Got your sights set on beef drop flank? Hold your horses!
There’s a lot more to this underdog of a cut than meets the eye. In this article, we’re taking a deep dive into the world of this relatively unknown beef cut.
We’ve got you what you need to really know before you go hunting down this cut. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook looking to shake things up, here’s the 411 on beef drop flank.
Buckle up; it’s time to talk meat!
Let’s Know First, “What is a Beef Drop Flank?”
A beef drop flank is a cut of beef from the belly of the cow. It’s actually a piece of beef that’s sliced right from the cow’s belly, kinda towards the back part, just beneath the loin and over the rear legs. It’s a mix of flank meat (the lean muscle bit), silver skin (that tough covering that keeps the meat together), and tendon (that chewy part).
This muscle gets quite a workout in cow life. Therefore, it’s pretty tough and perfect for recipes like stewing or braising.
But hey, don’t let that put you off! When you cook this guy right, it can bring a punch of flavor to your plate and go great in a whole bunch of different meals.
This cut is pretty popular in Chinese cuisine. You’ll often find it in dishes like beef noodle soup, beef stew, or Chinese Beef Tendon Stew.
It’s also best for stir-fries too, but remember not to overdo it, otherwise, it’ll end up tough.
The other names for beef drop flank are:
- Flank steak
- Flank steak filet
- Jiffy steak
- Bavette steak
What you should know about Buttery Beef Drop Flank?
Here are the most important facts you should know about beef drop flank before trying to search for it while living in the USA.
1. Beef Drop Flank Isn’t Popular Cut in the USA.
In the USA, though, it’s not one of the most popular beef cuts. The reason is that it’s tough and suitable for stewing or braising.
But people here in the USA usually prefer tender, juicy cuts like filet mignon or ribeye. That said, it’s most popular in Asia, and usually, you’d find it in specialty butcher shops or Asian markets here in the USA.
2. Beef Drop Flank is a Tasty Meat Cut.
Yes, beef drop flank can be super tasty if you cook it right. It’s got some nice marbling which gives it a rich flavor. But remember, it’s tough!
So, there are a few go-to methods for cooking beef drop flank, like braising, stewing, and slow cooking. These cooking methods let the meat cook nice and slow, which softens it up and brings out all the yumminess.
3. You can Make a Few Delicious Recipes Using Beef Drop Flank.
You won’t find loads of recipes for beef drop flank. But, there are some classics that use beef drop flank.
One fan favorite is beef stew, which is like a warm hug on a cold day. It’s all beef drop flank, beef broth, veggies, and spices. You slow-cook the beef in the broth until it’s tender, then toss in the veggies till they’re soft too. Serve it up with some crusty bread or rolls, and you’re good to go.
If you’ve got a beef drop flank, we’ve got you a few Asian recipes to cook the most tasty drop flank. You can look up the full recipes for cooking it by following the links listed below.
- Braised Beef Drop Flank with Bean Curd Knots
- Chinese Brown Braised Beef Drop Flank
- Spicy Beef Drop Flank With Zohu Sauce
- Beef Drop Flank Noodle Soup
- Spicy Beef Drop Flank Curry
- Spicy Braised Beef Drop Flank with Zouhou Sauce
- Chinese Beef Brisket –made using beef drop flank
- Beef Drop Flank Soup
These are just a few ideas to get you started with cooking beef drop flank following Asian recipes. Feel free to experiment with different marinades, spices, and cooking methods to create your own unique dishes using beef drop flank. Enjoy your culinary adventures!
4. You Might Need to Trim the Beef Drop Flank Before Cooking It.
Now, about trimming it before you cook – well, it depends on what you like. Some folks prefer to cut off the excess fat, while others like to keep it for the extra flavor.
If you choose to trim a beef drop flank, make sure to remove some fat and all silver skin. If you leave the fat, it’ll give your dish some more flavor and juiciness but could make it a bit greasy.
Here are some pros and cons of trimming beef drop flank before cooking it:
- Cutting off extra fat makes the beef drop flank less fatty and healthier.
