Are you a meat lover who enjoys exploring new flavors and culinary adventures? If so, then you’re in for a treat! While many people are familiar with popular cuts of meat like ribeye, sirloin, and brisket, there is a whole world of lesser-known cuts that can be a delightful surprise for your taste buds. And the best part? You can easily unlock the full potential of these cuts with your trusty meat slicer!
In this article, we will delve into the exciting realm of lesser-known cuts and how you can discover their delights with your meat slicer. From juicy hanger steak to succulent flanken-style short ribs, get ready to elevate your meat slicing skills and wow your family and friends with unique and delicious creations.
What are Lesser-Known Cuts?
Before we dive into the details, let’s first define what we mean by lesser-known cuts. These are the cuts of meat that are not as commonly used or talked about compared to the popular cuts that most people are familiar with.
While the popular cuts, such as ribeye and filet mignon, are well-known for their tenderness and marbling, lesser-known cuts may come from different parts of the animal and have different characteristics, flavors, and textures. They may require different cooking techniques to bring out their best flavors, but with the right approach, they can be truly delicious and unique.
The Magic of Meat Slicers
Meat slicers are versatile kitchen tools that can transform your cooking game to the next level. They are not only ideal for slicing through large pieces of meat with precision and consistency, but they also allow you to control the thickness of your slices, which is crucial for certain cuts of meat (Read More: The Benefits of Owning a Meat Slicer for Home Kitchen).
By using a meat slicer, you can achieve paper-thin slices for delicate cuts like prosciutto or create uniform slices for stir-frying or grilling. The adjustable blade and slicing thickness settings of a meat slicer make it an invaluable tool for exploring the delights of lesser-known cuts.
Let’s Explore the Lesser-Known Cuts
Now that we understand what lesser-known cuts are and the magic of meat slicers, let’s delve into some examples of these cuts and how you can unlock their full potential with your meat slicer.
1. Hanger Steak
Also known as butcher’s steak, hanger steak is a flavorful and tender cut of meat that is taken from the diaphragm muscle of the cow. It has a pronounced beefy flavor and a juicy, melt-in-your-mouth texture when cooked correctly. Hanger steak is typically not as well-known as other cuts like filet mignon or New York strip, but it is highly regarded by chefs and meat enthusiasts for its rich flavor profile.
To make the most of hanger steak with your meat slicer, it’s best to slice it against the grain, which will yield the most tender and flavorful slices. You can adjust the thickness of the slices to your preference, but aim for medium-thin slices to ensure that the meat remains juicy and tender.
Hanger steak can be used in a variety of dishes, such as steak tacos, stir-fries, or even as a standalone steak with a simple marinade and quick sear. With your meat slicer, you can easily slice hanger steak into perfect strips for tacos or uniform slices for stir-fries, allowing the meat to cook evenly and retain its delicious flavor.
2. Flanken-Style Short Ribs
Flanken-style short ribs are a unique and flavorful cut of beef that is typically cut across the bone, resulting in thin slices of meat attached to a bone. They are commonly used in Korean cuisine and known for their rich, beefy flavor and tender texture when properly cooked. Flanken-style short ribs are often overlooked in favor of other cuts like spare ribs or brisket, but they are a hidden gem that can be unlocked with your meat slicer.
To get the most out of flanken-style short ribs with your meat slicer, it’s important to slice them thinly, following the natural lines of the meat and bone. This will ensure that the meat cooks evenly and becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender. You can adjust the thickness of the slices to your preference, but aim for slices that are about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick for optimal results.
Flanken-style short ribs can be used in a variety of dishes, such as Korean-style BBQ, braised dishes, or even grilled for a unique and flavorful twist on traditional ribs. With your meat slicer, you can easily slice these ribs into thin, uniform pieces, allowing them to cook quickly and evenly, while also retaining their amazing flavors.
3. Lamb Shoulder
Lamb shoulder is a lesser-known cut that is packed with flavor and perfect for slow cooking or roasting. It is typically less expensive than other cuts of lamb, such as rack of lamb or leg of lamb, making it a budget-friendly option for those who want to explore new flavors without breaking the bank.
Lamb shoulder has a rich, gamey flavor and a tender texture when cooked low and slow, making it a great option for stews, curries, or braised dishes.
To make the most of lamb shoulder with your meat slicer, it’s best to slice it thinly against the grain, following the natural lines of the meat. This will result in tender, juicy slices that are full of flavor. You can adjust the thickness of the slices to your preference, but aim for slices that are about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Thinly sliced lamb shoulder can be used in a variety of dishes, such as gyros, wraps, or even salads. With your meat slicer, you can easily slice lamb shoulder into thin, even slices that will add a burst of flavor to your culinary creations.
Tips for Using Your Meat Slicer with Lesser-Known Cuts
Using your meat slicer to unlock the potential of lesser-known cuts can be a game-changer in your kitchen, but it’s important to keep a few tips in mind to ensure optimal results:
Always use a sharp blade
A dull blade can tear the meat instead of slicing it cleanly, resulting in uneven slices and a loss of flavor. Make sure to regularly sharpen your meat slicer blade and replace it when needed for best results.
Adjust the thickness setting
Different cuts of meat require different thickness settings on your meat slicer. Experiment with the settings and find the ideal thickness for each cut. For example, thinner slices may work well for cuts like beef eye round, while slightly thicker slices may be better for cuts like lamb shoulder or flanken-style short ribs.
Follow the natural lines of the meat
When using your meat slicer, always follow the natural lines of the meat and slice against the grain for the best results. This will help ensure that the meat retains its natural texture and flavor.
Chill the meat before slicing
For easier and cleaner slicing, it’s a good idea to chill the meat in the freezer for about 30 minutes before slicing. This will firm up the meat, making it easier to handle and slice evenly.
Practice safe handling
Always practice safe handling when using a meat slicer. Keep your fingers away from the blade, use the safety guard if available, and never leave the machine unattended while it’s running.
In conclusion, your meat slicer can be a powerful tool in unlocking the potential of lesser-known cuts of meat. By slicing them thinly and evenly, you can bring out their natural flavors and textures, creating delicious and impressive culinary creations.
Cuts like beef eye round, flanken-style short ribs, and lamb shoulder can all be transformed into gourmet dishes with the help of your meat slicer. Just remember to use a sharp blade, adjust the thickness setting, follow the natural lines of the meat, chill the meat before slicing, and practice safe handling to achieve the best results.
So, next time you’re looking to experiment with new cuts of meat or want to add some variety to your cooking, don’t overlook the lesser-known cuts. Grab your meat slicer and unlock their hidden delights in your kitchen. Your taste buds and your guests will thank you for it! Happy slicing!
To help you decide which Meat Slicer suits you, we have compiled a list of 5 Best Meat Slicer Picks for 2023.