Bring on the steaks. Except for vegetarians, most fathers I know want a big juicy hunk of meat on Father’s Day.
If you have a large group and don’t want the expense of the most popular steaks, there are juicy, great-tasting alternatives that deliver huge flavour for a thriftier price. Cut from different areas of the cow that work a little harder, bavette, hanger, tri tip or flat iron have more taste than filet or rib eye, though not quite the tenderness. (These steaks are only tough if they are sliced incorrectly. For tender, juicy eating, they must be cut against the grain.)
They can be hard to find at some grocery stores, but most good butcher shops carry them.
I decided to grill and taste each one of the above-mentioned cuts to find out which delivered the most flavour on the barbecue. I used a simple marinade and left them unrefrigerated for 30 minutes to soak up some flavour. Just before they hit the grill, I sprinkled them with kosher salt. The thickness of the steaks is the key to the cooking time. Grill for about 10 minutes per inch and let them rest for five minutes before cutting.
The hanger was the favourite. Juicy, slightly chewy but with loads of flavour, it pleased everyone except the younger kids at my taste test who found it too much hard work.
The next choice, the tri tip shaped like a triangle and thickest in the middle, is very tender, making it the most popular with the kids. It also delivers both medium and medium rare meat because of its shape. Another benefit of the shape is that it makes carving pretty slices easy.
The flat iron had a slightly gamier taste and although it was my favourite it did not rate as well with the crowd.
Least favourite was the bavette, which was judged to have a pleasant but forgettable taste and texture. (I would love to know which one is your favourite.)
No matter which you choose, when served with salad, grilled potatoes and grilled onions, it’ll make for a perfect dinner to celebrate Dad.
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