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Can I make rendang with flank steak?

Miss Needle Apr 2, 2010 04:41 PM

DH has expressed some desire for beef rendang next week. As I look in the freezer, I only see flank steak (which I normally use for stir-fries). I know that flank probably would suck in stews and am aware that something like chuck or short ribs would be better. But am wondering if all the rich coconut milk would somehow counteract flank's less succulent quality. Also should mention that the beef is grass-fed (therefore leaner). Should I make it using flank? Or should I just purchase some other cut of beef?

  1. Miss Needle Apr 2, 2010 07:22 PM

    Woo hoo! Just found a chuck roast in the freezer. Feel like I've just won the lottery! Will be using this for instead of the flank.

    Thanks for the responses. Waver, yes the rendang probably would have been more like ropa vieja in texture. Ooh, it would have been the perfect texture if I ever wanted to jump on the trendy bandwagon and do an Indonesian-inspired banh mi.

    And, Todao, you're correct that I paid more for the flank than I did for chuck. I try to finish what I have in the fridge and plan my meals around that instead of buying more stuff. So if I did not find my chuck, I'd probably would have tried with the flank. But luckily I don't have to do that since I hit the jackpot.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Miss Needle
      todao Apr 2, 2010 07:31 PM

      A cook after my own heart. One of my greatest joys is trying to use everything I can that I already have in the refrigerator (or dry storage) before I take on the task of re-supply. It makes cooking so much more fun. This afternoon I found a head of lettuce, a partial package of Craisins, some walnuts, feta cheese, and a few fresh strawberries left in the fridge. Combined that stuff with some browned chicken strips and made a strawberry vinaigrette and the resulting dinner salad turned out very well. Tomorrow it's something with the left over cabbage, sour cream, some herbs and who knows what else.

    2. todao Apr 2, 2010 06:48 PM

      I don't think you'd want to serve rendang that was prepared with flank steak. Beef tips or a similar cut would work much better; even the tailings of the meat cutters bench (stew meat) would be a better choice.
      In my region, flank steak is more expensive than the meats typically used for rendang so making another choice could possibly save you some money.

      1. waver Apr 2, 2010 06:43 PM

        Its been a long - too long - time since I tried rendang. I think flank will work, but it will be stringy, right? I mean the cubes will fall apart into strings on your fork or spoon which is OK if you like that. If you don't then get a stew beef and save the flank fr something else. I don't think the leanness is a problem in itself as there should be plenty of coconut richness.

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