Onglet, flank or skirt steak. These are the top sought-after beef cuts for the barbecue this summer. They are actually not the finest cuts – in fact, they are known as «second cuts». But those who buy them for their barbecues will not be disappointed: the price is low and the enjoyment high.
They have become known under French or English names, since the Swiss have generally been disdainful of them and used the cuts primarily for sausages, burgers and mince. As part of the nose-to-tail trend, however, people in this part of the world have also begun eating more than just the best parts of the animal. And in the process they have realised that, while «second cuts» are not quite as tender as cuts like fillet steak, they do have a lot more flavour. That being said, you have to know how to prepare them. An onglet, also known as hanger steak, should rest for a long while before cutting into it. The recommended method is to barbecue it for a short while on a high heat, and then warm it through in the oven at 55 degrees. If need be, it can be roasted for a further few minutes in the oven at 180 degrees after barbecuing as, according to experts, the onglet can withstand quite some heat.
The flank steak is also rather new on the barbecue radar. This cut from the belly is very popular in the USA, and it is now finding its way into our speciality butchers. The belly cut is seared on the barbecue on a high heat like the onglet, then simply placed in the oven or warming drawer at 55 degrees. The flank steak is a flat cut. It is also known by its French name, bavette de flanchet. By the way: it’s not always clear, even amongst professionals, which cut is meant by which name or how the foreign terms should be translated. All butchers have their own traditions for handling the meat.
An even thinner cut than the flank steak is the skirt steak, which is also cut from the belly. You can prepare this one on the barbecue, without having to let it rest. The same applies to the backbone muscle cut from the topside. This is a small muscle, a little bigger than a hand. This cut is not always beef, it can also come from pork. A high fat proportion ensures that the cut remains juicy on the barbecue. It is definitely worth a try!