ultimately use scissors to trim the remaining fat. But pay attention because you should only remove some of the fat: it provides moisture to the cut so that it does not dry out and provides much more flavor while cooking.
So what should you cut off? Permanently the outer membrane! As well as the most significant pieces of fat you can find. The fat is easy to identify, as it is white.
Cutting flank steak after cooking
Removing the membrane that covers the flank steak will allow the meat to be softer, as the muscle fibers will break down. However, when serving, you should also pay attention to how you cut to fit it to your guests.
One of the particularities of the flank steak is that, despite its thickness and toughness, its grains are very thick and very visible. Once you find the grain or muscle fibers aligned, make the cuts against that grain; if you cut through parallel, it will be more challenging to manipulate and chew.
In flank steak, the grains are distinguished for elongated lines extending across the cut's surface. To cut the meat, use a serrated knife and a fork. Once you detect where the grain is, prick it with the fork and cut against it.