Meat of the Matter 

Three overlooked cuts of beef 
| Sous Chef Series   Sous Chef Series | Jessica Battilana
Skirt Steak
Instead of a rib-eye, try skirt steak (Photo: William Hereford) pin-it

Not much needs to be done to a well-marbled rib-eye or strip steak to make it taste great. But laziness comes at a price.

That’s why we prefer less-expensive cuts from well-worked muscles; what you lose in tenderness you gain in flavor--and savings.

Skirt steak: This cut is from the diaphragm, just below the ribs. It’s a long, thin strip of meat that’s best marinated and then grilled or pan-fried (get a recipe here) and sliced against the grain. Overcooking this cut will result in a tough and chewy steak; aim for medium-rare. Try it in tacos.

Flank steak: Often confused with skirt steak, flank steak is from the same area of the cow. Larger than skirt steak, and with more connective tissue, this lean cut also benefits from marinating. If you’re short on time, try a dry rub or kosher salt, cracked pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, then grill or cook in a hot cast-iron frying pan, then slick with our steak sauce.

Denver steak: About three-quarters on an inch thick and marbled with fat, the Denver steak is cut from the chuck, or shoulder, of the cow, and is great on the grill. Previously relegated to ground beef or sold as part of a chuck roast, it’s relatively new to the meat market; your best chance of finding it is at a butcher shop or farmers’ market.

Make Red Wine-Marinated Skirt Steak
Get a Recipe for Steak Sauce
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