Flatiron – second cousin twice removed from the Hanger Steak.
We’ve had a lot of interest from our restaurant customers in our developing a source for the flatiron steak from our prime Holsteins. In the past, we never handled the flatiron because even though it was becoming a popular restaurant/bistro item, it was difficult for us to source strictly a prime grade. And since it has always been our program to start anything we do with the best level, we left it alone. Turns out we have finally been able to get the Prime grade exclusively, so have decided to jump in and test the waters.
The flatiron is an unusual cut, and very similar to the hanger steak in the explanation for its inherent tenderness. The flatiron is tucked in beneath the shoulder blade, and like the hanger, has a serious tendon running through the center. Because the tendon and the blade do all the heavy lifting, the meat starts out extremely tender. Also like the hanger, to produce a steak from the flatiron, we must split the piece in half along the tendon. The ultimate trim loss will be in the 50% range, so there will only be 4 to 5 steaks per whole flatiron.
I keep referring to the flatiron and the hanger in almost the same breadth because they are very similar from a production point, and from a tenderness point. They will vary in flavor – the hanger having the more unique “beefy” flavor while the flatiron will be more of the mild New York / Sirloin flavor. Both have become popular as mid-price brasserie or bistro style steaks.
The fun thing with the flatiron, is that you can experiment with different seasonings or sauces without having a clash of flavors; or simple salt and pepper will suffice. I would consider this steak to be ideal for a steak-frites presentation.