Tips for Cutting Meat
A couple of weeks ago I was experimenting with a new beef and broccoli recipe. The recipe called for a one pound, flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain. As I was reading through the directions, I came across a fabulous little tip. It said to put the steak in the freezer for about 20 minutes before cutting it. I tried it, and the cold, slightly frozen meat was easier to cut; especially, when trying to cut it into thin slices. This experience, of course, got me thinking about my next Cook’n article… So here it is with a few other tips for slicing meat!
Use a sharp knife. This is obvious, but important! If you find you are struggling to cut your meat, think about when you last sharpened your knife.
Use a meat carving knife. Another point that may seem obvious, but do you have a nice meat carving knife in your collection? Meat carving knives are much thinner than other chef knives, enabling them to carve thin, precise slices of meat.
Slice against the grain. Do you know what this means? I didn’t! The grain of your meat has to do with the direction the muscle fibers run. The muscle fibers look like lines that run up and down along your piece of meat. Some cuts of meat are easier to see the muscle fibers than others. Rather than cutting your meat parallel to the muscle fiber lines, you should cut your meat perpendicular to those lines. By cutting against the grain, you are shortening those muscle fibers, making the meat more tender and easy to chew.
Let the butcher do it for you! If you are into saving time, ask your local, grocery store butcher to help you out. Butchers cut a lot of meat and know what they are doing. If you want thinly sliced beef, they can make it happen. Don’t be afraid to ask!
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