The classic British rump streak, huge and so attractive to compulsive meat-eaters, is a particularly poor cut for grilling. This is because it contains four different types of muscle tissue, each of which require markedly different amounts of cooking. There are two types of flank steak, one known as ‘aiguillette’ in French and the other in Britain as ‘rump tail’. Both removed whole from a rump make marvellous little joints (about 600 g) for grilling. Continental butchers will sell these cuts, which also means that they will have the main part of the rump, the ‘gluteus maximus’ muscle, separated out and trimmed of the flavoursome but gristly top. (If your butcher will do this, try and utilise this small cut for a braise or stew.) The main muscle is a tasty, very lean cut, and sliced into large steaks would keep the Flintstones happy.
In general rump steak, be it flank or the central part, requires slower cooking than sirloin or fillet, but benefits from having a much stronger flavour.
© 1996 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.