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  • Clara Leung

Flank (Bavette) Steaks

The flank steak, also widely known as a bavette steak is known for its bold taste and distinct grain. The beauty of this cut is that it's inexpensive but flavourful and versatile, especially when prepared well. Let’s dive into the details and see how you can make the most of it in your culinary creations.

The Anatomy of Flank Steak

Flank steak is derived from the cow's lower chest or abdominal muscles, situated just behind the plate and in front of the rear quarter. Each cow only has two of these cuts available and since it's muscle that's used a lot, the flank is a thick-grained, low-fat cut. This means that the flank steaks require little to no trimming, making them super easy to prepare. Also known as a bavette steak, the flank steak is a lean cut with minimal fat, known for its robust flavour and chewy texture.

Flavour and Texture

The unique flavour of flank steak comes from its proximity to the cow’s belly muscles. Despite being lean and somewhat tough, it packs a punch of beefy goodness that stands out in any dish. The distinctive coarse grain that runs along the length of the flank is porous, making it far more receptive to soaking up rubs and marinades. The meat’s visible cross-grain and muscular fibres contribute to its chewiness, but with proper preparation, its tenderness can shine through.

Cooking the Flank (Bavette)

Marinating: Given its lean nature, flank steak greatly benefits from marinating. Marinades help tenderise the meat while infusing it with additional flavours. Ingredients like citrus, fruit juices (orange or pineapple), soy sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, wine, or other acidic components are excellent choices to break down the tough fibres and enhance the steak’s natural taste.

High-Heat Cooking: Flank steak shines when cooked quickly over high heat. Whether you’re grilling, pan-searing, or even cooking directly on coals, the key is to achieve a beautiful sear without overcooking the interior.

Slicing: One of the most crucial steps in preparing flank steak is slicing it thinly against the grain, preferably at a 45-degree angle. This technique ensures that the meat is easier to chew and enhances its overall texture.

Menu Ideas

  • Grilled Flank Steak: Simply season with salt and pepper, or your favourite rub, and grill for a quick and delicious meal.

  • Tacos and Fajitas: Perfect for slicing thin and adding to tacos, fajitas or nachos for a flavourful boost.

  • Stir-Fries and Salads: Incorporate into stir-fries or beef salads for a rich, protein-packed dish.

  • Casseroles and Curries: Flank steak also excels in slow-cooked applications, where it can absorb flavour over time and become incredibly tender.

While flank steak might not have the marbled richness of other cuts, its assertive beefy flavour and versatility make it a standout choice for chefs and foodservice venues. With the right preparation and cooking techniques, flank steak can become the feature point of your menus.


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