As beef prices climb, mainly due to the price of feed, butchers and meat cutters are looking for less expensive cuts. The flat iron is a perfect example of such a steak; it didn't even exist 20 years ago. No, we are not cooking a piece of iron shaped into a steak or pounding a steak out on a flat iron before putting it on the grill, it is steak some of our viewers may have seen on certain restaurant menus (think Chili's and TGI Friday's) or have even tried. Back in the old days it was sometimes called a blade steak, but blade steaks were tough and chewy and mostly used in stews or braised because of the tough connective tissue. With today's flat iron the connective tissue has been removed, leaving a steak shaped in the form of a flat iron that is excellent on the grill. Studies have shown the flat iron steak to be the second most tender steak next to filets. I like this prepared with a simple rub for the grill, since there is no need to tenderize.
What is a hanger steak? It is also called an onglet steak by the French, in fact it is on Mon Ami Gabi's menu and the Italians call it lombatello. Unlike the flat iron it is not named because of its shape. It is so named because it is said to hang from the diaphragm of the steer. This cut is more popular in Europe and on the east coast, but with the rising prices of beef these days hanger steaks offer a nice alternative. This juicy, tender cut is somewhat of a cross between a tenderloin and a skirt steak. We will grill it and serve it similar to Mon Ami Gabi topping it with anchovy butter. We will also talk about how to make this butter as well as any compound butter for seasoning the steaks as they come of the grill.
Culotte steak is to me one of the most flavorful of all steaks! It is sometimes referred to as the sirloin cap and also as London broil; (disclaimer London Broil can be made from many different cuts of beef with wide ranges of flavor and tenderness). This steak, as with the 2 steaks above, also shows very little visible fat so it is lean and flavorful. The culotte has less fat, less saturated fat and less cholesterol than more well known steaks like NY strip and rib eyes. You may have also seen it at some Brazilian steak houses as their most popular steak. Because of it's tenderness I prefer a nice rub as well. For the most part I prefer rubs over marinades.
The tri-tip is similar to the culotte steak as it comes from the sirloin, but it comes from the bottom part of the sirloin whereas the culotte or cap comes from the top. It tends to be a little less tender than the culotte steak, so what works best here is a simple teriyaki marinade. You'll love the flavors and the aromas as it hits the sizzling grill!
3 grilling tips for everyone this summer
- Oil the grill grates with vegetable oil just before placing your meat on.
- Let any excess marinade drain off before putting the meat on the grill, this will prevent any flare-ups and keep your grill cleaner.
- When removing the meat from the grill, let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes before serving! This is my #1 tip as it allows the meat to re-absorb the juices from grilling and will be much more flavorful and juicier.
2 Sticks of butter (softened)
1 Shallot finely minced
1T Lemon Juice (fresh is preferable)
1T Anchovy paste
1t Parsley finely chopped
Blend all of the ingredients above together in a mixing bowl or in a food processor. Remove and scoop out onto plastic wrap, cover and shape into a log and twist ends, refrigerate and use when needed. Serve a top of beef, chicken, fish or vegetables.
1/2C Kosher Salt
4T Mixed Peppercorns
1.5T Ground Coriander
1.5T Mustard Powder
2T Fennel Seed
1T Garlic Powder
2T Dried Parsley
1T Ground Cumin
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Sprinkle Steaks with seasoning working the seasoning into the meat. Works great on beef, chickenn or pork. Keep left over spice rub in air tight container, will keep up to 60 days.
1 C Teriyaki sauce
1T Ginger fresh chopped
1T Garlic fresh chopped
1/4C Brown Sugar
1/2 C Canola Oil
Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl. Keep refrigerated until use, will marinade 4 to 6 steak or chicken breasts.