The DeLish Bite

Lindsay Evans blogs about food, entertaining and her favourite recipes for Green Living.

Nowadays it is becoming trendier and trendier to choose lesser known and cheaper cuts of beef, like flank, skirt and top sirloin, in place of the more well know, (and more expensive) classics like rib eyes and striploins. Now, we all get nervous about trying to cook new things - I know that I do! However, trying these new cuts of beef is so worth it as not only can you achieve amazing results (with just a little extra effort), but you can save money - which stays in your pocket. When talking about the meat industry, and beef in particular, I feel it important to note that we at Green Living are very conscious of the fact that there is a huge environmental impact associated with the beef industry. Recently, The UN, along with other organizations, have been very vocal regarding the environmental impact of the beef industry. Check out this article at The Guardian for more information on the UN's input on this topic. Also, If you are looking for further information on this topic, or looking to learn how you can reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the amount of meat that you consume, check out the following Green Living articles: Six low-tech solutions to climate change an The secret to a low-carbon diet

On the flip side, many people still believe that meat can be part of a sustainable and healthy diet when eaten in moderation. We also have the choice now to purchase meats which are raised sustainably by choosing to shop at the numerous organic and locally driven butchers popping up all over our Canadian cities. These butchers are doing there part to market and sell sustainable and organic meat and promote these lesser known cuts of beef. They also can show you the best ways to marinate and cook these steaks so that you they are reaching their full potential - so go ahead - try them!

The Flank steak is very easily distinguishable from other steaks by its long thin shape and longitudinal grain. It is typically a tougher steak with a great deal of connective tissue. Therefore, marinating this steak is essential to break down the connective tissue and tenderize it. Flank has a moderate amount of fat, and a great beefy flavour and is a great option when serving a crowd.

To cook:

Usually marinated before being broiled or grilled whole, this steak is best cooked by seasoning well, searing over high heat and then cooking at medium - high until medium-rare. Allow to rest 10 min, then slice thin across the grain.

Skirt Steak

Rich, fatty and full of beefy flavor, the skirt is one of the most flavourful of all the steaks. There are 2 types of skirt steak available: inside and outside. It’s a coin toss as to which is better; inside skirt is great because it doesn’t have as much membrane to be removed, but outside skirt is a little thicker and a bit less stringy. Skirt is the meat originally used for both fajitas and Philadelphia cheese steak sandwiches.

To cook:

Season well and cook quickly over high heat to medium rare. Skirt has a very pronounced grain and is often served sliced against the grain like flank steak.

Boneless Blade Steak

The boneless blade steak is truly an overlooked gem. The Blade steak is located in the chuck (or shoulder) of a beef, which is the primary weight-bearing muscle group. in fact, the Boneless Blade Steak is cut from the exact same muscle as the premium Rib Eye steak that is over twice the price.  The only catch is the line of cartilage which runs down the centre of the steak and should be removed prior to serving.

To cook:

Blade is often braised with wonderful results. However great results can also be achieved on a grill by seasoning, searing over high heat, then lowering the heat slightly until the steak is cooked medium-rare. Let sit 10 min prior to carving.

Top Sirloin Steak

The Top Sirloin steak is a phenomenal steak which is cut from the Sirloin section of the beef. it is very tender, full and flavourful which makes it a top choice for grilling.

To cook:

Season, sear and cook at medium-high heat until medium rare. Also note that a top sirloin roast makes for a great barbeque roast.