Butcher nomenclature is complicated. A cow can be subdivided into nearly 30 principal regions, which differ based on the system and region. From there, the cuts are snipped even further, resulting in products like steaks that are seen on grocery store shelves. In the U.S., the USDA delineates eight primary regions -- called primal cuts -- which offer a principal organization of how a cow is broken down. Some of these large regions -- such as chuck or brisket -- bear the same name as products seen at the store. However, some more extensive cuts, like the long plate, may be unfamiliar to consumers.
Located on the underside of the cow, right below the ribs, this region produces a medley of delicious beef. It comprises cuts such as hangar and skirt steaks, as well as both flanken and normal short ribs. Understanding such characteristics not only improves culinary usage but informs shopping decisions, too. So let's dive into what the long plate is all about.
Read more: Your Guide To The Different Cuts Of Steak
The Long Plate Yields Flavorful Cuts
The plate is surrounded by two beloved regions -- the fatty brisket right next to it and the ribs above. Depending on how it's separated, it can be called the short or long plate, but with either name, it produces a recognizable assortment of cuts. Most notably, it includes two steak cuts: skirt and hangar. Both are delicious and do well with marinades and high-heat, quick cooking -- like in the Mexican take carne asada. Since these cuts have a bit more fiber, it's vital not to overcook and slice against the grain to prevent chewiness.
Another common cut from this region is the short rib. Encompassing some cartilage, fat, and connective tissue, this section necessitates a braise but reveals a beautiful finished product when prepared properly. This section of the plate may also be sliced into flanken short ribs. Like their steak neighbor, this cut does well with a quick, high-heat cooking time, such as part of a Korean BBQ feast. The rest of the meat from the long plate is often turned into ground beef -- which will have a high-fat content and delicious flavor thanks to its location. So, although meat from this section may take a bit of extra technique, a delicious taste is a guarantee.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.