Hi, this is Carlos Acevedo, one of the food editors at Better Homes and Gardens, and I need to get something off my chest. I recently flew to Ohio and fell in love. The subject of my affections: the glorious flat-iron steak.
This affordable cut was historically ground up to make hamburger but is surging in popularity as a grilling steak as chefs and consumers alike get hip to its deep flavor and tender texture. It’s similar to flank steak, but some people say it tastes as good as a New York strip.
So what’s Ohio got to do with this, you ask? Well, I went there for an education in steaks at the Certified Angus Beef Brand headquarters in Wooster. You’re probably familiar with them—they’re the ones with the black steer and red sash logo.
Certified Angus Beef represents angus cattle ranchers but only certifies the highest quality angus beef—most cows don’t make the cut.
Now, I know my way around a steakhouse menu. But the good people at Certified Angus Beef demonstrated a bunch of up-and-coming sizzlers, most unfamiliar to me, that are now being sold at many meat counters. Ever heard of the Sierra, Denver, or Ranch?
These affordable steaks come from the chuck, or shoulder of the cow, which generally yields tough beef best suited for stews and chilis. But clever researchers have been working hard over the last decade to find several hidden tender cuts.
My new favorite, as I said, is the toothsome flat iron (also called a boneless beef top blade chuck or top blade steak), which is flavorful and juicy thanks to excellent marbling. Look for it next to you go shopping and cook as you would any steak. It’s best pan seared, broiled, stir fried, or grilled. Just be careful not to overcook—no more than medium doneness or the meat can become chewy.
For a South American twist, try this tasty flat-iron steak recipe from Better Homes and Garden’s latest grilling magazine, “Grill It!”, available on newsstands now.