When a cow is broken down into edible parts such as roasts, steaks, ribs etc. it can get confusing as to what to buy. With beef prices rising, processors are always looking for alternative cost options without compromising a good eating experience.
When it comes to steaks there are so many options based on the cuts and prices. Ribeyes and strips reign supreme but for most of us they are usually designated for a special occasion. So, what is a viable option for the steak lover? Try the flat iron steak. It is not the quality of a ribeye but if it is chosen carefully and cooked properly it makes for a great meal without “breaking the bank”.
The flat Iron steak was discovered in early 2000’s and goes by many names. The more popular ones are top blade roast and top shoulder blade roast. It is part of the muscle that comprises the chuck part of the shoulder. It is the top part of the shoulder and is usually about 3/4″ to 1″ thick and weighs around 12 ounces. There will be two in a pack. The key to having a good eating experience is to pick a pack that has great marbling (striated fat within the muscle fiber). This marbling is an indication of tenderness and great flavor. Another key element is the cooking process. Do not over cook them. We prefer medium rare (130 degrees) and would not cook beyond medium (140 degrees) for fear the steak will toughen up and dry out.
OK, here’s what to do and what you need:
Cook Time: approximately 7 to 8 minutes
Yield: 2 to 3 servings
2 well marbled iron steaks
Obie Cue’s Double Garlic Pepper
Smokin Guns Hot
Big Poppa Double Secret Steak Rub (unfortunately we are not permitted to sell Big Poppa seasonings online so for online purchases use Historic BBQ Black Bird & Beef).
If the membrane has not been removed, ask the butcher to remove it. In most cases it is removed.
Brush on a coat of Butcher’s Steak House Grilling Oil (helps seasonings to stick).
Apply a first layer of Obie Cue’s Double Garlic Pepper (VERY light)
Apply a second layer of Smokin Guns Hot (VERY light)
Apply Big Poppa’s Double Secret Steak Rub (or Historic) medium coat.
Place the steaks back in the fridge for 2 hours.
Preheat the grill to 450 to 475 degrees.
Place the steaks on the grill.
After 1 1/2 to 2 minutes pick up each steak and rotate a quarter turn and place back down. This will give you the cross hatched grill marks.
After another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes turn the steaks over and do the same process as above.
Once completed, temp the steaks with a good digital thermometer for the desired doneness. If not done enough, let them sit for another couple of minutes.
Rare 125 degrees
Medium Rare 130 to 132 degrees
Medium 145 degrees
Do not let the steaks rest. They are thin cuts and will cool off quickly.
How is corn used in making corned beef? It’s not! The closest that the beef comes to corn is that which the cow may have eaten. “Corn” is an old English term used for the word grain. As per AmazingRibs.com, it was used in the phrase of that era “A corn of salt” so it became synonymous with salt. So, what is happening is the meat is being cured with salt. At that time they didn’t have the luxury of refrigeration and so the corning process was used to preserve meats.
Now, not the regular salt we use everyday at the dinner table, but curing salt. The curing salts are either Prague #1 or #2 also know as Insta Cure. Prague #1 is more commonly used for the “corning” process. It should be noted, NEVER use any curing salts at the dinner table and do not mistake them for pink Himalayan salt. If used for anything other than curing, they will be hazardous to your health.
What part of the cow is used to make corned beef? The brisket. Other parts of the cow can be used but none is as delicious as the brisket. When you are celebrating St. Patty’s Day, chowing down corned beef, it is brisket. Most BBQ’ers know what the brisket is but for those that don’t the brisket is the pectoral muscle (chest) of the cow. When it is not corned but smoked, the smoking process can take up to 10 hours since this is an over worked muscle and is very tough. When it is corned the salt breaks down the muscle fibers and transforms the brisket into a piece of tender meat. Oh, have you heard of pastrami? Well, it is a corned brisket that has been lightly smoked and seasoned with liberal amounts of pepper and coriander.
So, when seated at the St. Patty’s Day dinner table, exhibit your worldly knowledge and see how many know the origins of corned beef. Most probably will say “who cares” but you know!
Happy Saint Patty’s Day!!!