After watching " El Carnicero" (The Butcher) on Netflix with my dad, I promised myself that I would never buy meat if I don't know about it's background. I want to know where does the meat comes from and how was it handled! Where to purchase my food products was a personal debate when I was new here in Toronto, especially my meat products. Whether to purchase at the grocery shop around the corner or going to an engaged market with real food.
From Organic and 100% Grassfed meat to local charcuterie! At The Healthy Butcher located at 565 Queen St. West, Downtown Toronto; I've found the transparency that I'm looking for when I buy meat. I discovered this place near my workplace. Yes, it is more expensive than a regular grocery shop but eating real food and with integrity makes me feel good, mentally and physically. I buy beef once a month or once every two months because I'm trying to educate myself regarding friendly environmental food consumption, and that's something that definitely affects the choice of the quality of meat I buy.
Today I went to the butchery looking for beef, a cut in specific, which was Flank Steak. The Meat Cut Chart below is displayed in the store with different kinds of meats and their cuts.
The Flank lays across the belly of the cow and below the ribs, It is a thin boneless cut of beef. It is popular since it is flavourful, flexible for recipes, and it is affordable. There's a variety of ways of how you can cook it, and that's one of the reasons why the flank is one of my favorite meat cuts. It cooks quickly and its beefy flavor is delicious!
I love it as " Vaca Frita" (Crispy Beef), which is a Cuban recipe, or sliced into fajitas and make tacos. Also, with a side of sauteed mushrooms or to make some killer steak sandwiches with the leftovers! The tougher the meat, the more slow and moist cooking methods it involves to lose connective tissue and have a juicier and tender meat.
Let's talk about tenderness, The flank is located at an area that is exercised which makes the meat tougher but at the same way rich in flavor because of the flow in blood, and it also makes the number of protein filaments within fiber that has greater. Understanding that the use of the muscle that the animal part requires is an important factor, is key when choosing your cut of meat regarding tenderness.
Some of the factors that affect tenderness in meat are feed and nutrition, stress, age, and genetics. The most common way of increasing tenderness to the Flank Steak is by the marination. However, tenderizing by marination means that the meat that is in contact with the liquid is the one getting tenderized so making thin cuts is the best way to ensure that the meat will get tender at the whole. Slicing thin across the grain is a must when talking about Flank Steak. Cutting across the grain means to cut the fiber bundles across and not parallel! without any science involved, that's the easiest way to tenderize this meat cut.
Can you tell me about the farm your beef comes from? Is it local?
"Our Beef comes from different farms, collective farms around Ontario that fulfill the organic standards."
Is the Beef that you source grassfed?
"Some of it yes, 100% grassfed imported from the world's best grassfed beef, sourced from a farm in New Zealand. We also sell grassfed beef from local farms , but only when in season."
Do you make your own burgers, bacon and sausages ?
"Burgers and sausages yes, we make them by hand using real spices, herbs and fresh ground meat. We do not make our own bacon because we are not allowed to use nitrate."
Thank you for visiting!
In the meantime , the Flank Steak rest in korean bulgogi marinade
Below is a youtube video from The Healthy Buther's visiting Firstlight Farms in New Zealand searching for the best beef.
Vaca Frita Recipe: by The Curious Coconut
Following Bulgogi steak recipe post