By “What’s your beef”, I don’t mean the complaint, but your favourite steak. In todays sanitised supermarket aisles we are persuaded that the best steak, must be the most expensive, because they are more tender. However given that the ‘choice’ cuts i.e. the loins and rib account for such a small part of the overall cow, maybe we are missing out on the tastiest parts. I won’t go into too much detail about cuts of beef, but let Bill write another post sometime, since he has years of experience in the industry.
Since moving to the U.S., I’ve have to re-learn what the different cuts are, since the most countries have decided on different methods of ‘quartering’ and the names for each of the primal cuts. Luckily within the first couple of weeks arriving here, I visited a Churrascaria, a Brazilian steakhouse, with some friends. At a Churrascaria, the waiters bring huge skewers of barbecued meat to your table and carve off as much you want until you are full. Each skewer only has one type of meat on it and it was very easy to compare filet mignon against rib-eye, or sirloin against ribs, and so on. It was a great way to compare beef cuts side by side, and from the huge number of meats that I ate that night, I found the my favourite my flank, which I’ve found out since in the UK would be the thin flank or skirt.
Flank steak isn’t a particularly tender cut of steak,but it more than makes up for it in flavour. To me it tastes ‘beefy’, which I find a lot of other steak don’t nowadays. As long as you tenderise flank steak or marinade it first, and cook it for a reasonable time, it can be one of the best value, tastiest steaks you’ve ever had.
My favourite way of cooking flank steak is very simple. I take my own mix of rub, cover the steak and leave it for a couple of hours to help tenderise it, spray it with olive oil and cook it for about 15-20mins on a medium barbecue until medium rare.
Something I would like to do in the future is compare the same cut of beef from different grades, i.e. select, choice, prime and also from different breeds of cow at the same time to see if I can taste the difference.