Sunday, December 16, 2012

Flat Iron Steak

I can’t be the only one who has this question.

What the heck is flat iron steak and how do you cook it?  That’s what I asked myself the first time I saw it at the meat counter, which made me wonder… Why didn’t the cows have this part when I was growing up?  It was time to find out more about this new found cut.

Well, here’s the skinny on the flat iron steak…
Up until 2002 flat iron steak was a throwaway piece of meat cut from the shoulder, full of connective tissue right through the center (lengthwise), making it undesirable and tough.
Interesting - so, my childhood cows did have this cut…
A study by the University of Florida and the University of Nebraska figured out how to efficiently remove that tough strip of connective tissue that ran through the steak, which resulted in a new cut of meat.

In my opinion, Flat Iron steak is as lean and tender as a filet and as flavorful as a New York, but here's the best part. Flat Iron steak is about half the price of a Filet or New York.  I know it must sound like it’s too good to be true, but it’s not. I’m pretty surprised myself. I only wish that it didn’t take me 10 years to notice it.

Flat Iron Steak is perfect for grilling, pan frying and stir frying.
There are a few things to consider when choosing and cooking flat iron steak…
  • Choose a piece that has an even thickness; if possible, for even cooking.
  • This cut is optimum when cooked to a med-rare.  I would not choose this cut if wanting to cook it to any more than med.
  • Make sure you cut it across the grain to achieve its optimum tenderness.
  • Flat iron has lots of flavor and is delicious seasoned with just salt and pepper, but it would also take to a marinade well.
Kono’s cooking, which means that there’s no recipe, 
so this is what I got…
  1. He started with a steak that was about 1 ¼ pounds and about an inch in thickness.  
  2. He seasoned it with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic, Italian seasoning and lemon juice.  
  3. Then he let it sit at room temp for about 30 min.  
  4. Just before placing it on the grill he drizzled the steak with olive oil and cooked it for about 4 – 5 minutes per side (for a beautifully cooked med-rare center) and let it rest for about 10 min. before slicing.
  5. Then he topped the sliced steak with a Tomato Avocado Concasse (below)
Ingredients for STEAK
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Garlic
Italian seasonings
Lemon juice (half of a large)
Sit for 30 minutes.
Olive oil
Grill to med-rare (about 4 -5 minutes per side depending on how thick it is)

Ingredients for TOMATO AVOCADO CONCASSE
1          large   tomato, skin & seeds removed
                        Balsamic vinegar
                        Kosher salt
2          slices    sweet onion, thinly sliced
1          clove    garlic, minced
1          small    avocado, diced

To skin a tomato - cut a shallow X with a sharp knife on the bottom of the tomato and drop it in a pot of boiling water for 20-30 seconds or until you see the skin at the cut start to peel away.  Place tomatoes in an ice water bath and let them cool completely (about 2 min.) to stop the cooking.  The skin will slide right off.

Skin tomato; gently squeeze out seeds and dice.  Drizzle tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and kosher salt; set aside.
Sauté onions and garlic in a little olive oil until soft; season with a little kosher salt.
Toss onions (cooled to room temp.) with tomatoes and avocado.  Place a spoonful over the steak.

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