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Breast & Flank Cuts

The breast and flank yield an assortment of cuts, including the flank steak, skirt steak, hanger steak, brisket, and short ribs.


brisket   Notes:   Northerners like to use the brisket to make corned beef, but Southerners often prefer to barbecue it because they like the way the meat pulls apart into tender, juicy strands.  Briskets are usually sold boneless, and often cut into two parts:  the flat cut = flat half = first cut = thin cut and the fattier and cheaper point cut = point half = front cut = thick cutSubstitutes:   rump roast (good for corned beef) OR bottom round roast (good for corned beef) 

hanger steak = hanging tender = butcher's steak = butcher's tenderloin = onglet   Notes:    This is the part of the diaphragm that hangs between the last rib and the loin.   It's often ground in hamburger (or butchers just take it home), but some people claim that its grainy texture and intense flavor make it a first-rate steak (if marinated first).   It's better known in France than in the United States, so you'll probably have to ask your butcher to set one aside for you.    Substitutes:  skirt steak OR flank steak

flank steak   Notes:   This is a lean, flat cut that's fairly tender and extremely flavorful.  Properly marinated, it's a wonderful steak to grill or broil, but don't overcook it or it will become very tough.  Before serving, cut the steak into thin slices at a slant against the grain.   Substitutes:  skirt steak OR hanger steak OR top round (for London broil) OR tri-tip roast


short ribs = flanken = chuck short ribs = barbecue ribs = braising ribs = English short ribs  Notes:    These are rectangular sandwiches of fat, meat, and bone that are often cut into three-inch sections.  They're very flavorful, but tough and fatty, so they're best if slowly braised.  You can also grill them over low heat, but the dripping fat tends to cause flare-ups.  To prevent this, either braise the ribs first or put a drip pan under them.  Short ribs are sold either boneless or bone-in.  If the cut is made across the ribs instead of between the ribs, the result is called flanken style ribs = kosher ribs = brust flanken = flanken short ribs.  Chuck short ribs are tougher but less fatty than the short ribs taken from the underside of the carcass.  Substitutes:  back ribs (not as meaty, but more tender) 


skirt steak = beef plate skirt steak = fajita meat = Philadelphia steak   Notes:   These look like thick-grained flank steaks, and they're the cut of choice for making fajitas.  Since they're marbled with fat, they also make for very juicy steaks.  It's best to pound them flat, marinate briefly, then cook them over high heat.   Substitutes:  flank steak OR hanger steak


Copyright 1996-2005  Lori Alden