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Nov 6, 2008 07:51 AM

A Substitute for Flanken...?

The recipe for mushroom-barley soup calls for flanken. It's my understanding that this is nothing more than beef short ribs cut horizontally. I like short ribs, but they're fairly fatty, and I'd like a really meaty soup. Is there a cut of beef that's tender, just as tasty and less fatty that I can substitute?

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  1. Stew beef or a shoulder roast will probably work, but they will still require cooking for 1-2 hours to dissolve the gelatin and collagen that they contain.

    1. Ox tails. They're tasty and flavorful and not too fatty - an ox's tail does a lot of work,,,

      Or just use "stew meat", which is a mixture of cuts with a reasonable amount of fat.

      1. Depends.
        If your recipe calls for flanken for consistency and flavoring, tender cuts usually don't do the job. Fattier, bonier pieces is what will give good results for broth - blade, cross-rib, short rib, bones, (ox-tail as kilted suggests) etc.
        However, barley goes a long way in adding body (consistency) to a soup. So you are now basically looking for flavoring.
        I would suggest using the flanken, then de-fat and voila.
        However again, you want 'a really meaty soup'.
        So my suggestion would be to start with a broth made from flanken (or short rib or ox tail or soup bones or whatever is less expensive), de-fat, continue on with stewing meat and the rest of the ingredients.
        Shred or chop the meat at the end to get a meaty soup.
        just my 2c...

        1. What about a soup shank? They're very meaty and the bone and marrow contribute to the flavor.

          1. Oxtails sound interesting. I often use them when making beef stock, but never before considered using them for the meat content of a soup. So I like that idea. And of course, I can always de-fat the broth made with flanken, as porker suggests. Thanks!