Nothing hits that sweet spot of satisfaction quite like a juicy grilled steak simply served with something seasonal. Rib Eye, Porterhouse, and Filet are steaks we meat-eaters all know and love. However before you reach for one of these the pricier, more expected cuts of beef I want you to consider one of the Butcher’s Cuts. These are the choice bits that butchers have traditionally set aside for themselves. There are often too few of these cuts on one animal to make a decent display (as in Hangar), or they simply don’t show well (as in Flap Meat). Either way they never developed much demand from consumers — so the butcher kept these cuts for lunch. Times have changed and today’s beef-eaters have made it more difficult for butchers to keep these secret cuts to themselves. That’s because these cuts have got character. Savvy meat-eaters demand character.
Butcher Cuts: The Flat Iron Steak
Despite the growing awareness of these cuts of beef many remain difficult to find outside of a restaurant. There are exceptions. Many specialty markets carry these cuts, however they’re often priced in the same category as the best steaks they carry. Hmmm, I don’t like that. However, I’ve found that if you rummage through the styrofoam trays of the meat section of even the humblest of grocery stores you’ll likely come across another of these Butcher Cuts: The Flat Iron Steak.
The versatile Flat Iron (also known as Top Blade) comes from the shoulder of the cow. It can be grilled, braised, pan-fried, marinated, and most anything in between. When handled well it has the perfect texture, not soft like a filet, but tender and chewy. It’s well marbleized and very beefy. It’s affordable too. So get creative. Just be sure not to overcook it. It’s best between rare and medium-rare. For my money, it’s one of the tastiest cuts on the cow. GREG