How to cook a flat iron steak
Flat iron marbling!
Best value steak...
The flat iron steak is a relative newcomer in the butchers counter, and it wasn't until a few years ago at a university of Nebraska program looking at undervalued cuts of meat that anyone even realized the potential this cut of meat had!
The flat iron steak comes from the blade roast of the beef shoulder or chuck. There is a thick and ornery looking piece of connective tissue that runs smack dab through the center of it, and this connective tissue was the very reason that nobody had ever really tried to market it as a steak. But once this piece of connective tissue is removed, researchers found that there was a steak almost as tender as a tenderloin laying underneath, and with the great beefy taste of a rib steak.
The best part though is the price, and because this steak is removed from the chuck, which is pretty much the cheapest area of beef, flat iron steaks are incredibly affordable, and retail for a few bucks a pound.
The flat iron steak will most often be sold already trimmed, but if you do see a flat iron steak (sometimes labeled a top blade steak) with the gnarly looking connective tissue still attached, you'll need to first use a chef's knife to pry/cut it out, or better yet, ask your butcher to do it for you.
Once the connective tissue has been removed, you have a tender piece of meat with incredible marbling. This steak can be cooked as you'd cook any other premium steak, and works very well on the grill, pan seared in cast iron, and if your broiler gets hot enough, steak house style under the broiler.
Butchers and cooks often recommend marinating the flat iron, and it absorbs flavors beautifully, but it's also great on its own and has rich beefy flavor in every tender bite. The beef also does very well as a fajita steak, and sliced across the grain is every bit as flavorful as skirt (the fajita favorite) and far more tender…and even a fair bit cheaper!
Get a flat iron steak for next to nothing while you still can! Restaurants love this steak for two reasons, firstly, it really does taste great, and secondly, because it's so cheap the profit margins on it are incredible!
You might have to make a special request from your butcher, because as each cow only has a couple of steaks on it, there is rarely enough for display in the meat counter fridge.