Flat Iron. It's in all Foxhollow Delivery boxes this month, and is 100% an under-appreciated steak. When cooked right, it's tender and complex. So what is it and why haven't you heard of it?
Flat Iron is actually one of the newest steaks to be "discovered!" In 2002, this new cut (previously just tossed into ground beef) became famous.
You may not know this, but since 1985 farmers have paid $1 per head of each cattle they sell. This money goes towards promoting beef marketing and research. Part of this beef research, spearheaded by two scientists at the University of Nebraska and University of Florida, attempted to find new cuts from previously under-utilized parts of the animal.
Flat iron comes from the shoulder of the cow, right next to the chuck roast. There's a thick tendon separating the flat iron from the chuck, and this tendon is as "hard as iron" (which is possibly how the steak got its name). These two beef scientists realized they had hit the jackpot when they grilled this one up! This unassuming, flat piece of meat was in fact tender, juicy, and delicious!
So how do you cook it?
Well, the short and simple answer is: QUICKLY! The flat iron is quite thin. Give it a quick sear on both sides and let it rest for about 5-7 minutes. We like to marinate it a little in advance with salt and pepper, and then heat our skillet with butter. When letting it rest, drizzle the juices from the pan and some extra butter, then cover with foil. After that, slice thinly and you're ready to go!
It's fabulous marinated with teriyaki sauce as part of a beef stirfry. It is fantastic in tacos with local salsa and shredded cheese. It's also an excellent breakfast steak (yes, this is a thing) with eggs and toast. And of course, it looks gorgeous on top of a fresh summer salad.