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Flap Steak

9lives May 23, 2009 05:53 AM

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. MC Slim JB RE: 9lives May 23, 2009 07:02 AM

    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
      CambridgeFoodie RE: MC Slim JB May 23, 2009 07:14 AM

      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
        MC Slim JB RE: CambridgeFoodie May 23, 2009 07:20 AM

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


        1. re: CambridgeFoodie
          9lives RE: CambridgeFoodie May 23, 2009 07:24 AM

          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
            MC Slim JB RE: 9lives May 23, 2009 07:42 AM

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


            1. re: MC Slim JB
              hlerm2 RE: MC Slim JB May 23, 2009 08:45 AM

              Is this the same as tri-tip

              1. re: hlerm2
                MC Slim JB RE: hlerm2 May 23, 2009 08:51 AM

                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.


            2. re: 9lives
              CambridgeFoodie RE: 9lives May 26, 2009 10:43 AM

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

          2. re: MC Slim JB
            garlic breath RE: MC Slim JB May 26, 2009 07:48 AM

            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. t
            treb RE: 9lives May 23, 2009 11:04 AM

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

            1. nfo RE: 9lives May 23, 2009 11:51 AM

              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. n
                nightsky RE: 9lives May 25, 2009 07:39 PM

                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
                  MC Slim JB RE: nightsky May 25, 2009 08:18 PM

                  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
                    Karl S RE: MC Slim JB May 26, 2009 11:43 AM

                    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
                      almansa RE: Karl S May 30, 2009 10:32 AM

                      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
                        Karl S RE: almansa May 30, 2009 11:32 AM

                        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
                          steinpilz RE: almansa May 31, 2009 05:44 AM

                          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
                            ac106 RE: steinpilz May 31, 2009 07:07 AM

                            which one? The Davis Sq site or the Everett?

                            1. re: ac106
                              steinpilz RE: ac106 May 31, 2009 08:09 AM

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

                  2. nsenada RE: 9lives May 26, 2009 06:32 AM

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

                    1. t
                      thegirlwholovestoeat RE: 9lives May 26, 2009 10:26 AM

                      I got some at Stop n Shop in Brighton this weekend and they turned into some tasty steak tips. It was $5.99/lb.

                      1. 9
                        9lives RE: 9lives May 30, 2009 09:10 AM

                        Picked upa big "flap steak" at Shaws Back Bay. Not in the case and the guy on the floor wasn't familiar with it and called the butcher. He knew just what I wanted and gave me a nice 3 lb cut.

                        You guys are correct. It is steak tips before they are sliced into smaller pieces.

                        Now I can cut it into whatever size steaks I want or just roast the whole thing.

                        BTW, their USDA Prime strip and ribeyes at $20/lb looked good too.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: 9lives
                          teezeetoo RE: 9lives May 30, 2009 01:56 PM

                          they do a very nice version at the Blue Room. Both this cut and hangar are extremely tasty, though hangar to me works best french style, stove top, red wine and shallots and flap is a wonderful marinated meat for the grill.

                        2. ScubaSteve RE: 9lives May 30, 2009 02:01 PM

                          just got (and ate) a beauty that i picked up at New England Meat Market in Peabody.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: ScubaSteve
                            treb RE: ScubaSteve May 30, 2009 02:11 PM

                            How did you prep it, I assume you also grilled it.

                            1. re: treb
                              ScubaSteve RE: treb May 30, 2009 04:34 PM

                              just a mix of evoo, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, chipotloe, cumin, and maybe a few more made into a paste that i let sit for about 6 hours then a hot grill pan, finished in the oven to med rare.

                              1. re: ScubaSteve
                                treb RE: ScubaSteve Jun 1, 2009 04:13 AM

                                Makes me want to reach for a cold brew, sounds really good.

                          2. h
                            headmaster RE: 9lives Jun 7, 2009 07:06 PM

                            I just found it at the Hilltop Steakhouse's butcher shop yesterday. They had "sirloin tips steaks." I asked, and it was flap meat, and they would have given me a big, multipound piece of flap meat if I had wanted it. $4.99/lb.

                            This probably deserves its own topic, but I find that Hilltop is underrated. They aren't quite full-service, but what they have is good quality and good value. For instance, when buying ths steak yesterday, I found al Fresco Chicken Apple Sausage 12 oz, pkg for $1.99 each. This is less than half of Stop and Shop's price.


                            1. g
                              gowestie RE: 9lives Jul 4, 2009 06:03 PM

                              My wife and I have been buying this cut of meat from our local Costco since 2008. It is a moderately marbled piece of meat that Costco sells cut across the grain in 1 and 2 inch wide strips. I would imagine that uncut this portion of meat would resemble a briskette but thicker. The Costco flap steak is probably twice as thick as an average briskette.

                              This cut of meat is awsome to grill and is relatively inexpensive. We just grilled about 8 pounds of flap steak for the 4th of July to rave reviews and it cost about $38 dollars.

                              I have not seen this meet in any grocery store before and the only place I know to buy it is at Costco. Every time I have seen it there is has already been crosscut into wide strips.

                              My wife has this awesome spice combination that she coats the meat with before we grill it. It is a big hit wherever we go. It is great NFL tailgate food.

                              It is a bit of a mystery to me as to where on the cow this steak comes from as there are several links that will show it is either from the short loin region or the flank region of the cow.

                              My wife and I have tried several different steak cuts and we both agree that grilled flap steak has yet to be dethroned by any other cut we have tried.

                              Obviously a steak depends upon the cooking technique. However, flap steak is sufficiently marbled that it cooks up quite nicely on a grill at heat ranges between 350 and 400 degrees for 30 minutes with the watchful eye. I have cooked this cut many many times and I am very confident in cooking this cut for large numbers of guests. But we have only ever had this cut off the grill, so I am not familiar with other cooking techniques. I have seen several recipes for the red wine sauce and may one day have to try it, but when we know the grilled version is 100% satifying it is tough to experiment.

                              I would compare it to a much more well marbled and tender briskette cut of meat.

                              Like I said, I have had T-bones, and briskette, and sirloin cuts and I still keep coming back to the flap steak.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: gowestie
                                9lives RE: gowestie Jul 4, 2009 08:31 PM

                                Thx, I can't get to Costco but I've been buying it in 4-5 lb pieces at Shaw's Prudential..just ask the butcher to cut it. I usually vacuum freez e it in a few portions..grilled 1 the other night. Fabulous cut of meat.

                                BTW, in the rare case that you have leftovers, this recipe for a steak salad is great..Had it for lunch.


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