Julienned beef is meat that is cut into matchstick-sized pieces. The cutting technique is also commonly used for vegetables, such as peppers and carrots. The small pieces of food cook quickly and evenly because of the uniform size and shape. Before cutting meat, partially freeze it so it holds its shape, because thawed, soft meat tends to shift under the knife. Use julienned beef pieces on a salad, in a stir-fry or inside pastry.
Things You'll Need
- Cutting board
- Boning knife
Place the beef in the freezer for about an hour until it is mostly frozen but still somewhat pliable. Or thaw frozen beef until it's somewhat soft but still mostly frozen. You can cut julienne strips from steaks and roasts, from such cuts as a chuck roast, bottom round rump roast or a sirloin roast.
Place the beef on a cutting board and trim off any fat. Trim away the uneven edges, leaving a perfectly square or rectangular piece of meat. Save the meat scraps for use as stew meat, to grind for hamburger or for another similar use.
Turn the beef so the grain -- the direction of the meat fibers -- runs left to right in front of you. Cut the meat against the grain into strips approximately 1/8 inch wide. A sharp boning knife works well for making clean slices through the meat.
Lay each thin strip flat on the cutting board so the wide side of the meat faces up. Cut the strips into smaller strips, each about 1/8 inch wide. Stack a few strips and cut them at the same time, if possible. Repeat with each of the remaining beef slices.
Turn the 1/8-inch strips so the length runs side to side on the cutting board. Cut them to a total length of 3 to 4 inches, or roughly the size of a matchstick.
Tips & Warnings
- If you have a large amount of beef to cut, work in small batches and keep the remaining beef in the freezer to prevent it from thawing out and becoming soft.
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