Monday, July 2, 2012

Red Meat-o-Rama; Part 1

I stopped by my lovely little Publix on the way home today to pick up something (anything!) for dinner.  The Vivver and I had just come from what she termed "girls night out" at 5pm to the dollar store.  She had 6 bucks just burning a hole in her pocket.  So, after the exhilarating experience of being able to choose whatever she wanted (really mommy?  EVERYTHING in here is just a dollar??) we had both worked up an appetite.

If you ever read my post about flank steak, you know how much I love that cut of meat.  Today, I found a really good looking one and it wasn't an arm and a leg.  So, in the cart it went.  Then, one of the "mystery cuts" that I read about all the time but have never actually experienced in real life, caught my eye.  Flat iron steak. I've read about it hundreds of times, I've seen it on menus, but I've never eaten it or cooked it or known anything about it, nor have I ever noticed it in my local grocery stores.  But, there it was.  

I picked it up.  I studied it.  I scrutinized it.  Hmmmmmm.  
Then, I spotted Marty, my Publix meat man.  I took the flat iron steak to him and basically said something like, "What is it, what do I do with it, what's it like?"  Marty is a great meat guy.  He stops whatever he's doing to answer your questions, find what you're looking for, and in this case, a little mini-seminar. So, he explained to me where the cut comes from, how it relates to other cuts and how it is best cooked.  Awesome!  As I thanked him, I nonchalantly mentioned something to this effect:  "yeah, and I keep hearing about this California tri-tip thing but I've never seen it in a store around here."  Color me stupid as Marty points to a piece of meat right in front of my face and says, "well, there's one right there."  Another mini-seminar ensued.  

Long story short:  I bought the flank, the flat iron and the tri-tip.  It's meat-a-palooza Chez Akre this week!

For dinner I decided on the flat iron.  Marty had advised me to simply season it and grill it.  Since it's the temperature of the sun here in beautiful South Carolina right now, I opted to use my grill pan indoors.  

Yeah, I got fancy with the grill marks.

I cooked it for 8 minutes per side, let it rest about 5 or 6 minutes before cutting.  I served it with baked potatoes and "Sicilian style escarole." 

Sicilian style escarole, baked potato and perfectly medium-rare flat iron steak
My biggest steak fan in the house is the Vivver.  You ask her anytime what her favorite food is and she'll tell you it's steak.  She's been saying that for years now.  She loved this one!  It was amazingly tender, flavorful and all I put on it was a little salt and pepper,  so the meat's real, true flavor came out and it was delicious.  It reminded me of the "old days" when I'd go to my Aunt Jennie and Uncle Tommy's house in the summer.  On Friday night, we'd always have grilled steak, baked potatoes and salad.  This steak tasted so much like my memory of those Friday nights in Spartanburg...and that's a good thing.  Frankly, anything that reminds me of Tommy is a good thing.  I miss him so much.  But, alas, that's another story.  In fact, I could probably write a whole other blog about my Uncle Tommy. 

I want to share this escarole recipe with you, but I realize I'm getting a bit long-winded this evening.  So, I'll try to get back to it tomorrow.  It was a great use of escarole and I would happily make this one again.  Stay tuned...

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