Flat iron steak, also known as top blade steak, is a good cut of meat for a weeknight grilling. It is cut from the chuck, but it is much more tender than a chuck roast.
Even though it is not as tender as the more expensive rib or short loin cuts (like ribeyes, or strip steaks), it makes a good cut for grilling.
It cooks a lot like a flank steak, and has the same affinity for marinades an strong flavors. The advantage is, it isn’t as well known as flank steak.
When fajitas took off, flank steak got expensive.
I can usually find it at my local grocery store for a couple of bucks less a pound than flank steak, and roughly half the price of the expensive rib and short loin cuts. I grill it medium-rare to medium, and cut across the grain to increase its tenderness. In this recipe, I top the flat iron steak with Salsa Verde to give it an Italian flavor profile, but it would also taste great either chimichurri or teriyaki style.
- Grill (I used a Weber Summit 650. Here it is.)
- Food processor
- 1 1/4 pound flat iron steak
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 2 tbsp capers
- 1 anchovy fillet (optional)
- Leaves from 1/2 a bunch of parsley (roughly 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Prepare the steak: As soon as possible before grilling, salt and pepper the steak. If possible, I do this 1 to 2 hours before cooking, and leave the steak out at room temperature.
2. Prepare the grill: Set your grill up for cooking on direct high heat. For my Weber Summit, this means turning all the burners to high, and preheating the grill for ten to fifteen minutes.
3. Prepare the salsa verde: While the grill is preheating, make the salsa verde. This works best with a food processor. Drop the garlic clove into a running food processor, and wait until it is completely minced, about 30 seconds. Then, drop in the capers and anchovy, and wait until completely minced, about another ten seconds. Turn off the processor, and add the parsley, mustard, salt and pepper. Pulse until well chopped, five to ten one second pulses. Then, turn on the processor again and drizzle in the olive oil. (The result should be a chunky puree).
4. Grill the steak: Clean your grill grates with your grill brush, then put the steak over the direct high heat. Cook for four minutes a side, turning 90 degrees after two minutes to give the steak a nice diamond grill pattern.
*That is: cook for two minutes, rotate 90 degrees, cook 2 minutes, flip the steak, cook 2 minutes, rotate 90 degrees, then cook for the final two minutes. Eight minutes, total.
This should give you a medium-rare to medium steak. If you like your steak rare, cook it for 6 minutes total; remove it instead of cooking the last 2 minutes.
Remove the steak to a baking dish, and top with the salsa verde. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap, and let rest for ten minutes.
5. Slice and serve: Move the steak to a cutting board, and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices. Serve, drizzling with any juices left in the baking dish or on the cutting board.
Salt and pepper steak: Skip the salsa verde – salt and pepper the steak, grill for 4 minutes a side, rest for 10 minutes, slice and serve.
Salsa verde often has mint or basil in it. Replace half the parsley with mint, basil, or a combination of the two.
See my “related posts”, below, for some other ideas on toppings for the steak.
Removing the leaves from a bunch of parsley: parsley stems are too tough to eat, so you have to pick the leaves off the bunch. But, individually picking each leaf off a bunch of parsley is a lot of work. Not to mention really, really boring. A trick I learned is to shave them off the bunch using your chef’s knife – work your way around the bunch, “shaving” the leaves from the stems. See the video and post on this technique at Real Simple: How to Clean, Chop and Store Parsley.
Don’t have a food processor? Mince all the Salsa Verde ingredients, then whisk in a bowl with the olive oil.
What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
Mario Batali Salsa Verde
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