July 20, 2021
While ribeyes and T-bones may get all of the attention, there are some overlooked cuts of beef that offer great flavor at a fraction of the cost - like flat iron steak. Sometimes called top blade steak, top blade filet or shoulder blade steak, flat iron steak comes from the chuck, or shoulder area of the animal. While it can be less tender than some of the more famous cuts of beef, as these cuts from muscles that are rarely used, flat iron steak can still be a great dinner option as it is not only inexpensive, but immensely flavourful.
The ultimate ‘Butcher’s Cut
The flat iron steak’s name is attributed as coming from the shape of the steak, as it resembles the triangular shape of an iron. Flat irons used to be considered a ‘butcher’s steak,’ where less desirable cuts were often taken home by the butcher to his family since they weren’t as popular with customers. In this case, flat irons must be carefully carved against the grain or else they seem tough and chewy, when in fact flat iron steaks are highly versatile cuts that offer unparalleled rich, beefy flavor. This pointed, rectangular muscle is used frequently, giving it a denser texture and much more pronounced flavor profile than other steaks.
Perfect as a topper
Flat iron steaks can be used in a variety of recipes, including as a substitute for skirt or flank steak. The marbling and tissue structure of flat iron steaks make them perfect for marinating, as the meat easily absorbs the flavor of marinades and dry rubs. As flat iron steak has a denser texture, you will want to cook it to around medium rare to medium temperature to ensure the cut remains tender. While this may sound limiting, it actually makes flat iron steak a great option for the grill: you can toss marinated steaks on the grill and quickly have cooked meat ready to slice and serve. Flat iron steaks will also absorb some of the smokiness from the grill, imparting that quintessential grilled beef flavor.
Flat iron steak can be a terrific option for serving on salads, you can even keep things simple and marinate the steak in dressing to save time and effort. Sliced flat iron steak shines on a variety of salads, as an accompaniment or the star attraction, as in our Flat Iron Steak Salad recipe.
It pairs perfectly with tomatoes and herbs for an easy, refreshing summer salad: simply slice everything and toss with oil, vinegar, salt and garlic, or follow our Grilled Steak with Broccolini and Cherry Tomato Salad recipe for inspiration. Dry rubbed flat iron steak does well on sandwiches, particularly when served with a relish or when smothered with cheese.
Flat iron steak is also an all-star ingredient for Mexican and Mexican-inspired recipes. Like our Flat Iron Tacos. The rich, beefy flavor of the cut makes it perfect for steak tacos (particularly when paired with verde salsas or cilantro). It is also an ideal cut for fajitas, as it offers the tooth and flavor you expect from this classic dish. Flat iron steak is also great for adding affordable protein to your pasta dishes or homemade burrito bowls. The strong beef flavor stands up when paired with other bold flavors, so feel free to use flat iron steak with other punchy flavors like balsamic, lemon, garlic, and even coffee!
When purchasing flat iron steak, look for cuts with nice marbling and good color. Flat iron steak requires less preparation beforehand, making it perfect for quick meals, and its low cost makes it a good option for feeding a large crowd. While traditional wisdom considers the flat iron steak to be a lesser option, do not be fooled. Flat iron steaks can be an excellent way to introduce rich, beefy flavor without breaking the bank.
This week, try one of our great recipes for fast, feast-worthy or family-friendly meals they’ll love!
Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Broccolini and Cherry Tomatoes in a Blue Cheese Dressing
4 Cal & Gary’s Flat Iron Steaks
1 - 1.5 lbs broccolini
1+1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup Founders & Farmers Red Cherry Tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp blue cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
1. Pre-heat grill.
2. In a small bowl combine blue cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, Worcestershire, and a liberal amount of pepper. Set aside for the broccolini for later.
3. Toss the tomato halves with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside for later.
4. Season the steaks with salt and pepper.
5. Toss broccolini with olive oil, salt and pepper.
6. Put the steaks and the broccolini on the grill. Grill steaks to preferred doneness, for medium-rare about 3 minutes preside. Char the broccolini on the hot part of the grill until tender.
7. Remove steaks and broccolini from grill. Allow the steaks to rest for about 5 minutes.
8. While steaks are resting toss broccolini with the tomato mixture and parsley. Then drizzle with the blue cheese dressing. Serve broccolini with the steaks and enjoy!
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