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Old 07-26-2012, 06:42 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by sulsisels View Post
Thank you so much for helping me. If you 0ont think London Broil is a good choice for Stir Fry, what would you use? I'm thinking skirt steak? Thanks again...Joyce
Let me suggest you should try any steak that you would cook if you're having steak for dinner. Trim the fat off the steak as completely as you can, then slice the steak into bight sized strips. The strips will be as wide as the thickness of the steak (that will be one of your dimensions) by about 1/4 inch, and perhaps 2 inches long. You won't have to worry much about cutting across the grain because the meat is already as tender as a steak, because it is a steak! When you cook this remember that you can completely cook it within 2-3 minutes.

Also, you may require less meat per serving when stir frying compared to grilled steaks, because stir fries generally contain an assortment of vegetables which become part of the main serving. I suggest that 6 ounces per person trimmed steak is a good serving size, although big eaters or lite eaters might want to adjust that to preference.

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Originally Posted by msmofet View Post
Skirt steak is used for fajitas mostly. I use flank steak for stir fry sliced on bias, marinated and then fried. I have also use sirlion when I couldn't find flank.
I've sliced flank steak on the bias on occasion for stir fries but I think a more steak-y kind of cut is better, something more tender. Perhaps top sirloin although I prefer something more like rib eye.

It depends on motivation. If cooking stir fry is intended as a means to use an inexpensive cut of meat and economize, it might be good to use something like flank steak or beef skirt. But if cooking the stir fry is intended to be a gourmet dish then I say use the same cut of beef that you would pick if you were cooking steak for dinner.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:02 PM   #32
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The key is in how you cut up the flank steak. As others have said, you have to cut across the grain.

Lay out a flank steak on your cutting board. You will see pronounced 'lines' in the meat that run end to end at an angle.

Make your first cuts along these lines to make long strips about 1.5 inches wide. Then cut across each strip slicing off 1/4" pieces. Because these pieces are cut across the grain the muscle fibers are very short so cannot be tough.
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I use flank steak (cut as I described in my post above) for stir-fry all the time and it's tender because of the way I slice it and marinate it in Dark Soy Sauce, Cornstarch, Chinese Rice Wine, Salt, Sugar, Peanut Oil, Garlic, Ginger. You can add or sub other flavors to suit your dish.

As difficult as it seems to be for you all to believe the above will result in a tender beef stir-fry, you should give it a try before rejecting it out of hand. It's not something I created. I got it here: Spicy Beef with Peppers Recipe at Epicurious.com
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:12 PM   #33
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I have used sirloin, tri-tip, different parts of the chuck, flank steak, etc. The type of meat isn't as important as knowing how to treat the meat. If using a cheap cut, such as chuck, make sure to remove connecting tissue from between muscle parts, and tenderize it by poking a thousand holes (figuratively) with a fork, or using a tenderizing device like a meat mallet. Or you can massage it by hand to break up the tough protien chains in the meat. This is also true of sirloin, tri tip, etc.

A surprisingly tender cut, that is inexpensive as well, is the flat iron steak. It comes from the chuck and can be recognized by the extensive marbling, the petite size, and the line of gristle that runs down the middle from end to end. Simply cut the thin bit of gristle out and you have wonderfully tender meat that is great for stir fries.

Though it's often frowned upon, a good meat tendrizing product. like Adolph's Meat Tenderizer, unseasoned, can make a tough chunk of meat easier to chew. Just learn where to use it, and where not to use it, and understand that it has a lot of salt in it.

Marinades (liquids that contain acidic ingredients) don't tenderize meat. In fact, they only penetrate the very outer layer of the meat, flavoing just tha portion. Brines, on the other hand, are salty solutions, usually with sugar and other flavorings added that do penetrate the meat, all the way through. They add moisture and flavor to meats. And yes, marinades to add flavor as well. Just know the difference between the two, and how they react with the meat.

Look for well marbled meat, with as few large chunks of fat as possible. Try to find darker colored beef, that may even look a bit drier. Bright red and lean equates to less flavor, and tougher meat. I know that the grocers stock their shelves with bright red, lean beef. They do this because Americans have been taught that this is best, and so try to purchace it. Some of the more unscrupulous meat purveyors have actually added dyes to the meat to make it more visually appealing to potential customers.

If the meat is still in the meat counter, it is still safe to eat. And, because the aged, more marble meat isn't what the average consumer is looking for, it may be sold at a better price as well.

If you were to look in the best steak houses, that age their own beef, you would find meat that is marbled with fat, and has a brownish-red color. They age their meat to concentrate its flavor (the evaporated moisture carries no flavor. It simply dilutes the flavor), and let natural enzymes tenderize the beef further. They usually age it until the end pieces of the meat have to be cut off and discarded. They then slice the beef into steaks, and cook them to order for a very premium price.

