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Meat-Zine, Issue #003-- Flatirons-Fantastic!
February 08, 2008
|Hi All! I'm so sorry I've taken forever to get out the next newsletter. Can you forgive me ?!
Newsletter 2 Table of Contents
The Flatiron, a Wonderful, Versatile Cut of Beef
Ashton Idaho’s Version of the Philly Cheese Steak
The Flatiron, a Wonderful, Versatile Cut of BeefEver have one of those days? Well I have. In fact just the other day was one of those days. I had two nice chunks of flatiron roast in the crock pot getting tender. I was going to make some of my favorite beef enchiladas and then share the experience with all of you. Didn’t happen. I had to go to a meeting that I knew nothing about. So there I was with several pounds of nice lean and tender beef all ready to be shredded for enchiladas with only a half hour to eat and throw on my suit and go. So we made burritos. They were good but it just wasn’t the same. Have you ever gone to take a bite of something delicious and have half of it fall on the floor just as you were putting it in your mouth? Do you know that sense of loss that you feel as you chew on a half bite instead of the anticipated whole bite? Well that’s how I felt as I was woofing down a couple of those hastily thrown together burritos. I haven’t felt a sense of loss this strong since the time I dropped half of my cheeseburger on the floor at a hamburger joint in Portland over thirty years ago. I was starving at the time and I spent my last couple of bucks on this big beautiful cheeseburger. The counter girl handed me my burger on one of those flimsy little paper plates and half the burger fell to the floor as I was heading to my table. I was devastated. Not to worry though. The flatiron is what I really wanted to talk about anyway. Even though I didn’t get to make the enchiladas like I had wanted I still was able to fix the flatirons like a pot roast minus the potatoes and carrots which is what I have wanted to do for some time now. I have used the flatiron in just about every application that I could think of, at this point anyhow, except as a pot roast or for enchiladas. So thanks to some kind of Divine Intervention or maybe just bad timing a pot roast is what my flatirons had become. The flatiron is probably the most underrated cut of beef on the planet. It is also one of the most versatile. The restaurants are starting to catch on to the flatiron and their extraordinary qualities but for the most part people don’t seem to know much about them. The flatiron can be used as an oven or pot roast, cut into steaks for Swissing or for the grill. They can be used in place of top round London broil with very good results. Just grill them like you would the London broil and slice thin across the grain. They will be more tender and a lot more juicy and flavorful. They just won’t be as pretty as the top round London broil. That is the main problem with the flatiron and the reason they haven’t really caught on which keeps the price down for those of us that don’t mind their humble appearance. You see the flatiron has what appears to be an unsightly seam of gristle that runs right down the middle of it. It is actually just a seam of gelatin. If it bothers you simply cut it out. As far as I’m concerned it is not an issue. I take the small end where the seam is fine and slice several half inch slices which I fry very quickly in a hot pan for the best steak sandwiches this side of Philadelphia. They are so tender and juicy they literally melt in your mouth. I also sliced some up into thin strips and made a very nice batch of beef stroganoff which we served over rice; outstanding. Since they haven’t caught on as yet they remain a good value. The flatiron is nothing more than this floppy hunk of meat on the side of the boneless cross rib. When cross rib roasts are on sale the butcher will have a bunch of them which he will use to make country style ribs or stew meat or maybe just put out in the case as cross rib roasts. Just ask him to show you which one is the flatiron. If he hasn’t any out in his case ask if you can get one or two at the same price as the cross rib roast. Shouldn’t be a problem. Then just let your imagination take over and discover just how good they can be.
Ashton Idaho’s Version of the Philly Cheese SteakMy meat wrapper buddy recently returned from a trip to Philadelphia. She had a great time looking at the Liberty Bell and all that but the highlight of her trip, at least in my estimation, had to be the Philly cheese steak sandwiches. So I asked her, “How about those cheese steak sandwiches?” She told me that every where you went you could find Philly cheese steak sandwiches. They are obsessed with them. So I asked her how she liked them and she said “they weren’t that great”. A Philly cheese steak sandwich that is not great? How could that be? Philadelphia has always been known for their outstanding cheese steak sandwiches. Why do you think that our founding Fathers chose Philadelphia as the city to sign the declaration of Independence in? They knew that they could get a good cheese steak sandwich there, that’s why. Saying that Philadelphia doesn't have good cheese steak sandwiches is down right un-American. After waiting a moment or two to compose myself I asked her what it was about the Philly cheeses steak sandwiches that she did not like. It was the cheese. She said that the original authentic Philly cheese steak sandwiches are made with some kind of cheese whiz stuff. Cheese whiz on a steak sandwich? That’s not right. If that is true then it’s no wonder that Benedict Arnold preferred eggs. It might even have been the cheese whiz that drove him back to the British. While I was pondering on the cheese whizgate of the 18th century and my now somewhat shattered perception of the our early founding Fathers and what they stood for, which shook the very foundation of my belief and faith in the American way of life, my meat wrapper buddy says, “We found a place that served Provolone on their steak sandwich.” Oh the relief that surged through my body at that instant. The thoughts of moving to Canada or joining the Libertarian party were gone. I began mental preparations for my own version of the Philly cheese steak sandwich. I had new life and a sense of purpose now. If the City of Brotherly love could have more than one version of the cheese steak sandwich then our country could make way for another location for a Philly cheese steak sandwich, only I will call my sandwich the Ashton Idaho cheese steak sandwich. The name needs a little work but I assure you the sandwich dose not. At my store the very day that my buddy returned from her trip to Philadelphia we had cross rib roasts on sale for “buy one get one free” which worked out to about $2.49 a pound. So I got myself two flat iron roasts. You may not see flat irons in the case. Sometimes the butcher will use them for stew meat or country style ribs. Just ask the butcher if it would be possible to get two flat iron roasts priced as cross ribs. If he or she is nice they should oblige you since they are part of the cross rib and they should have lots of them. Anyhow I trimmed them up real nice removing all fat and then I sliced them about as thin as I could with a knife and took them home. If you are on good terms with your butcher they will be glad to do the same for you. Next I simply seasoned with salt and pepper. Then I placed them in a very hot skillet with a small amount of butter with a smooshed up clove of garlic. I fried them quickly turning once until they were just done. Then we placed the meat slices on my wife’s little hoagie style rolls she had just pulled from the oven and placed either pepper jack or provolone cheese on top of the meat and then covered the cheese with hot sautéed green and red bell peppers and onions. Then we loaded the sandwiches up with our favorite condiments and got to it. There you have it a Cheese steak sandwich from Ashton Idaho, home of the Aston Idaho Cheese Steak Sandwich. I’ll work on the name
Tips from the Butcher's WifeMake some great buns for your steak sandwiches
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