We had a good chat about how to cut steak into strips when we made a stir fry, and there has been quite a response to it, with a lot of people saying they didn’t know that the way they cut their meat could impact on the tenderness. Well, it most certainly does and you need to be careful when you purchase meat too, the amount of steak and stir fry strips I see cut along of, instead of across, the grain really annoys me, because whoever eats that bit of meat is going to think, “this was a tough cow’.
So I thought that because that little snippet on cutting steak into strips is hidden away in the stir fry recipe, only people who are making the stir fry will see it, so we are going to have a little refresher. Ready? Okay, here we go.
I had a nice bit of rump that I wanted to make into stir fry strips. I never buy them pre-cut as I like to be sure that my strips are uniform in thickness and most importantly CUT ACROSS THE GRAIN. This ensures that when we are chewing, we are chewing short fibres like this IIIIIIIIIII, not great long fibres like this _____________.
This is a really good example of what I am talking about, I have stretched this bit of steak out a bit so you can see the bundles of fibres, you see how they run diagonally across the steak in parallel lines? If we follow those lines and cut along them, we are making bundles of long fibres, no matter how tender that bit of steak was, this will be chewy. We want to cut across them, give us instead a strip that is a crowd of short fibres, not a bundle of long fibres. Like this -
See in these two strips that have already been cut? Let’s see if the computer will give us a closer look.
Yes, that’s good, see how the fibres are short and in crowds? This will help even with the toughest steak, which often has the most flavour anyway. If you are cutting chicken breasts or pork the same rules apply. Remember, cut across the grain, not along it, and watch out for steak that has been cut that way too.