Every now and again, I go to my favorite meat seller and will find that perfect piece of beef that ahs been dry aged in the meat counter, and has good marbling. When I see it, I snap it up, and the butcher gives me that look that says, that man knows his beef. He occasionally talks to me about how so many people just don't understand how to choose good meat. He also saves choice pieces for me as he knows that I appreciate good meat, and I give him recipes.

Seeeeeeeya; Chief Longwind fo the North
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:29 PM   #34
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Look for well marbled meat, with as few large chunks of fat as possible. Try to find darker colored beef, that may even look a bit drier. Bright red and lean equates to less flavor, and tougher meat. I know that the grocers stock their shelves with bright red, lean beef. They do this because Americans have been taught that this is best, and so try to purchace it. Some of the more unscrupulous meat purveyors have actually added dyes to the meat to make it more visually appealing to potential customers.

If the meat is still in the meat counter, it is still safe to eat. And, because the aged, more marble meat isn't what the average consumer is looking for, it may be sold at a better price as well.
I've tried to tell people this but they just don't want to hear it. People have been conditioned to believe that fat is bad, that eating fat makes you fat. The main dietary sin of most Westerners is eating too much carbohydrate, particularly refined carbohydrates like sugar or flour: bread, pasta, potatoes, rice particularly rice with the bran milled off. This is the stuff that makes most people fat.

Fat in steaks is one of the major factors that makes them taste good. The kind of fat we're looking for is marbling. Big gobs of fat serve no useful purpose and should be trimmed, or shoved to the side of the plate when a steak has them.

Not that long ago I was duped into believing the sell-by dates on beef. A good friend set me to the wise. He often buys steaks and ages them in his refrigerator before grilling. I scoffed but I started experimenting with "last day" (sell-by = today) 50% off steaks, and not only didn't they kill me they tasted good too, as good or better than the stuff they cut "today." A bit of research showed me that in fact beef does not taste good (as we know it in modern America or UK, AU, EU, etc.) until after it has been aged. The aging process involves just letting the beef hang out, literally on a hanger, for (I forgot how long) weeks. (Refrigerated of course.)

The simple facts are two:

(1) The most marbled steaks are the best tasting steaks. This is why rib eye tastes better than fillet mignon, although the FM may be more tender.

(2) Steaks 50% off at your meat market or supermarket because it's the "last day" are the best deal going, because they are perfectly healthy to eat and quite often taste better than the stuff that was freshly cut.
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:46 PM   #35
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I agree. Fat is flavor.

You don't want to get fat? Don't eat so much. Calories = pounds.
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:03 PM   #36
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You don't want to get fat? Don't eat so much. Calories = pounds.
I disagree and this topic is not a good place to discuss it. It is not as simple as counting calories. The most important concept is hypoglycemic index, and that some foods digest quickly and stress your body into storing the excess energy as bodily fat (that is what makes you fat), and that hard to digest foods provide continued energy over time and do not provoke your body's energy storage mode (getting fat). This is why high protein or all protein diets work (in the short term--these diets are unhealthful in the long term), because they prevent bodily storage of fat and shift reliance onto hard to digest long time energy sources of protein.

Oddly, fats are harder to digest than carbohydrates. This is why "low fat" foods fail. The enemy is carbohydrates, not fats.

The ultimate diet is eating something sustainable and balanced. You stay on this diet 365 days a year, although you can often deviate as long as you sustain the long term balance.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:33 PM   #37
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Unfortunately most, or at least a lot of Americans have been consumed, by consumerism, and eat or buy what they are told looks good. It is true across the board. Fruits, vegetables, you name it.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:45 PM   #38
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Most Americans do not eat enough unprocessed foods such as fruits and vegetables.

Too many Americans have been brainwashed into thinking that fat is bad and that artificially processed "low fat" foods are good. (Yeah, sure, they're good for the corporation's profit line.)

It is an unfortunate coincidence that "being fat" and eating "low fat" foods have become marketing hype. I guess I'm getting into the dogma area too, but eating fatty foods is not the primary cause of being overweight. Eating highly processed carbohydrates is what causes most of the obesity.

This is why stir fried dinners are good. They are high in vegetables (unprocessed carbohydrates, hard to digest), high in proteins (again, hard to digest) and usually low in fats (but it doesn't matter because carbohydrates are the enemy, not fats, and most stir fried recipes don't use all that much fat).

I serve my stir fries with white rice but at least for myself I take only 2-3 ounces of rice serving. This white rice is exactly what I advocate not eating, but it's okay if it's a minor portion of your caloric intake.
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