We all know that beef flank is an expensive, versatile, and delicious cut of beef.
However, it is one of the sought-after beef cuts that are often out of stock quickly.
So what cut of beef or other types of meat can be used instead in your next recipe?
Let’s find the answer in this article.
What is beef flank?
Beef flank is a cut from the underbelly of the cow, below the sirloin cut.
It is typically lean with a little marbling fat, tender, and has a rich flavor.
Beef flank is one of the most versatile cuts of beef that can be used as a steak, slow-cooked for pot roast or stewed, or used in sandwiches and tacos.
Beef flank is relatively expensive, but it is not that pricey like beef tenderloin or Kobe steak.
Therefore, it is still a favorite cut that many people can afford for a special meal like an anniversary, birthday party, or a holiday.
Beef flank can be found in most local butcher shops or grocery stores.
Grass-fed beef flank is a bit more expensive, but it is worth the price because it is better for our health and more flavorful thanks to a healthy and nutritious diet.
Can you substitute beef flank in cooking recipes?
Beef flank is great, but sometimes you need to find a substitute for this cut because it is not available in your local grocery store, or maybe you just want to eat more healthily with another kind of meat like poultry and even plant-based meat.
All is possible as there are many beef flank substitutes available on the market and they are even more affordable for your next fajita or any other dishes that call for beef flank.
What can you substitute for beef flank?
If you are wondering what ingredients work well as a beef flank substitute, check the following list:
1. Top sirloin
Top sirloin is a great substitute for beef flank in most cases.
It is cut from the sirloin part of the cow.
The top sirloin is great for grilling, roasting, or broiling recipes because it is tender enough and doesn’t need to be slow-cooked for a long period of time.
However, it also works well when cooked in a lot of liquid like braising or stewing.
Top sirloin is also prized for its intense beefy flavor and juicy texture when properly cooked.
2. Skirt steak
Beef skirt steak is a cut near the flank steak.
Skirt steak is taken from the plate, which lies in the underbelly section of the cow.
The beef skirt is a bit leaner than the flank counterpart, therefore, you will need to keep your eyes on it while cooking to prevent it from being too dry.
When properly cooked, beef skirt steak is perfect for its tenderness and flavorful taste.
3. Flat iron steak
A more economical alternative for beef flank is flat iron steak.
This cut comes from the shoulder of the cow and is also known as the top blade steak, or oyster blade steak.
Flat iron steak is tougher than flank steak, but it is thinner and flat (as the name implies).
Therefore, you can use flat iron steak in either slow-cooking recipes like stewing, braising, or roasting, or pan-searing and broiling that take a bit less time.
4. Chicken breast
A twist on your beef dish can be made by swapping beef flank with chicken breast.
Chicken breast has long been known as a healthier alternative for red meat like beef and pork.
It is the leanest part of the chicken, making it a rich source of protein and many other essential nutrients with less saturated fat.
Chicken breast is much more tender and milder in taste compared to beef flank.
Therefore, it takes less time to cook and can absorb the flavors from spices, herbs, and other ingredients used in the recipe.
5. Vegan steak
When it comes to a vegan substitute for beef flank, you can use mushrooms, vegetable steaks, or tofu.
Mushrooms have the texture of meat, and provide a special umami flavor, making your dish more mysterious and interesting.
Vegetables like cauliflower or squash can be sliced into steak-like pieces and resemble beef flank without having any meat ingredient in the recipe if you want to go completely vegan.
Tofu can work well too, but it is not ideal for those who have soy allergies.
The bottom line
Now that you know why flank steak is one of the most preferred beef cuts in many households.
However, chances are sometimes you are unable to find this cut in your local butcher shop or grocery store.
It has been easier now with our list of the best beef flank alternatives from other cuts of beef, chicken, or plant-based meat.
The choice is yours so have fun experimenting until you find what beef flank substitute suits your taste buds best.