WHAT IS A FLAT IRON STEAK?
This cut has many names including a boneless top chuck, a book steak, a butler steak or a top blade steak. This is the 2nd most tender cut on the cow due to the connective tissue being removed as it’s cut. Some butcher remove the sinew that runs through this steak, while others do not. Inexpensive compared to other steaks, this chuck cut has recently grown in popularity at restaurants. For many years this portion was discarded by butchers as an unusable cut of meat. But researchers at 2 American universities came up with a new way to trim the connective tissue resulting in this relatively new arrival to the family of steak cuts!
WHERE IS THIS CUT LOCATED?
It comes from the shoulder area of the cow and is a primal cut. Located under the shoulder blade, it is surprisingly tender for an overworked muscle like the shoulder.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FLAT IRON AND A FLANK STEAK?
Despite having similar names, these are completely different cuts. The flank steak is cut from the stomach muscles of the cow while the flat iron comes from the shoulder blade. Both are tender and rich in flavor though the flank steak is the leaner of the 2.
WHAT RECIPES WORK WELL WITH THIS CUT?
This is a very versatile cut being both tender in texture but also has a rich, beefy flavor and decent marbling. Broiling, grilling, smoking or cooking in a skillet on a stove top are all acceptable options. Remember that a very hot cooking surface is important when starting to cook. If your meat steaks, it isn’t hot enough and give it another minute or 2. Also don’t forget to rest your meat for half the cooking time if you want a tender steak. Evenly a perfectly cooked piece of protein will seem tough if not properly rested.