Claim Your Steak
On a typical grocery run, let alone in the run of a day, we rarely think about different cuts of beef, their characteristics, what recipes they’re good for, and how to cook them. So in tandem with our weekly Staff Picks, we’ve selected three cuts of beef for you brush up on. The steaks are common cuts that you can find at any grocery store, and the recipes that match are simple and delicious.
The Strip Loin (commonly known as a New York Strip) is cut from the section of beef right behind the ribs. It’s a relatively tender steak with a nice strip of fat around the edge to give it flavor. Strip Loins are a leaner steak with less marbling, so they’re less fatty, but that’s not necessarily a good thing (see Rib Eye below.) They’re good bang for their buck, and are probably the most common cut used for steak dishes. Fun fact: the Strip is the larger part of a T-bone steak, the smaller part is Tenderloin.
The Rib Eye steak is cut further up from where the Strip is cut, in the rib section (no kidding.) Rib Eye steaks are a favorite of any butcher or beef lover, as it has a great amount of marbling and a large piece of fat in it making it tender and tasty. This cut is great for pan frying as the fat melts and naturally seasons the steak as it cooks in its juices. Though they don’t come cheap, they’re the most impressive steak you can buy (next to a Tomahawk Steak, which is essentially a bone-in version of the Rib Eye) and will always leave you satisfied and your company impressed.
The Flank Steak is cut from the underbelly of the cow, and is generally a less tender, cheaper cut of meat. Despite its lower profile, Flank Steaks are great for dishes such as stir fry’s or salads. When cooked properly, Flank Steaks can be elevated and punch over their weight, however conversely, if they’re not they can taste like, and be as tough as tire rubber. The biggest mistake you can make with a Flank Steak is cutting with the grain for a fast fry dish. Always cut against the grain for these dishes, and you’ll be wonderfully surprised with the outcome.
Although there are many cuts of beef to choose from, and plenty to know about each, there’s always a credible source at your disposal - your local butcher. Time may not allow for it during a busy work week, but when you have time, ask a few questions, pick their brain, and try to learn as much as possible. Not only do they have years of experience and plenty of knowledge to offer, but if they want you back as a customer (most do) they’re going to give you the best cut of meat possible. Unless you’re a jackass. Then you should be worried, least of which regarding steaks.