Flat Iron steak is an exceptional cut of beef. It’s become quite trendy in Britain because it’s relatively cheap and hugely flavourful with a wonderful toothsome texture: like a cross between rump and sirloin.
In the UK, it’s called Butler’s steak, but the American term has taken over and there is even a London restaurant chain called Flat Iron Steak.
My butcher friend Les, at Jack O’Shea’s in north London’s Primrose Hill, tells me it’s a tricky cut to get to as it lies bin the chuck and blade section of the animal’s shoulder.
But once trimmed of sinew and gristle, it looks fabulous – and certainly delivers on taste.
He suggested flash-frying – a couple of minutes in a white hot pan. And never overcook it or it becomes as tough as a leather sole.
I decided to add an extra layer of flavour with this fantastic spicy marinade from Tom Kerridge’s ‘Perfect Dishes’ cookbook, and instead of a splodge of brown sauce to dip my chips in, I’ve made his smoky burnt onion ketchup.
A beefy revelation on a plate.
2 flat-iron steaks, super-trimmed of sinew
For the Steak Marinade
1 tbsp flaky sea salt
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground mace
1 tsp dried bay leaf, ground to a powder
2 garlic cloves grated
4 tbsp vegetable oil
To Marinate the Steaks
In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients into a paste. Spread all over the steaks (you can tap them a few times with a meat hammer if you’d prefer them to be super tender) and wrap in clingfilm. Marinate in the fridge for an hour.
To Cook the Steaks
Heat a frying pan over a high heat until smoking hot. Take the steaks out of the marinade and lay in the hot pan. Cook on both sides for approx. 2-3 minutes per side, flipping over every 15-20 seconds to build up a crust. Remove from the pan and transfer to a warm plate. Leave to rest for a couple of minutes before carving into 1cm-thick slices. Serve with Burnt Onion Ketchup, Mac ‘n’ Cheese and green leaves.
For the Burnt Onion Ketchup
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
100ml white wine vinegar
30g muscovado sugar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 dried bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 tsp chopped salted anchovies
1. Warm a large frying pan over a high heat and drizzle in a little oil. Cook the onions for 10-15 mins until they start to caramelise. You want them to go brown and slightly charred. When cooked, set aside in a bowl.
2. Put the vinegar, sugar Worcestershire sauce and lay leaves into a medium sized saucepan and heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
3. Bring to the boil and add the garlic and sautéed onions. Leave on a low heat to simmer gently for 25 mins until the onions are soft. Remove the bay leaves and stir in the anchovies.
4. Place the mixture in a blender and process until smooth. Next, pass it through a fine sieve into a small bowl. Leave to cool at room temperature, then transfer to a container and keep in the fridge until needed. It will keep for a few days.