Flat Iron steak is perfect for springtime grilling, and particularly delicious with this bright, fresh and beefy pairing.
There aren’t too many beef muscles that can claim to be both tender and packed with flavor, it’s usually dominantly one or the other. But the Flat Iron steak, along with teres major, holds that most ‘rare’ of honors.
The Flat Iron steak is a relatively “modern” cut, but gee I’m glad they started cutting it! It’s half of the infraspinatus muscle, from the chuck or shoulder region of the steer. I say half, because when it’s whole, there’s actually a pretty thick and not-so-palatable tendon/membrane that runs the length of this muscle. If that whole muscle is just cut into steaks, it’s known as the Top Blade (or Oyster Blade in Australia). But, when you filet out that membrane you end up with two remarkably tender (and pretty evenly shaped) Flat Irons.
Ok, enough with the meat nerdery. I was sent a beautiful and insanely marbled full-blood wagyu Flat Iron from Lone Mountain, and wanted to pair something acidic and clean with the richness of the beef. Just look at this baby:
You know that all that incredible marbling is going to be a big burst of flavor. We’re pretty familiar with Salsa Verde here in Texas, though it’s usually Mexican style, made with tomatillos and lots of cilantro. But the Salsa Verde I am talking about is Italian style – packed with amazing Mediterranean flavors of lemon, capers, anchovies, parsley and oregano, and a healthy glug of grassy extra virgin olive oil. Its clean and fresh, and when paired with the Flat Iron makes a perfect mouthful. And don’t freak out if you don’t like anchovies – it’s kind of like putting them in Cesar dressing, they’re chopped so finely you won’t really know they are there.
For the steak – load up a charcoal grill with coals stacked mainly to one side. Pat steak dry with paper towel, and season well on both sides with salt. Once the coals have ashed over and the grill has really heated up, place the steak over direct coals, flipping it every minute or two, until a crust has built. Once you have a reasonable color, transfer steak to the cool side of the grill without coals to finish cooking with indirect heat, until it reaches an internal temperature of 130f (see note 2). Remove and wrap loosely in foil to rest at least 10 minutes.
For the Salsa Verde: in a small skillet or pan, brown the minced garlic until well toasted to remove any sharp flavor.
In a food processor (see note 1), combine parsley, oregano, mint, capers, anchovy, lemon zest and juice, browned garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse to combine thoroughly. Once at a fine consistency, slowly add oil and vinegar.
To serve: remove steak from foil, and slice against the grain in 1/4 inch slices. Arrange on plate and drizzle with the salsa verde, and serve with a bowl of extra salsa on the side.
Note 1: If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop all ingredients for Salsa Verde finely by hand for a more rustic but equally delicious result.
Note 2: To achieve perfectly cooked steak, you need to cook to temperature, and I use and recommend Thermapen for an instant and precise read.