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The New Bistro Steaks and Fajitas

Here are some of the newly popular cuts of beef you might find in the grocery store meat case. We grill them and eat them fajita-style in Texas, but they are known as "bistro steaks" on the East and West coasts because of their popularity in the French bistro dish "steak frites."

Sirloin flap, flap meat, flap steak

Called bavette d'aloyau in France, this is an abdominal muscle connected to the inside skirt. Butterflied very thin, it is a chewy but flavorful cut.

Sirloin flap is one of the new cuts that's being served as fajita meat because of its resemblance to inside and outside skirt.
Robb Walsh
Sirloin flap is one of the new cuts that's being served as fajita meat because of its resemblance to inside and outside skirt.

Flat iron steak, top blade steak, Texas sizzler

The second most tender piece of meat on the steer after the tenderloin, this cut comes from the shoulder blade. The cut is shaped like a fish with a spine of tough connective tissue down the center. In Texas, the "fish" is often cut into steaks called Texas sizzlers. When you filet the "fish," you get two pieces that can be cut into flat iron steaks.

Hanger, hanging tender

A wonderfully flavorful piece of meat that comes away when the animal is eviscerated. Like the outside skirt, the hanging tender was classified as offal under the Japanese tariff agreements; hence, the Japanese buy almost all of it before we get any.

Chuck steak, chuck tenders

Another relatively tender cut from the shoulder clod that's a bargain in Mexican meat markets.

Tri-tip steak

A triangular piece from the sirloin that's tough, but makes great fajitas. Tri-tip roasts are the most popular barbecue meat in California.

Boneless short rib

Known in Korean barbecue as kalbi, this highly marbled meat is excellent cut into thin sheets, flattened, marinated and grilled.

 
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