- Even cooking can be easier if you trim the meat.
- Trimming prevents the meat from drying out when cooking.
- You might lose some flavor if you remove all the fat.
- It can be trickier to shred the meat after cooking if you trim it.
- Trimming adds to your cooking time.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to trim beef drop flank before cooking it is up to you.
5. Beef Drop Flank Isn’t Good for Making Ground Beef.
The beef drop flank is too tough to turn into ground beef.
When you make ground beef, the meat is ground to break down the muscle fibers and connective tissue, making it tender and easy to chew. But beef drop flank’s way too tough for that. If you try to grind it, the silver skin and tendon won’t break down, and you’ll end up with tough, chewy ground beef when cooked.
That said, if you’re really into beef drop flank and still want to grind it, here’s what you need to do:
- Trim sliver skin as much as possible.
- Trim most of the fat.
- Cut the meat into thin strips.
- Freeze the meat for about 30 minutes.
- Grind the meat through a meat grinder.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Beef Drop Flank Cut Isn’t Expensive.
Nah, not at all. It’s a budget-friendly beef cut.
Usually, it’ll set you back about $3 to 4 bucks on sale and typically $5-7 per lb. That’s way less than expensive beef cuts like filet mignon or ribeye that can go for over $20 per pound.
7. Finding Beef Drop Flank in the USA Isn’t that Easy!
Beef drop flank isn’t easy to find in the United States. You’d have to hunt for it in specialty butcher shops or Asian markets. Here’s where you can get your hands on some:
- Niche butcher shops
- Asian grocery stores
- Online shopping sites
If you’re striking out, ask your local butcher or supermarket if they can hook you up. Or, you can check out online sites like Amazon or eBay.
When you’re shopping for beef drop flank, here’s what you should keep in mind:
- Go for a firm piece with a nice amount of marbling.
- Steer clear of cuts that look dry or have tons of fat.
- If you’re clueless, just ask a butcher or store employee to help you out.
Indeed, tough beef cuts like drop flank steak are perfect for slow-cooking methods like stewing or braising.
8. You Can’t Event Get Beef Drop Flank at Costco!
Nope, no luck there. Costco usually sticks to the crowd favorites like filet mignon, ribeye, and sirloin. Beef drop flank isn’t that popular, so big-box stores like Costco aren’t likely to have it. But you can check out those specialty butcher shops, Asian markets, or even online.
However, you can alternatively get flank steak at Costco.
9. Then, What’re Cheap Beef Drop Flank Substitutes in the USA?
There are a few cheap beef cuts that are easily available in the USA that can be used as alternatives to beef drop flank. These cuts of beef are typically tougher than more expensive cuts, but they can be made tender with proper cooking methods. There are plenty of:
- Chuck roast: This flavorful and versatile cut comes from the shoulder, and you can braise it, stew it, or roast it.
- Flank steak: A lean and tasty cut from the belly, which you’ll often find in fajitas, stir-fries, and kebabs.
- Round steak: A lean and tough cut from the round, which you can braise, stew, or grill.
- Skirt steak: A flavorful and lean cut from the diaphragm. Like flank steak, this one’s great for fajitas, stir-fries, and kebabs.
- Beef brisket is also less expensive than other cuts because it comes from a well-exercised part of the cow. It’sa perfect beef cut if you want to turn it into lean beef burgers (for this purpose, choose a choice grade brisket).
When you’re shopping for these cheaper cuts, look out for marbling. That’s the fat spread through the meat, and it keeps the meat juicy and tender when you’re cooking it. Remember to trim off any excess fat before you cook it.
And guess what? You can find all of these cuts at pretty decent prices at Costco, too.
10. Finally, Beef Drop Flank Isn’t a Special Meat Cut to Be Sought After!
Nah, not really!
It’s a pretty tough cut that’s best for slow cooking, like braising or stewing. It’s not as loved as those tender, juicy cuts like filet mignon or ribeye.
