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How To Slice Flank Steak

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Beef flank steak has a lot of flavor, but it's a very fibrous piece of meat and can be tough if not sliced correctly. Chef Mark Elia of The Culinary Institute of America explains how get the best results. Holding the broiled steak steady with a large fork, find the direction of the fibers running through the steak, then slice across the grain at a 45-degree angle. (Cutting on the bias keeps the meat from being chewy, so it's important not to skip this step.) You also want to keep your slices thin -- chef Elia recommends cutting them no thicker than 1/4 of an inch. Once you've sliced the meat, place it on a serving platter and you're good to go.

For 60 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. In this video series, experienced chefs and educators show you how to tackle essential cooking techniques.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chef Mark Elia from the Culinary Institute of America, and today I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: how to properly slice a flank steak.

We have here a beef flank steak - broiled to perfection, I must say. The proper tools you want to use are a typical kitchen slicing knife, and a fork.

You want to pay attention to where the fibers of meat are. Fibers are like straws: some thicker ones, and some thinner ones. This particular meat has a heavier fiber. We locate the fibers on this piece; we're going from left to right. We want to take our knife and go across the grain, and yet lay it down on a bias, so we're actually exposing a larger surface of the fiber itself. If you were to look closely here, you would actually see the large circles of the fiber, the actual muscle fiber. We have the flecks of fat within the muscle fiber, which is also known as marbling.

We want to continue to slice across the grain and on the bias. You want to keep your slices less than a quarter of an inch thick. Hold your fork down nice and tight, and just slide your knife back and forth. This should not be that hard to do. If you were to slice straight down, these muscle fibers would be cut very short, and it would end up being much chewier than if you cut them on a bias. So please make sure you lay that knife down at about a forty-five degree angle, each and every time. If all of a sudden you don't see the red as you're slicing, that means you're probably slicing straight down, which is wrong. Make sure you maintain that angle, and you continue all the way through.

Then we just slide our slicing knife under it, hold it down with our fork, continue to plate - and we're ready for lunch.