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5 Substitutes for Flank Steak: Elevating the Culinary Game

Ah, the sizzle of a juicy flank steak on the grill – it’s a sound that can make any carnivore’s mouth water. The vibrant, beefy flavor of this prized cut, coupled with its relatively lean profile, has cemented it as a favorite across dinner tables and barbecues worldwide.

However, there comes a time when you might find your recipe notes scribbled in the margins, “no flank steak, try something else.” Fear not, fellow foodies, because the world of beef is vast and generous, offering several delectable alternatives.

In this meat lover’s masterclass, we’ll explore five flank steak substitutes that not only replace with a culinary flourish but also enhance with their unique profiles.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are several delicious substitutes for flank steak, such as skirt steak, hanger steak, flat iron steak, sirloin flap, and London broil.
  • Each substitute offers a unique flavor profile and texture that can enhance different dishes.
  • Adjust cooking times and marinade amounts accordingly when substituting these cuts in recipes.

Why Substitute Flank Steak?

Before we dive into the substitutes, let’s first explore why you might need to switch out your trusty flank steak. While this cut is undoubtedly versatile and delicious, it may not always be available at your local butcher or grocery store.

Moreover, its rising popularity has led to an increase in price, making it a less budget-friendly option for some.

Additionally, some palates may find flank steak’s intense beefiness overpowering and prefer a milder flavor. Whatever the reason, these substitutes are here to save the day and elevate your culinary game.

5 Substitutes for Flank Steak

1. Skirt Steak

At first glance, the skirt steak might seem like it’s living in the shadow of the more popular flank, but don’t be deceived by the rankings. With a robust, beefy flavor and a tender texture when cooked to medium-rare, skirt steak is an excellent choice for those who enjoy intense beef flavor with a slight chew.

Skirt steak boasts a rich, full-bodied beefiness that sings with garlic, chiles, and a touch of lime. It’s a natural fit for fajitas and is on a first-name basis with chimichurri sauce.

When substituting in recipes, remember that skirt steak is thinner than flank, so it cooks faster. Adjust by reducing cooking times and temperatures slightly. Use a 1:1 substitution ratio for most recipes, unless you’re slicing for fajitas, in which case, you might need a bit more skirt steak to satisfy the crowd.

2. Hanger Steak

Often referred to as the ‘butcher’s steak’ due to its historic reservation for themselves, the hanger steak has transitioned into the culinary spotlight for its rich, beefy flavor and exceptional tenderness.

This cut boasts a pronounced beefy taste that excels in hearty dishes, and its distinct ‘grain’ is notably more porous, making it an ideal candidate for absorbing flavorful marinades. Its versatility in enhancing the depth of various recipes has made it a favorite among chefs and food enthusiasts alike.

Hanger steak should be cooked quickly over high heat – think under a broiler or on a hot grill. Like skirt steak, it’s important to cut against the grain to ensure tenderness. When substituting for flank, increase your marinade a bit to ensure the hanger’s robust flavor is balanced.

3. Flat Iron Steak

If you’re seeking a cut known for its tenderness, consider the flat iron steak. This culinary gem boasts exquisite marbling that competes with even the juiciest cuts on the block.

Striking the perfect balance between tenderness and flavor, the flat iron steak offers a robust beefy profile with a hint of buttery goodness, making it a versatile star in any kitchen.

Since flat iron steak is inherently more tender than flank, it doesn’t require as much work in the marination department. It’s also thicker, so be sure to adjust cooking times accordingly. Due to its marbling, it is crucial to keep an eye on it while cooking, as the higher fat content can lead to flare-ups.

4. Sirloin Flap

Brought to you from the abdomen, the sirloin flap steak shares more than just location with the beloved flank. The sirloin flap, also known as the bavette steak, is heralded for its exceptional balance of flavor and texture. This cut sports one of the most well-rounded flavor profiles in the beef family. While it may have a slightly milder beefiness compared to its counterparts, its tender and juicy demeanor makes it a versatile choice that shines in numerous dishes, from hearty stews to sizzling stir-fries.

Use a sirloin flap in a 1:1 ratio to flank steak in recipes and cook to medium-rare. It needs to be cut against the grain, so slicing the meat correctly is essential to avoid chewiness.

5. London Broil

A cut’s name and reputation are sometimes at odds, and such is the story of London Broil, which isn’t a specific cut but refers to a method of preparation for top round or sirloin tip. However, its association with flank-esque preparations and profiles merits its inclusion.

Typically marinated and then broiled or grilled to medium-rare, London Broil offers a hearty, satisfying beefiness and a chew that’s very flank-like.

When it comes to cooking time, the London Broil method is forgiving, so a few minutes extra won’t make much difference. Use a 1:1 substitution ratio for flank steak in recipes and cook to medium-rare for best results.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

This recipe features a juicy and flavorful skirt steak, perfect for grilling. Paired with a zesty chimichurri sauce, this dish is sure to impress.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 704 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Grill or grill pan
  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • 1 whisk

Ingredients
  

  • 4 pound skirt steaks
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the chimichurri sauce:

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the grill or grill pan to high heat.
  • Season both sides of the skirt steaks with salt and pepper.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the parsley, cilantro, garlic, red wine vinegar, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to make the chimichurri sauce.
  • Place the skirt steaks on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until desired level of doneness is reached.
  • Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes before slicing against the grain.
  • Serve with a generous amount of chimichurri sauce on top of each steak.

Notes

For extra flavor, marinate the skirt steaks in the chimichurri sauce for 30 minutes before grilling. You can also use this sauce as a marinade for other cuts of beef or as a dipping sauce for grilled vegetables. Adjust the amount of crushed red pepper flakes to your preferred level of spiciness.

Nutrition

Serving: 1steakCalories: 704kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 98gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 286mgSodium: 309mgPotassium: 1391mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 810IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 45mgIron: 9mg
Keyword Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
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