Have you ever wondered where on the cow a flank steak comes from? Flank steak is a popular cut of beef that’s known for its strong, beefy flavor and lean texture. In this article, we’ll explore the anatomy of a cow and pinpoint exactly where the flank steak can be found.
Firstly, it’s important to understand that there are four main sections of beef: the chuck, rib, loin, and round. Each section produces different cuts of meat with varying textures and flavors. The flank steak is actually part of the loin section but it’s located on the underside of the cow near the hind legs.
What is the Loin?
The loin is one of the most prized sections of beef because it contains some of the tenderest and most flavorful cuts. It runs along both sides of the cow’s spine from just behind the rib section to just before the round section. The loin can be divided into three parts:
- The first part is called the short loin and includes cuts like T-bone and porterhouse steaks.
- The second part is called the sirloin and includes cuts like top sirloin and tri-tip.
- The third part is called the flank and includes only one cut – you guessed it – flank steak!
Where Exactly Is Flank Steak Found?
Flank steak comes from a specific muscle in this section called the abdominal oblique muscle. It’s a long, flat muscle that runs diagonally along both sides of a cow’s abdomen. This muscle isn’t used very much by cows which makes it lean but also tough if not prepared correctly.
Flank steak is typically cut against the grain into thin strips which helps to break up any tough fibers in the meat. It’s often marinated before cooking to add extra flavor and tenderness.
How to Cook Flank Steak
Flank steak can be grilled, broiled, or pan-fried. Here are some tips for cooking it:
- Preheat your grill or broiler to high heat.
- Remove flank steak from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
- Rub both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, or your favorite seasoning blend.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the steak. You want a nice crust to form on both sides but be careful not to overcook it – flank steak is best served medium-rare to medium.
- Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing against the grain into thin strips.
Now that you know where on the cow a flank steak comes from, you can impress your friends and family with your knowledge! Remember that while flank steak is lean and flavorful, it can also be tough if not prepared correctly. But with a little bit of marinade and proper cooking technique, you can turn this cut into a delicious and satisfying meal.