That being said, beef drop flank is popular in Asian countries, where it’s used in all sorts of dishes. In the USA, though, you’re most likely to find it in specialty butcher shops or Asian markets.
If you’re on the lookout for a tough cut of meat that’s gonna soften up beautifully after a long slow-cook, then yeah, beef drop flank could be a good shout. But if you’re after something tender and packed full of flavor, there are definitely better options out there.
Here are a couple of reasons why beef drop flank might not be the meaty treasure you’re looking for:
- First off, it’s a tough cut coming from the abdominal muscles of the cow, which do a lot of work, meaning they develop more connective tissue and less marbling. This makes the meat less tender than other cuts, and if it’s not cooked just right (we’re talking slow and low), it can end up pretty chewy.
- Second, because of its toughness, it’s not the kind of cut you can just slap on the grill or throw in a hot pan for a quick sear. It needs some TLC in the form of slow cooking methods like braising or stewing, which take a good chunk of time. So, if you’re all about fast and easy, this cut might not be your jam.
- Lastly, the beef drop flank isn’t as flavorful as some other cuts. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bland, but it doesn’t have the rich, deep beefy flavor you get from more marbled cuts like ribeye or sirloin.
All in all, beef drop flank might not be the star of the show, but with the right care, it can still make a tasty meal that’s easy on the wallet.
Are flank steak and beef drop flank the same?
No, despite sharing almost similar locations, there are a bunch of differences between flank steak and beef drop flank.
Here’s how these two cuts of beef stack up:
Position and Source
Beef drop flank is cut from the flank section of a cow, which you can call a cow’s six packs; it’s right from the belly muscles. It’s situated towards the back of the cow, just below the loin and above the back legs.
Flank steak, while also coming from the flank section, is specifically cut from the belly muscles between the last rib and the hip bone. So, it’s located more towards the cow’s belly than the beef drop flank.
Shape and Texture
A beef drop flank is a long, flat cut, wider at one end and a bit narrow at the other. It’s got a fair amount of marbling (the streaks of fat within the meat), which gives it its tenderness and buttery taste when cooked slowly.
Flank steak is also long and flat but is generally wider and chunkier than beef drop flank. It’s mostly lean, with long, noticeable muscle fibers.
Tenderness and Flavor
Beef drop flank wins in tenderness because of the marbling within the meat. That fat makes the cut more juicy and flavorsome when cooked right.
Flank steak, on the other hand, is known for its strong flavor but can be a bit tougher than beef drop flank. It’s got a grainy texture, and to make it tender, you must marinate it and slice it against the grain.
Thanks to its tenderness and flavor, you can use beef drop flank in all sorts of ways. You can marinate and grill it, slow-cook it for a soft and flavorsome dish, or stir-fry it for a quick, tasty meal.
Flank steak is a hit in many cuisines, especially in dishes like fajitas, stir-fries, and London broil. Its rich flavor makes it perfect for marinades, and you can grill it, broil it, or pan-sear it for a delish result.
Availability and Price
Beef drop flank isn’t as well-known or easy to find as flank steak. You might have to order it from a butcher specially or scout it out in certain marketplaces. The reason is, it’s not as common; beef drop flank might cost a bit more than flank steak.
Flank steak is pretty easy to find in grocery stores and butcher shops, so it’s more accessible. Plus, it’s usually cheaper than beef drop flank.
While beef drop flank and flank steak both come from the same part of the cow, they’re different in shape, tenderness, taste, and how you’d cook them. Choose the beef cut that fits your tastes and what’s available.
To wrap it up, beef drop flank is a tasty meat cut, yet it might not be the most desired beef cut. Yes, it’s got a unique flavor that can make your taste buds do a happy dance.
Just remember, it’s also challenging to cook. So, while living in the USA or a Western country, it’s better to go for its substitutes, which are tons of.
We hope this article has saved you the time you could waste on trying to get you a beef drop flank and cooking it, besides serving you with other helpful information about drop flank.
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