Against the Grain


By Matthew Yglesias

Over on some boring blog about politics, I’m talking about Joe Nocera’s notion that we should eschew bank nationalization as a solution to the financial crisis because nationalization “cuts against the American grain.” But beyond the policy rationale, this raises the point that you’re often supposed to cut against the grain.

Consider the case of flank steak. It’s a relatively cheap steak. And if prepared correctly, it can be quite delicious in your taco or fajita or as the “steak” in you “steak salad” etc. And “prepared correctly” in this case means (a) marinated, (b) grilled, (c) cut against the grain. If you cut with the grain it’ll be chewy and gross. But against the grain, it’s tender and delicious.


9 responses to “Against the Grain

  1. Pingback: Matthew Yglesias » The Grain

  2. Pingback: › tom davis, quote machine

  3. not sure where you guys copped that picture (I assume you’re not cooking it up and taking pictures yourselves), but if you slice it as pictured, it’s still going to be tough.

    Besides being sliced against the grain, flank also needs to be sliced thinly. The 3/4-inch thick planks in your photo do not look appetizing.

    here’s a link to a better photo that i found via google images search.


  4. Not only should it be thinly sliced but it should be cut on the bias.
    Or at a 45 degree angle.

  5. As E L has articulated you gotta that flank thin. Also it would appear from your picture that your meat is also quite overcooked.

  6. Yeah, I just grabbed that picture from somewhere — it’s not a very good choice. Overcooked and too thick.

  7. Matt, I’m glad to see you are man enough to admit a misteak…..

  8. Hmmm…
    I would have thought that the proper solution for the Banks would have been rather to have just stuck a fork in them and called them done!

  9. Is there, somewhere in the world, an argument so weak that Mr. Yglesias will not deploy it in the service of whatever is his current aim?

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