Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Steak With Many Names

I read a food article that praised hangar steak. The article said it was also called "butcher's" steak because butchers liked it so much they took it home and never sold it to their customers.

Knowing our supermarket didn't have a meat counter per se, I went to the much bigger one on Hawthorne. We were over that way anyhow and I pranced back to their meat counter to ask about it.

The only steak that didn't look familiar was labeled "flap steak" which is not likely to get the old taste buds to sit up in excitement. The butcher explained that "flap" steak is indeed hangar or butcher's steak, remarking that it's the beef found in carne asada and added for good measure that it's called "skirt" steak on the East Coast. The cut comes from the belly of the cow.

So I bought some. Never having cooked it, and never even having seen a cut of meat like that -- thin, long strip of meat about 6 in. wide... I went online and looked it up. You can grill it on a barbecue or start it in a skillet and finish it in the oven or you can grill it on the stove which is what I did.

The information also said "only 4 minutes" per side for medium rare so I did that. It turned out beautifully! Not tough (as we'd supposed it would be) and full of a deep, beef flavor. Butchers are no dummies when it comes to their bellies -- or their flap steaks.

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