The feather blade is a wondrous piece of meat in terms of flavour – but you need a lot of time on your hands to cook it.
Cut from between the shoulder blades of the steer, it’s comprised of two amazingly lean steaks joined together by a piece of connective tissue that’s (almost) as tough as a limpet’s tooth.
This collagen/gristle, I have been assured, is a delicacy in South East Asia: boiled for hours and hours in spiced liquor until it becomes jellified, it’s preferred by a certain connoisseur to the muscly meat.
But I am not that connoisseur. The kind of connoisseur I am is the kind that has been converted to the very fashionable Flat Iron Steak.
You must have herd of this cut? In the UK, it’s known as a Butler’s Steak, but a certain enterprising British company has made an entire business out of the American name for this cut: the Flat Iron Steak company.
I went there once (it’s in London’s Soho) with my pal Danny. It was, it has to be said, a delight: Beefy and toothsome, and not dissimilar to rump steak (so why isn’t there a Rump Steak Company? Perhaps it’s the name).
So I then got my hands on some to cook at home. Verdict: BLOWN AWAY. I wrote about it here.
Then last week I was chatting with the amazing Les at Jack O’Shea’s butchers in Primrose Hill, north London, and he took me backstage to give me a masterclass in how to cut four Flat Iron Steaks from a hunk of Featherblade.
I’m going to try this for myself at home, but for now, observe this pictorial masterclass of an artist at work.