What I do, when I get the urge to eat something that doesn't look like it could be used as a prop in a horror film, is cut a few thin slices off the front or narrow part of the flat iron. The flat iron is probably the most underrated cut of beef on the planet. It is tender and well marbled, meaning that it is juicy and flavorful. When cut into steak it is called top blade steak. In most meat markets, the flat iron is cut into boneless country style ribs. The top blade steaks do not sell well. It's probably because they are not a very attractive steak. It has what appears to be a thick seam of gristle going right down the center of it. It is actually a gelatin type substance that melts away when you cook it, which may not sound that great, and is, I suppose, another reason the steak does not sell well.
But it has the best flavor, and when cut thin for sandwiches, it is very tender. Next time you are feeling adventuresome or you just want a nice juicy, tender steak for a sandwich that can't be beat and you want to save money, ask the butcher at your favorite supermarket how much flat irons are going for. They should be the same price as boneless country style ribs, which are about the same as a boneless chuck roast. If not, try another store. Once you have determined that the butcher isn't trying to work you over, ask him to slice you several 1/2 inch steaks off the front or narrow part of the flat iron. Some of the younger butchers may not know what a flat iron is. If they don't, just humbly explain to him or her that it is the hunk of meat on the side of the cross rib that is usually used to make boneless country style ribs.
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