I don’t know how anyone affords to eat a steak anymore. Have you seen how ridiculous the prices are? I know. I know. The U.S. has artificially low food prices and if we truly had a universal system of a sustainable food supply we’d be paying $50 a pound for filet mignon instead of $26. It just takes some getting used to, that’s all.
However. There are a few cuts of beef that are tastier than a T-bone and cheap, to boot. There’s the flank steak, of course. And then there’s the hanger steak, sometimes called the “butcher’s cut” because that’s what the butchers (the few of them left) take home. I like them both, but hands down my favorite cheap but flavorful cut of beef is the flat iron steak.
When you see it in the supermarket, it’s sometimes labeled “beef chuck flat iron steak” but don’t be tempted to treat it like a chuck roast. Treat it like this little tender miracle nestled in the tough chuck portion of the cow. Just grill it. Or pan fry it. Medium rare, please.
Here I am, performing my death defying “meat poke” on a flat iron. This is to determine that it is, indeed, medium rare. I have discussed the finger method of determining the doneness of steak and pork before (yes, dammit, you can eat rosy pork and it tastes better). Read about it here.
I got a flat iron at the grocery store today for $5.99 a pound! It just occurred to me that I need to go back and get two or three more and stick them in the freezer. Thrifty is as thrifty does. I wish I could impart that knowledge to my son, but that’s a whole other story that we’re dealing with privately.
At the end of the day, just off the grill and rested for about 10 minutes under a tent of foil, this is what you get. I am very partial to Montreal Steak Seasoning on a flat iron, but simple freshly ground salt and pepper will work just fine, too.
So, feed a family of four a steak for $10.42 cents, which is what I paid. And feel good about it.
Addendum: The boy is home. Flat iron steak. Mashed potatoes with sour cream. Roasted carrots. Sauteed mushrooms. Good conversation. Solid hugs. Life is good.