Cutting against the grain is a technique used when slicing meat. It means that the knife is being sliced perpendicular to the direction of the meat fibers, or "grain," rather than parallel to them.
When you cut against the grain, you are essentially cutting the muscle fibers into shorter pieces, which makes the meat more tender and easier to chew. If you were to cut with the grain, the fibers would remain intact and create a tougher, chewier texture.
To identify the grain of the meat, look for the lines or striations that run through it. These lines indicate the direction of the muscle fibers. When you've identified the grain, simply turn the meat so that it's perpendicular to the knife, and slice across it.
Going against the grain is especially important for tougher cuts of meat, like flank steak or brisket, which have a lot of connective tissue and can be difficult to chew if not cut properly. And of course, a sharp knife makes all the difference!
Until next time,