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The Koala and I love a good steak, but I don’t order steak when dining out because it’s so easy to cook at home for a fraction of the price. I often go for the fattier steaks because that’s what my tastes buds like, but when I heard there was a leaner steak coming out that still tastes good, I was all for it.
The flat-iron steak is a relatively unknown cut to the kiwi palate. A butcher’s secret, this cut is for people in the know. It is called the oyster blade steak in NZ and Australia. It is known in the US as the flat-iron steak and in the UK as the butler’s steak. Affectionately known as the ugly steak, this flat, rectangular cut comes from the shoulder and is trimmed to make it very lean. Because it is so lean, it’s important not to overcook a flat-iron steak. Just 3 minutes on each side in a hot pan and 5 minutes resting time.
This month, Silver Fern Farms are launching the flat-iron steak to the kiwi market and I was invited to cook with and sample this new cut. A product of grass fed free-range beef, these steaks are aged for 21 days, naturally developing the flavour and tenderness, and only picking the best cuts using their EQ system (read more here). Silver Fern Farms flat-iron steak can be purchased at all leading supermarkets. Look for their 220 gram vacuum packs in the meat section or to find out more, visit www.silverfernfarms.co.nz
This quick cooking, tender cut can be used in sandwiches, salads or served with chips as I have done here. Steak and chips is a classic UK combination found in restaurants and pubs. I’ve fancied it up a little with spiced carrots, kumara and parsnip in place of potato and added balsamic caramelised onions. This dish is great served with beer or a robust red.
This recipe has 3 parts, the longest portion being the balsamic onions which can be made ahead of time but I would recommend starting this first, then preparing the veggie chips while the onions are caramelising. The steak should be cooked right at the end.
Fancy steak and chips:
Flat-iron steak with oven baked vegetables fries and balsamic onions
- 3 onions
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- Cut the top and bottom off each onion and remove skin. Slice thinly lengthways and set aside.
- Heat a large sauté pan and add oil. Once hot, add onions and stirring with a wooden spoon to coat the onions in oil. Fry on high heat for 5 minutes, stir in salt and sugar and turn heat down to the lowest setting. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, making sure to scrap the bottom of the pan. You may add up to 2 tablespoons of water if the onions start getting a bit dry and stick to the pan. At 20 minutes, add balsamic vinegar and cook for a further 20 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan.
- Makes 1.5 cups. Extra onions can be refrigerated for future use.
Oven baked veggie chips
- 1 kumara
- 2 carrots
- 2 parsnips
- 2 tablespoons duck fat, softened
- A pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- Peel root vegetables and cut into sticks suitable for chunky fries. Place chips an airtight plastic bag and with softened duck fat, salt, cumin and turmeric, twist or seal bag and massage until the chips are well coated in fat and seasonings.
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper and tip veggie chips onto it, spread out in 1 layer and bake at 200°C for 30 minutes, flipping once.
- Remove from oven and taste a chip, season to taste as required.
Flat-Iron steaks (butler steak)
- 1 pack Silver Ferm Farms Beef Flat Iron Steaks (220 grams)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Salt and pepper
- Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy pan and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Once oil is hot, cook the steaks for 3 minutes per side.
- Remove from heat and rest in a warm place for 5 minutes.
- Slice thinly and serve immediately.