As the weather warms up, grills roll out, as people serve up savory and tender steaks. Satisfying a steak craving doesn’t have to break your budget or sacrifice taste. Beef can be prepared countless ways, and there are several cuts that are inexpensive and great tasting. And when prepared properly, most any cut can be tender.
For affordable flavor on the grill, try hanger steak, a flat, flavorful cut that is sometimes called skirt steak or butcher’s steak. Although it has two sections, there is only one hanger steak on a cow, since it comes from the long and flat diaphragm muscle. To enhance the tenderness of hanger steak, marinate it first. Then it can be grilled, stuffed and braised or quickly pan fried. Because of its growing popularity as the meat used in fajitas, the price of skirt steak recently has been on the rise, so compare prices.
Flank steak, commonly used for London broil, comes from the same place as hanger steak, from between the ribs and the hip. It is long, thin, and full of connective tissue. Marinating before preparation helps tenderize. After grilling or broiling, slice thinly across the grain on a diagonal.
Boneless shell sirloin steak, often called butt steak or top butt, is recommended especially for pan searing.
Other tasty cuts are often overlooked. Steak tips are very affordable and can be used in a number of dishes, from stir fries to stews, even sandwiches. Chuck roast is good for pot roast, which goes a long way toward feeding several hungry people.
Some preparation methods are better than others to tenderize meat. Braising, slow cooking, and stewing are good for many cuts that may be tough. To stretch your dollar even further, take leftovers and make stir fry by adding vegetables like carrots, onions and peppers.
Since the names of different cuts are often very similar, and ideal preparation methods differ for various cuts, talk to your butcher. He or she can answer questions and clarify any confusion.