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May 23, 2009 05:53 AM

Flap Steak

I first learned of Flap steak or bavette here after having a steak at Persephone (thx Almansa).

On a recent trip to Mittaheap in Lynn I bought about 3 lbs at a local Asian shop..and threw it in the freezer. Cooked last night on a bbq and it was fantastic with a little olive oil/vinegar marinade...quick char with high heat and then moved to a lower heat. Little chew but great flavor. This was graded "select" the grade below choice but was a beautiful piece of meat.

I've never seen this cut at my usual butcher shops..Sulmona and Savenor's. Anyone know of anyplace that sells it? T or bike friendly from downtown.

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  1. They're serving bavette in the steak frites at Ten Table Cambridge (I just wrote about this in the new Stuff Magazine). Very tasty! Can't say I've ever seen flap in a local market, but I'd love to find it too: great marinated, grilled, served as steak tips.

    8 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      You know what's interesting...I believe that the "steak tips" meat at Costco has the word "flap" in it.

      I am heading over to pick up some Memorial Day steaks tomorrow AM and will check for the board.

      1. re: CambridgeFoodie

        Many local taverns that advertise their steak tips as "sirloin tips" are actually using flap, e.g., the New Bridge.

        1. re: CambridgeFoodie

          The market in Lynn sold it as steaks; 2 in a package..about 10 " long x 5" wide and 2-3 inches thick. Similar to a skirt steak (not as long) but a lot thicker.

          They could have been cut up smaller like steak tips but I cooked the steaks whole, like a roast..and cut across the grain. We made a chimichurri as a side.

          A great cut..enjoy!

          1. re: 9lives

            That's exactly how Ten Tables does it, though they put a grape compote on it.


              1. re: hlerm2

                I'm no meat-cutter, but I believe they're different cuts: tri-tip comes from the bottom sirloin, flap from the short loin, right next to the flank.


            1. re: 9lives

              I checked at Costco today and yes, the do sell Choice grade flap meat for $4.99 a pound.

          2. re: MC Slim JB

            Whole Foods carries it regularly, both cut into tips/strips and as whole steaks.
            It is recognizable by its coarse, loose grain (part of the reason it takes so well to marinades, according to some).

          3. Flap Steak, aka sirlion steak tips (East Coast).

            1. I used to get this quite often from McKinnon's in Davis. It was an excellent cut for stir fries, and relatively cheap. I haven't gone in a couple years, though, so I can't speak to current availability/price.

              1. Miel serves bavette, but when I asked what it was, server said it was hanger steak. Is there a difference between flap and hanger? In any case it was ridiculously overpriced. I'm all for cheaper cuts but not at $26.


                7 Replies
                1. re: nightsky

                  Flap and hanger are not the same cut; hanger is a belly or plate cut, where flap is from the short loin. I got a similar runaround from the server at Ten Tables Cambridge initially; the server was either reluctant to admit what it was or uninformed. I pressed the server to inquire whether they were using the term bavette accurately, in which case the American butcher's equivalent term would be flap, and she checked with the kitchen and confirmed that it was indeed flap. Given the ambience and everything else on the plate (like some amazing crushed potatoes), I thought it was well worth the $25. On my own dime, I often prefer a cheaper cut well prepared to a $45 luxury steakhouse sirloin.


                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    Actually, IIRC hanger is not really a plate cut like skirt. It's uniquely placed at the point where the ribs give way to the loins, around the kidney over the plate. It's an interior muscle, only one per steer. Customary beef cut charts, which illustrate exterior muscles, don't really capture its location well.

                    Anyway, flap steak is the same cut from which "steak tips" in Boston parlance are supposed to be cut.

                    Flap steak shares with hanger and skirt a coarse graininess.

                    1. re: Karl S

                      The hanger hangs b/w the two skirts and the three make up the diaphragm muscle. The skirts are responsible for breathing and the hanger does the kegel exercises, so to speak. Someone I know was chosen out the audience on Letterman one time, and Dave asked him about the hanger steak (he's in the meat business, as he told Dave). He replied, "that's the piss muscle." Then he turned beet red, which looks funny on a bald guy. Ever since Dave has had a Know Your Meats segment.

                      1. re: almansa

                        I stand corrected. I was working off what our decades-experienced family butcher told us back in the 60s and 70s, because for our family, "steak" meant "hanger".

                        1. re: almansa

                          Got some great hanger steaks at McKinnon's yesterday, $3.50/lb (as well as a bunch of other stuff).

                          John Dewar had a special on flap steak this week, $6.99/lb as I recall.

                          1. re: steinpilz

                            which one? The Davis Sq site or the Everett?

                            1. re: ac106

                              Davis Square, there was a fair amount - probably more than 15 pkgs after I grabbed some.

                  2. Restaurant Depot regularly has it, but as with everything there, you have to buy a massive amount.