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Where does flank steak come from?
Flank steak is a cut of steak that comes from the flank of the cow, which is right below the loin. This cut is incredibly flavourful, but very lean, which means that it can be a lot tougher than most other cuts of steak. Flank steak is best used in dishes like fajitas because it soaks up marinades very well.
Flank steak comes from a very hard-working part of the cow, which means there isn’t that much fat. In steak, fat is usually the flavourful part, so it might seem like flank steak wouldn’t have that much flavour, but its unique taste can be intensified and greatly enhanced by seasoning and marinades.
You can buy flank steak at basically any butcher in Australia, but it’s also available at your local Coles or Woolworths from the meat section.
Wagyu flank steak
Something worth talking about is the wagyu flank. Flank steak is typically very lean, but if it comes from a wagyu cow, then the meat is so much more tender! This unique kind of meat is prized around the world for its flavour and fat content, so if you’re able to score a nice cut of wagyu flank, it’s worth springing that extra cash for.
What is another name for flank steak?
Flank steak is known by a lot of names, most commonly “Lindon Broil.” It is also known as beef flank filet, plank steak, or jiffy steak. A lot of people also interchange skirt steak or flap steak with flank steak, but in reality, these are different cuts of meat.
Flap steak vs flank steak
Flap steak is a very similar cut of beef that also comes from the underside of a cow. It has the same properties as flank steak, because they’re both very lean and tough. The differences may be minor but flap steak is definitely not the same as flank steak.
Skirt steak vs flank steak
These two are easily confused because when cut, they look alike. However, the main difference is that the skirt steak is a very fatty piece of meat, while the flank steak is very lean. This means that even though they may look alike, the flavour profiles of these two cuts are vastly different and they’re cooked in very different ways.
How to cook flank steak
Generally, flank steak is a very fickle cut of meat, so if you don’t cook it correctly you’re going to end up with a very tough steak! Here are a few tried and tested flank steak recipes for you to try your hand at.
Slow-cooked flank steak
Slow cooking is a great way to cook flank steak. Slow cooking tenderises the muscles fibres so you end up with a remarkably soft piece of meat. Here’s a great recipe that really brings out the flavour of even the cheapest cuts of flank steak.
Sous vide flank steak
Sous vide involves submerging a vacuum sealed bag into a jug of water, and then using a special device to keep water at a consistent cooking temperature. It might sound a bit fancy-schmancy, but for flank steak, the results are incredible! You can find an amazing recipe for sous vide flank steak here.
Grilled flank steak
Since flank steak is a thin and lean cut of steak, you should grill it hot and fast, meaning that you should have your grill on very high heat, and only cook the flank steak for a relatively short time. This allows the meat to retain some tenderness while maximising flavour. Here is a great recipe for marinated flank steak.
Flank steak is delicious when cooked correctly
Flank steak is a criminally underrated cut of steak that a lot of people ignore. Although it can be a bit tricky to handle, when cooked correctly it will impart an amazingly deep and beefy flavour into your chosen dish. If you’ve never tried flank steak, then it's probably about time to head over to your local butcher and get a cut or two for your next Sunday brunch.
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