Confused? University of Nebraska Can Help…Maybe

Sometimes planning a meal can be confusing…a challenge…

Where do you start?  Grill? Roast? Fish? Beef?  Chicken?  The “Other White Meat”?

Sometimes you just want something easy, but you still like something with flavor and variety.

Did I say confusing? (Just like this post seems to be) How about all of the different “types of steaks”?  Flat-Iron?  Flank?  Hanger?  Tri-tip? Not to mention Sirloin, Strip, Ribeye, etc…  Maybe deciding to go with chicken or fish would just be easier.   But I do like beef, so I decided on Flat-Iron steak.  Still, what in the world exactly is Flat-iron steak?

A quick trip to Google will point me to  Here I learned that this is a fairly newly discovered cut of beef. (I wonder what the cows would say about it being newly discovered?) It is taken from the behind the shoulder and has traditionally been called a blade roast or blade steak.  Up until recently, it has thought to be rather tough and good as a roast and in soups and stews.  But researchers at the University of Nebraska (c’mon, they research streaks? Nebraska, of course. Seems to me like kind of a primo job.) have discovered that the very top of the blade is actually quite tender.

So, I thought I would do a little field work myself.  C’mon, a guys gotta eat.  Right?  So I picked one up and thought I would try it.

I am glad I did.  It was very tender and had a great flavor to it.  Actually I thought it was almost as tender as a filet mignon.  Not as thick, perhaps half the thickness as a nice filet, but great just the same.  It had some marbling to it, which I am sure added to the flavor.  The piece I had was rectangular, as flat-iron steaks are, and about 12-14 inches long, 3-4 inches wide and about an inch thick.  I didn’t marinate it or anything…but I did use a glaze I saw in Fine Cooking magazine (Oct/Nov 2010).

The recipe for the glaze was:

    • 1 Tbls olive oil
    • 1 Tbls Dijon mustard (I used a whole grain mustard in its place)
    • 1 Tbls brown sugar
    • salt and pepper
    • (I also added some smoky paprika and a bit of ancho chili)
    • Just whisk them together and brush on the steak prior to grilling.

I grilled the steak about 4.5 minutes each side, always with the top of the grill up.

I do not think I could have been any more pleased with the outcome.  The glaze gave it a nice flavor, but if I had just used some salt and pepper, or rubbed a broken piece of garlic on it, I think it would have been wonderful.  As I said earlier, the flavor and tenderness of the beef was the big surprise…along with the price.  (we had some flank steak recently, which is also very good, but not as tender…and the price is comparable)  For the money this steak gives you a great return.

To go along with the steak I roasted some cauliflower.  I just broke up the head into the florets.  Placed the florets in a pan with some olive oil on a medium-low heat.   After they started to brown, I added chopped garlic, chopped ginger and some sliced green onions to finish.  Just before serving them up, I added a bit more olive oil and the juice of a quarter of a lemon.  I think the lemon was a nice finish on this side.

And to complete the picture…or dinner…I washed it down with a Sazerac cocktail.

Soon I will be posting about my version of the Sazerac cocktail…which some may not approve of…and is fine by me.  I am also going to be posting about the Bacon-infused Manhattan soon.  I actually am infusing some as we speak…

Wrapping things up, don’t be confused by the name…Flat-Iron steak.  And don’t let the name confuse you.  Nothing about it is “flat” and it does not taste like iron.

And don’t be confused about today.  It is a gift and a wonderful one at that.  Do something special today.  Celebrate it any way you can.  Perhaps with a Sazerac cocktail or just by telling someone you love them.

Published in: on September 20, 2010 at 11:50 am  Leave a Comment  

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