Butchering flank steak can be intimidating, but with the right tools and techniques, it’s actually quite simple. Flank steak is a lean cut of beef that comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow.
It’s known for its rich flavor and versatility, making it a popular choice for grilling, roasting, or stir-frying. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this guide will take you through step-by-step on how to butcher flank steak like a pro.
Tools You’ll Need
Before starting the butchering process, gather all the necessary tools. Here are some of the essential tools you’ll need:
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Meat tenderizer/mallet
- Plastic wrap
- Meat thermometer (optional)
Step-by-Step Guide to Butchering Flank Steak
Now that you have all the necessary tools let’s dive into how to butcher flank steak.
Step 1: Prep Your Work Area
Preparation is key when it comes to butchering meat. Start by placing your cutting board on a sturdy surface and covering it with plastic wrap. This will make cleanup easier and prevent cross-contamination.
Step 2: Remove Excess Fat and Silver Skin
Take your sharp knife and trim any excess fat or silver skin from the surface of the flank steak. This will help prevent tough spots in your meat and give it a more even texture.
Step 3: Identify Grain Direction
The grain direction refers to the lines of muscle fibers in the meat. To make sure your finished dish is as tender as possible, it’s essential to cut against the grain.
Hold the flank steak up to the light and look for the direction of the muscle fibers. You will want to cut perpendicular to these lines.
Step 4: Make Incisions
Using your sharp knife, make shallow incisions on either side of the flank steak, following the grain direction. This will help prevent the meat from curling up when you cook it.
Step 5: Tenderize Meat
Take your meat tenderizer/mallet and pound each side of the flank steak, paying extra attention to any thick or tough areas. This will help break down the muscle fibers and make the meat more tender.
Step 6: Cut Against The Grain
Now it’s time to cut your flank steak into individual portions. Using your knife, cut perpendicular to the grain in thin slices. Make sure each slice is about a quarter-inch thick for even cooking.
Butchering flank steak may seem daunting at first, but with a little practice and patience, anyone can do it like a pro. Remember to use a sharp knife, identify grain direction, and tenderize your meat before cutting for best results.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a piece of flank steak and get started!