I have a confession…until this weekend, I had never actually cooked my own steak before. Butcher shops can be really intimidating and I figured I would just leave the steak cooking to the pros at restaurants. But, I realized that working at a butcher shop meant I needed to suck it up, admit my total lack of experience in this department, and have a chat with the guys at the East Side shop.
Luckily, all the butchers and counter folks at both locations are used to dealing with newbies, and were more than happy to help a girl out with picking the right meat, and also offer advice on how to cook it. My only request was that I get something that would be easy to cook and that was moderately priced. Luckily, there was the perfect little flatiron steak for me.
Flatirons are a cut that come from the beef’s shoulder blade. Each flatiron is actually half of a large muscle, that is divided by connective tissue. Beautifully marbled, and tender, flatirons are the perfect steak for a quick and easy meal. Flatirons for two will run about $20. Not crazy expensive, but enough that you want to make sure you don’t botch it.
1. Let the steak sit out until it comes up to room temperature. Never cook a steak righto out the fridge or it will cool the pan. They advised letting it sit out for 15 minutes, but, when my still felt chilly, I decided to eat a bowl of cereal and give it another 30.
2. Salt and pepper liberally. A few minutes before I was ready to cook the steak, I got to salting. I interpreted “liberally” as a visible dusting of kosher salt on each side. I feared it would be too much but it turned out to be the perfect amount.
3. Heat the pan on medium-high heat. Though I realize a more neutral oil like grapeseed oil would have been ideal, I used olive oil in a cast iron skillet.
4. Toss that puppy in and DON’T TOUCH IT. This was hard for me. I’m an impatient cook and love poking at my food. However, I was warned that getting a good crust required walking away for a bit. I wanted my steak rare, so I was advised to cook it for 2 minutes on one side, and 1 on the other.
5. After cooking both sides, take it out of the pan and let it rest for about 5 minutes. The perfect amount of time to make some eggs and round up the roomies for an extra special breakfast.
6. Slice the steak against the grain, and enjoy.
I was very happy with my first attempt and now realize that my fear was totally unfounded. My roommate found it to be a bit too rare, but it was evenly cooked on both sides and exactly how I wanted it. My main takeaways from this were to keep things as simple as possible to showcase the amazing meat, and to be totally honest with the butchers about my lack of knowledge. The butchers are there to serve as a resource, and know better than anyone how to really make the most out of each cut.