If you’re a fan of street tacos, then you know that using the right cut of meat is crucial for achieving the perfect flavor and texture. One of the most popular cuts for street tacos is flank steak, a flavorful and relatively affordable cut that can be cooked quickly over high heat.
However, cutting flank steak can be a bit tricky, especially if you want to get those thin, tender slices that are so essential for tacos. In this tutorial, we’ll go over everything you need to know about cutting flank steak for street tacos.
Step 1: Choose the Right Flank Steak
Before you start cutting your flank steak, it’s important to choose the right piece of meat. Look for a flank steak that is well-marbled with fat but doesn’t have too much connective tissue or gristle. You’ll also want to make sure that the steak is relatively uniform in thickness so that it cooks evenly.
Step 2: Freeze the Steak Slightly
To make it easier to slice your flank steak thinly and evenly, you’ll want to freeze it for about 30 minutes before cutting. This will firm up the meat without freezing it completely.
Step 3: Cut Against the Grain
The key to getting those tender slices of meat is to cut against the grain. Look at your flank steak and identify which direction the muscle fibers are running (you should be able to see long lines running across the meat). Use a sharp knife to slice perpendicular to these lines, making sure each slice is as thin as possible.
- Use a sharp knife: A dull knife will tear at the meat and make it harder to get those thin slices.
- Cut at an angle: To make your slices wider and more visually appealing in your taco, try cutting at a slight angle instead of straight down.
- Trim any excess fat: While some marbling is good, you’ll want to trim off any large pieces of fat or connective tissue that can make the meat tough.
Step 4: Season and Cook
Once you’ve sliced your flank steak, it’s time to season and cook it. You can use a simple marinade of lime juice, garlic, and spices, or just sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Heat up a skillet or grill pan over high heat and cook the steak for just a few minutes on each side until it’s nicely browned but still pink in the middle.
- Don’t overcook: Flank steak can get tough if it’s cooked for too long, so be sure to keep an eye on it and take it off the heat as soon as it’s done.
- Rest the meat: After cooking, let the meat rest for a few minutes before slicing it further. This will help redistribute the juices and make your slices even more tender.
- Serve with toppings: Street tacos are all about the toppings! Serve your sliced flank steak with fresh cilantro, diced onion, crumbled queso fresco, and a squeeze of lime juice for maximum flavor.
Cutting flank steak for street tacos may seem intimidating at first, but with these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to slice like a pro in no time. Remember to choose the right cut of meat, freeze slightly before slicing against the grain with a sharp knife at an angle.
Once cooked properly serve with toppings of your choice. With practice comes perfection so keep trying till you master this art!