A few moths ago, I found my way back to Butcher Box. I had first tried the online meat-ordering service a few years ago with the hope that it would make menu planning easier. Due to a variety of factors (toddlers and poor time management on my part) it meant that I ended up with a freezer full of delicious, unused meat, most of which was – sadly – destined for the garbage bin.
A few months in, I finally cancelled my subscription.
Years later, I was drawn in by an Instagram ad (WHAT?!? FREE GROUND BEEF?!?) and poked around the website for a few minutes, until I noticed something that hooked me. Not only had their selection grown significantly – I could now add sockeye salmon and a selection of precooked foods to my shipment – but one of the choices is the flat iron steak, my new favorite cut of beef.
The flat iron steak is a single cut of meat from the chuck (shoulder) of the animal, which means that it usually has nice marbling, and rich, beefy flavor. If you buy a whole flat iron steak at the grocery store, which might come in at around 2-3 pounds, you’ll notice that the steak is a long cut that goes along the grain of the muscle. This style of butchering has landed it in the ranks of similar cuts of meat, like the flank steak, skirt steak, and the hanger steak, though in my experience flat iron steaks are MUCH more tender than those other cuts.
Flat iron steaks go by different names in different parts of the world. In the UK it’s known as the feather blade or the butler’s steak (because it was long thought of as a secondary cut of meat. In Australia it’s known as the oyster blade steak. US consumers have come to know it as the flat iron, supposedly because it’s shaped vaguely like (surprise) an old-timey flat iron.
Regardless of what you call it, the flat iron is an easy to cook, versatile cut of steak. It holds up well in a marinade, and is a great option for steak tacos because the flavor of the meat is so rich. It’s also a pretty great option if you want some good old fashioned steak and potatoes (or Brussels sprouts if you want to get crazy with it), since a quick grill and rest will yield a delicious and tender steak that could easily rival a good New York strip.
Fine, flat iron isn’t filet mignon, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about a damn tasty, easy to prepare, surprisingly inexpensive cut of beef. So next time you’re meandering through the meat department, trying to figure out what to grill up for dinner, pick up a flat iron steak. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
No pressure, but if you want to give Butcher Box a try, you can get $30 off your first box if you use my referral link: http://fbuy.me/rFoDq
Stuff You’ll Need to Grill a Flatiron steak:
- Flat Iron Steak
- Salt and Pepper, or your favorite seasoning
- If you don’t know where to start, I recommend McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning, which is a simple combination of salt, black and red pepper, garlic, onion and a touch of paprika. plus you can find it just about anywhere.
- A grill, or a good cast iron pan
- Cooking oil (if you’re going the pan route)
- Prepare the steaks by removing them from the packaging and seasoning them liberally on both sides.
- Heat the grill (or cooking surface, like a cast iron skillet) on high. You want to cook quickly, and get a good sear.
- Add oil to the pan, if you’re using one
- Once the cooking surface is HOT (oil is shimmering) put the steak on, leaving the heat on high
- Cook the steak for four minutes on the first side. This will give you pretty grill marks, and will mean that you only have to flip it once
- Flip it over, let it cook for another three minutes, then test it for doneness with a thermometer or the finger-test, which is surprisingly reliable
- Flat iron steaks don’t really vary too much in size and shape, which means I can reliably say that the whole cook time shouldn’t be any longer than 9 or 10 minutes at the absolute max
- Take it off the heat and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes
- Slice it thinly, against the grain for serving