Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Putting Things in Perspective

After my amazing vegetarian birthday lunch, we figured we might need a little cow on the premises, as an antidote.
I had first tasted the cut called Flatiron Steak a couple of years ago; it's billed as the second-most tender piece after filet mignon. But the cool thing is, it's way flat, and it reminds me of skirt steak or flap steak or... you know, those fun, chewy ones.
I read a story in the New York Times last week about butchers rummaging around in all that heretofore misused animal tissue, seeking out succulent new bits they can give a clever name to and put on the market. Beats throwing all that good muscle into the meat grinder.
So I wanted a flatiron steak. Cranky was stunned, but he's no fool. He dashed down to the farmers market and scored a nice specimen from Prather Ranch. We tossed about ideas for making an herb melty, or maybe a rub, possibly a marinade. But in the end we decided the meat should be treated respectfully, which meant a quick sear in the grill pan and a smear of butter.
Still. We had our hearts set on all those chives growing wantonly in the backyard.
Chive mashed potatoes. When you are growing a wild field of chives, you find you can be so much more generous with them than if you just had a few dinky sprigs in a pot. We went nuts.
Thus, the perspective. Because in truth, I really did eat more potatoes than meat. Even though the meat was dandy.


Nerissa said...

*sigh* must be so nice to live in a place where they actually know what a 'flatiron steak' is.
Sounds like it was a great dinner. what kind of potatoes did you use for the mash? I like to live vicariously through other people's meals when we have so little variety around here.

pea said...

flatiron is one of my favourites when i am in red-meat-eating mode. happy belated birthday, by the way.

limoncello said...

Chivey mashed potatoes [swoooon]. You really know how to talk to an Irish girl!
If I remember correctly, I asked for a flatiron steak at Golden Gate Meats a coupla' months back and they recommended a hanger steak instead (I know nothing about beef, so take this all with a mine of salt). I believe Hanger is what is also called a "butcher's steak", on accounta the butcher knowing it's the cut you want to eat but no one wants to buy.
No matter - it was also a thin and grill-worthy piece. I used SE Asian flavorings and a grill pan and it was pretty darned tasty!

dancingmorganmouse said...

We have the world's smallest field of chives - but it's an abundant, verdant field!
O, & yay steak 'n 'tatoes, yum!

Anita (Married... with dinner) said...

we have immortal chives, too - I may have to add them to mash (by which I mean "ask Cameron to add them to mash", because his skills with the ricer have far exceeded mine).

Flatiron's a big favorite in our house, too. Love those Prather boys.

Rev. Biggles said...

I shed a tear when I saw the meat in the background, all blurry and lonely. I'll say a prayer for your meat's soul.


Zoomie said...

You've got the right perspective according to my Irish genes. But, that steak looks mighty tempting, too! Wait until you see Chopzilla! OMG!

cookiecrumb said...

Nerissa: That's so sad. Because obviously you can get beef. So why not that particular cut? But I do understand. I've lived (so often vicariously) in bereft places myself.
The potatoes were Kennebec, a sort of russet-y variety. Nice and mealy.

Pea: So we have these adorable cow ranchers who grow meat... Who'da thunk they'd know to cut the flatiron? Life is good here.

Limoncello: Ah! You responded to the taters first. My girl.
I have bought hanger steak a few times (once from Golden Gate Meats) and it's awesome. Not quite so flat as it is rope-shaped (hence the name "hanger," if I'm not totally muffing the etymology). You are right that the butchers would covet this odd piece. I must get braver and flavor my steaks... xxx

Mouse: You have a chive field too? Mine's in bloom; I suspect I will have a chive field next year as well. Seeds, you know. Nature. Free food.

Anita: Cranky LOVES the ricer, but lately he's been mashing the potatoes with a... masher! Clunky, rustic, mouthfeely. So yeah, get those chives in there.
The Prather boys -- they like my rubber chicken purse! Hee.

Biggles: Some meat is enough. Say I. And there are leftovers for Asian beef salad.

Zoomie: It's the meat 'n' potatoes combo that really does it for most of us. For me, I just choose a little less meat.

Kalyn said...

I like flatiron steak, but most of all I'm jealous you have a mini field of chives!

Greg said...

Meat and taters. My favorite!

Zoomie said...

Chopzilla two days from now, chez moi.

kudzu said...

Learned about flatiron steak in -- Chinese cooking class. My teacher used it for all those diagonally-sliced beef dishes. Tonight I'm having (watch out) flap steak, a new discovery thanks to Mexican cooking. No mashed with chives, just steamed new potatoes with LOTS of black pepper and butter. (Or maybe that should be the other way around.) Approve of your menu, m'dear.

dancingmorganmouse said...

A tiny, round field (in a big pot) I planted a punnet of chives about 6 years ago, they grow, bloom pretty purple flowers and just keep on growing new stalks when it gets warm.
Gotta love freebies!

seantimberlake said...

Brett is doing flatiron steak with bleu cheese and onion rings. Oh. Mah. Gah.

cookiecrumb said...

Kalyn: I could mail you some seeds! It's really very DIY.

Greg: You are such a boy.

Zoomie: Ooh!

Kudzu: Hm! Chinese cooking? Me adores.
PS, I have recently fallen in love with black pepper. It comes and goes, and for now, it comes.

Mouse: We were looking at all the free food in the yard today. Life is great.

Sean: Yow. That sounds so good. Can you believe we haven't been to Contigo yet? Something about it being almost an hour away... Soon.

ardie said...

this just reminds me that i need to buy the cheap cuts of meat and cook them all nice in my slow cooker. Thanks! :)

Anna Haight said...

ooh that looks good! I think I had my first flatiron steak at Buckeye, or at least it was the first time I noted it.

cookiecrumb said...

Ardie: I'd treat a flatiron steak carefully; it's pretty tender. But oh boyz, yes, I love to cook a chuck steak in the slow cooker with nothing much more than a dribble of water. You are welcome.

Anna: Sure! Figures that Buckeye would feature a flatiron. I haven't been there for at least two years; sob... I had my first taste of this cut at the Acme Chophouse by the ballpark.

limoncello said...

I couldn't stand it any longer: I steeped green garlic in hot half-and-half and made mashed potatoes with about a pound of chives (and not a little butter and salt). Chicken paillard w/Parm and seasoned breadcrumbs, a squeeze of lemon.
Damn, that was tasty.

cookiecrumb said...

Limoncello: Hoh. Gah. Yeah.

cook eat FRET said...

i like my steak simple

oh yeah - a very happy birthday
i just hope you're older than me - that's all

cookiecrumb said...

Claudia: I'm a historical monument. I get a discount at Ross.