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Sometimes you want a fancy, expensive, tender cut of meat. But some uses—carne asada, for one—call for meat that’s less tender but more full of flavor. This is where flap meat comes in.
“Flap meat comes from the bottom sirloin, and although it’s from a similar region as flank steak or skirt steak, it’s a different cut,” says americanafan. “Not very tender, but well-marbled and flavorful. It’s sometimes called flap steak or bavette, but bavette can also refer to flank steak. Your best bet is to talk to a butcher.” Hispanic markets or carnicerias are good bets for a flap meat source, too. “Mexican carnicerias in the San Francisco area call it arrachera,” says Melanie Wong. Sometimes it’s also called entraña, says ipsedixit. “Here in Phoenix, the Mexican market (Ranch Market) I buy it at lists it as ‘carne ranchera’ in the butcher case, and ‘fresca y marinada’ (‘fresh’/without or with marinade),” says Rubee. “I love it not just for carne asada but for stir-fries, and stock up when it goes on sale for $2.98/lb.” If worst comes to worst, “tell your butcher it is NAMP 185A,” says kmcarr. “This is the product code for flap steak from the North American Meat Processors Association.”
Discuss: What cut is ‘flap meat’? Having a hard time finding it. Is it sometimes called something else?