Flank steak is a popular cut of beef in many countries around the world. However, in Argentina, it holds a special place in the hearts and stomachs of locals and visitors alike.
So what exactly is flank steak? And how does it differ from other cuts of beef?
What Is Flank Steak?
Flank steak comes from the lower abdominal area of the cow and is known for its strong beefy flavor. It’s a lean cut, meaning there’s not a lot of fat marbling throughout the meat. This makes it a popular choice for those looking for a healthier red meat option.
What Cut Is Flank Steak in Argentina?
In Argentina, flank steak is known as “vacio” or “bife de vacio”. The term “vacio” literally translates to “empty”, which refers to the empty space between the cow’s ribs and hips where this cut comes from.
The Importance of Flank Steak in Argentine Cuisine
Flank steak has long been an integral part of Argentine cuisine. It’s often used in traditional dishes like “asado”, which is essentially an Argentine barbecue. Asado typically features various cuts of beef cooked over an open flame, with flank steak being one of the most important.
How to Cook Flank Steak
While flank steak can be cooked using various methods, grilling or roasting are two popular ways to cook it. It’s important to note that because this cut is lean, it can quickly become tough if overcooked. To avoid this, many people choose to marinate their flank steak before cooking it.
- A simple marinade might include olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- For more complex flavors, try adding soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or balsamic vinegar.
- Marinate the steak for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours, before cooking.
Serving Flank Steak
Once cooked, flank steak can be served in a variety of ways. In Argentina, it’s often sliced thinly and served with chimichurri sauce, a tangy herb-based sauce that pairs perfectly with the beefy flavor of the steak. Other popular accompaniments include roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a simple green salad.
Flank steak is a delicious and versatile cut of beef that plays an important role in Argentine cuisine. Whether you enjoy it grilled, roasted, or sliced thinly with chimichurri sauce, there’s no denying the mouth-watering flavor and unique texture of this cut. So next time you’re in Argentina, make sure to try some “vacio” for yourself!