Beef - Flank Steak
flank steak is a beef steak cut from the belly muscles of the cow.
Long and flat, the flank steak's best known application is London Broil a misnomer, as the dish did not originate in London. The popularity of
London Broil has driven up the price of flank steak over the past few
decades. It is substantially tougher than the loin and rib steaks,
therefore many flank recipes use marinades or moist cooking methods such
The French are quite partial to this cut, known as "Bavette".
It is quickly seared in a hot pan and eaten rare to maintain its
tenderness. Bavette is frequently served in Parisian bistros with shallots
- "Bavette a l'chalotte". Strips of flank steak, known as arrachera,
are very popular in Mexican cuisine and may be used to fill tacos, or
served in large pieces as a main course. Flank steak used in Mexican
cuisine may be tenderized by a marinade, or by mechanical tenderizing,
using a machine similar to that used to produce cube steaks.
Flank steak is best when it has a bright, red color. Because it comes
from a strong, well-exercised part of the cow, it is best prepared when
cut across the grain. Additional tenderness can be added by marinating the
meat in a tenderizing liquid, including acids like tomato-based products,
lemon juice, wine, vinegar, pineapple or ginger.
Because the marinades in Asian cuisine tend to be tenderizing, flank
steak is frequently used in this cuisine.
In Chinese markets, the flank steak is often sold as "stir-fry
beef" because it is how it is usually prepared. Most stir-fried beef
dishes in Cantonese restaurants are prepared with this cut of beef.