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Beef Cut Quandary

Hookcookman Jul 24, 2009 02:53 PM

Which cut of beef is recommended - best combination of flavor and tenderness - for searing, slicing thin and serving over greens (arugula, watercress and the like)? Flank steak?

  1. ipsedixit Jul 24, 2009 02:59 PM

    Depending on your butcher, I would recommend the flap steak.

    If that's not available, try the skirt steak.

    For either the flap or skirt, just make sure to slice it across the grain, otherwise you'll end up chewing like you're in a bubble gum contest.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit
      Hookcookman Jul 24, 2009 03:36 PM

      My meat experience was mostly in France. Do you know if this is what is called the bavette? If so, it is common there, often appearing as the house steak or bifteck.
      Thanks so much for the tip.

      1. re: Hookcookman
        ipsedixit Jul 24, 2009 04:09 PM

        Yes, it is the "bavette d'aloyau" (and NOT the bavette de flanchet, which would be the flank steak in the U.S.)

    2. f
      fourunder Jul 25, 2009 07:39 AM

      Flank steak is good and probably the easiest to cook. The Flap and Skirt steaks (ipsedixit) suggest are also a good choices. Flap steaks are also known as Tri-Tip or Newport cuts depending on where you reside regionally in the country.

      Although all the previous mentioned steaks are very flavorful, my opinion is you should also consider Hanger Steak, Top Butt Sirloin and Flat Iron (Top Blade) cuts as well. They are more tender, less chewy.

      Here is a copy and paste contribution I made for a suggestion on a London Broil thread:


      Next time you decide to have the same London Broil, consider slow roasting the meat first in your oven @ 225* first for about 90-120 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat. You need not sear the meat, and you will have no fear of overcooking the meat, trust me.

      You can do any or all of the suggestions for marinating first, bringing to room temperature and even letting the meat rest. When you are ready to grill or reheat, do the same as your original post and the results will be much different.

      This method I have explained is used at many catering facilities where a large number of guests would be served. At many Country Clubs, this is how Tri-Tips and Flap Meats are cooked and served at Golf Outings with Carving Stations. The marinade is usually simple soy sauce and olive oil. The slow roasting process along with marinating breaks the meat down and tenderizes.

      I also use the slow roast method for Chuck Roast/Steak, Tri-Tip Roasts, Top Sirloin(Butt) and Hanger Steak with excellent results.

      1 Reply
      1. re: fourunder
        almansa Jul 25, 2009 11:33 AM

        I've not seen tri-tip called flap in New England. The bavette is the sirloin flap that runs down the side of the animal (a continuation of the "tail" on a porterhouse.) Here it's sold as steak tips. There's also chuck flap which is not as tender but is absolutely delicious when sliced very thin, as for tataki, or pounded into a paillard and grilled.

        I think your inclination toward flank is a fine option, as is the suggestion of flatiron. The latter, though, strikes some people as too livery, but I adore it. And the flatiron is second only to tenderloin as the muscle of least resistance. Just be sure that that whole muscle has been denuded horizontally prior to portioning.

      2. 4
        4Snisl Jul 25, 2009 07:25 PM

        You may want to consider cooking an eye of round roast as suggested in this thread for this application....


        1. h
          Hookcookman Jul 30, 2009 01:57 PM

          I thank you all ever so much for such seemingly informed responses. So little time to try them all!

          1. cassoulady Jul 30, 2009 02:13 PM

            Flank and Skirt are so easy and fast to cook. I poke them with a fork all over, marinade in a simple mixture then sear in a grill pan really like a minute or two per side, let rest and slice thin.

            2 Replies
            1. re: cassoulady
              Hookcookman Aug 6, 2009 11:59 AM

              Very informative and thanks to you all. I searched far and wide for flap steak, found it at Niman and was shocked by the price. Searched further and La Cense, an outfit in Dillon, Montana, finally came to my search engine; bought the steak(s), they arrived two days ago, we had one last night: absolutely superb, one of the best pieces of beef I have ever had. I recommend this source highly.

              1. re: Hookcookman
                sbp Aug 6, 2009 12:41 PM

                I've seen flap steak at Costco.

            2. tommy Aug 6, 2009 12:21 PM

              My vote is for hanger, although all of the recs are great.

              Hanger is dirt cheap in my parts. It's full of flavor and incredibly tender.

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