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Can a cheap steak be good?

Last post Sat, Jul 21 2007 11:06 AM by Brandy. 10 replies.
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  • Thu, Jul 19 2007 6:07 PM

    Can a cheap steak be good?

    I get tired of just grilling chicken. I love filet mignon but hate the price.  Are there any cheap steaks that I would like?

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  • Thu, Jul 19 2007 6:37 PM In reply to

    Re: Can a cheap steak be good?

    Can a cheap steak be good? I'm glad you asked because I never get tired of sharing with any who will listen about cheap meat alternatives. You see I'm a butcher and every day for the past thirty years or so someone has asked for my advice about which cut of beef is the best for a particular application and the surprising thing is that they rarley listen. I'll show them the best choice at the best price but usually they go with whatever was in their mind to begin with. I'll give you my best advice but you have to promise to at least trust me enough to take it.

    Now to answer your question let me say this, yes. There is almost always an alternative cut of beef or pork that will eat just as good for less money. Here recently I've been experimenting with boneless chuck steaks and found that they can be very good. I marinate them in my special homemade marinade  for 12 to 72 hours and then throw them on the grill at medium to low. I cook them for about 10 minutes per side for medium to medium rare. Now the boneless chuck is not the most tender but for a $1.99 or less a pound on sale it's hard to beat and the flavor is witout equal. Another of my favorites is the flat iron. Some stores call them top blade steaks but whatever they call them it's the hunk of meat that is cut off the cross rib and is usually used to make boneless country style ribs or stew meat. Your butcher should know what you are talking about if you ask for the flat iron. The flat iron makes the best steak sandwiches too. Just ask the butcher for a few 1/2 inch slices off the narrow end that has the thin layer of gellitan as opposed to the large end that has a large seam of gristle. He will know what you are talking about. Then ask him to cut your steaks to your desired thickness. They should cost you about the same as a cross rib roast. If you are pals with your butcher you can ask for a flat iron when cross ribs are on sale and he or she (I keep forgetting that there are women out there too) will cut it up for you and let you have it at the cross rib price. You'll be glad you did.

  • Thu, Jul 19 2007 6:50 PM In reply to

    Re: Can a cheap steak be good?

    Will I like the marinated chuck steak or that flat iron as much as I like my filet?  When you mention steak sandwiches do you mean like a French Dip sandwich? I do like French Dip.

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  • Thu, Jul 19 2007 7:13 PM In reply to

    Re: Can a cheap steak be good?

    If you are anything like my wife the answer is no. The fillet is lean, delicate and tender. The boneless chuck steak is not the most tender steak out there but if you don't mind chewing a little bit they are very good. The flat iron is more tender than the chuck but it is nothing like a fillet. However both the flat iron and the chuck steak have a lot more flavor and juicyness than the fillet. The flat iron will make nice French dip sandwiches.

  • Thu, Jul 19 2007 10:09 PM In reply to

    Re: Can a cheap steak be good?

     John The Butcher ~ We just purchased a Bradley Digital Smoker(4 shelf) and want to smoke turkey, so I have a couple of questions.  One, do we start with a hen or a tom?  Two, how do we prep it?  And three, we want it to be very moist upon completion, should we start with a fatty bird?

    Thanks for your help.  And welcome to the forum, looking forward to seeing your input.  : ) 

  • Fri, Jul 20 2007 7:31 AM In reply to

    • Patti
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Jul 10 2007
    • Posts 232

    Re: Can a cheap steak be good?

    Question for John the Butcher:

    What other ways can we use the chuck steak?  I see it alot at good prices but don't know what to do with it. Thanks!

    Patti

    Loving life in Mississippi

    "Do what you like- like what you do!"
  • Fri, Jul 20 2007 2:29 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Can a cheap steak be good?

    Chuck steak is the type I buy except for the rare occasion when I find a more expensive cut on a good sale. Even though some consider it a tougher piece of meat, I don't find it to be so bad.

     John, do you find it's more tender with marinating?

     

     

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Fri, Jul 20 2007 2:31 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Can a cheap steak be good?

     I use chuck in any manner a steak can be cooked. This is our the preferred meat for cutting into strips for fajitas or other dishes that call for steak strips.


     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Sat, Jul 21 2007 10:21 AM In reply to

    Re: Can a cheap steak be good?

     Sorry John the Butcher has been busy working 6 days a wk but I'll try and give the same response he would since I"m his wife :)   First off, we've never smoked any meat but I've been getting lots of questions on it.  We've been researching and will share what we learn as we go.  We've also got good neighbors that have been smoking meat for generations. 

    Reference books on my lap:   The Canning, Freezing, Curing and Smoking of Meat, Fish & Game by Wilbur Eastman. Available on Amazon or library. A Garden Way Book- one of our favorite publishers. 

    Don Holm's Book of Food Drying, Pickling and Smoke Curing

     

    The fat requires longer to smoke and gives a less satisfactory product.   Only diff in the hen vs tom is the size ( you can read John's big article about that at http://www.all-about-meat.com)  A 10-15 lb bird fits in the portable aluminum smokers so refer to your manual as I'm not familiar with the one you have.  Looks like you'll be brining it first- either a soak or simmer. Then air dry.Rub all sort of yummy stuff on it, then smoke-maybe even basting in butter every hour.   Once you're done smoking it you'll probably finish it off in the oven. You're probably a pro at that part.  Both of the books have recipes and I always start by doing things "by the book".  Your local library might also have a new and more up-to-date selection of how to smoke meat. 

    Check out my free report How I Feed My Family of Ten on $100 a week. Available at http://www.all-about-meat.com
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  • Sat, Jul 21 2007 10:29 AM In reply to

    Re: Can a cheap steak be good?

     John's busy working hard but this is his wife.  Chuck steak is definately more tender after marinating. I"m pretty picking about grilled steaks and it's just not tender enough for me if it's not marinated. He's got his marinade for chuck steaks recipe up on his website  http://www.all-about-meat.com  I also thought he had a list somewhere of how to use it but not currently finding it.  I saw it used in Chinese pepper steaks, pulled or BBQ beef, and it make a great pot roast last Sunday. 

    joan of ark

    ps the flavor was great after marinating and I liked the more tender pieces.   

    Check out my free report How I Feed My Family of Ten on $100 a week. Available at http://www.all-about-meat.com
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