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Meat cutting question

TomCPATomCPA Posts: 82
edited 8:42AM in EggHead Forum
Okay, I am a bit confused. I asked my butcher today about "cutting against the grain." She told me to cut perpendicular to the grain. However, I saw (famous tv chef) describe is to cut at an angle to the grain.[p]Which is right?[p]Oh, one last thing: does anyone have any other recipes for skirt steak other than fajitas?[p]Thanks,[p]Tom[p]PS: Tomorrow is the last day for you to file your personal tax returns! Just a friendly reminder! I am now off to do mine.


  • TomCPA,
    i think they are probably both right. ..its a matter of semantics ....lets say you have a cut with a very visible grain (like a brisket flat or flank steak. ..line it up on your cutting board with the grain running left to right (or east to west) ... you then want to run your knife top to bottom (or north to south). . .i would call this at "right angles" or "perpendicular" or "against the grain". . .HTH[p]also, "goya mojo criolla" marinade from the spanish section of your grocery store. .. fantastic marinade for your skirt steak. ..

  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    TomCPA,[p]Perpendicular (against or 90° to) the grain is for tenderness. I suppose cutting at an angle less than perpendicular would be similar, as long as it was between 45° and 90°. Cutting on the bias is for looks or to get wider slices on something like a flank steak, so maybe the TV chef is considering that. Cutting against the grain and on the bias is the best of both worlds.[p]~thirdeye~

    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • TomCPA,
    Neither is right or wrong. The meat will separate easily along the grain, so if you cut the meat in such a fashion as to shorten the length of the grain, it will be more tender. With the grain will make it stringy and harder to chew. Whether your cut is straight or diagonal doesn't matter much, what is important is how long the grain is in the slice of meat. While diagonal will be slightly longer that straight across, I don't think it will make a big difference. That said, I often cut my meat on a "bevel" which is equivalent to diagonal, so that the slices are bigger. IOW, I hold the knife at an angle to the cutting board, instead of up and down.[p]I have a recipe here: which is designed for sous-vide cooking with the BGE, but you could smiply change the cooking procedure if you like to cook on just the egg.

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 19,171
    with or parallel to the grain makes tough and chewy, like you want with jerkey. against or perpendicular, makes it tender. perpendicular and at an angle with your knife makes wider slices which can be good depending on what you want, it also will help hold a brisket slice together better thats been over cooked and is starting to fall apart. the correct way to slice is the way that gives you your desired result

  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    Remember, the thing you are trying to accomplish is to have the meat tender, rather than chewy. If you cut it with the grain it will be stringy and chewy; If you cut against(perpendicular), the "meat strands" will be short and more tender.
    The following recipe was found using Mr. google. I modified to work on the egg.[p] Skirt Steak with Balsamic Marinade
    From Chef Todd English
    February 6, 2004[p]Ingredients[p]1 1/2 pounds skirt steak
    1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
    2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
    2 Tbsp. olive oil
    1 tsp. kosher salt
    1/2 tsp. black pepper
    2 roasted garlic cloves [p]Directions[p]1. To make the marinade, mix the Dijon mustard with chopped cilantro, lemon zest, balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp. Olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper. Soak the steak in the marinade for one hour in a covered container.[p]2. cook the steak, with garlic cloves, for 5 minutes on each side, with high temp. Or, fry the steak in a heavy pan with 2 cloves of garlic.[p]As an alternate, you can sear in a grill pan on top of stove over high heat and then place in a 450° F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, to desired doneness (130 degrees with instant read thermometer would equal medium rare.)

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