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Affectionately known in the South as “CFS,” Chicken Fried Steak has historically been prepared with cheaper cuts of meat. The meat is pounded thin to tenderize and to promote fast cooking. Hmm...does it sound a little like Wiener Schnitzel? Well, it should. The dish is thought to have by brought to the U.S. by German and Austrian immigrants to Texas in the 19th century.
Typically made with cube steak, which is meat from the round (hind quarter of the cow) that has been put through a mechanical tenderizer that flattens and pokes a bunch of holes. We are using Flat Iron Steak, which is a cut that comes from the flavorful chuck clod. Chuck is typically high in connective tissues and needs to be braised over long periods, or ground into hamburger. However, the Flat Iron comes from a specific area and is both tender and flavorful. The steak will be breaded and pan fried.
The Bone Marrow Butter Gravy is essentially a Béchamel sauce. The Roux will be made with bone marrow, rather than butter, to which flour and milk is added. The bone marrow creates a wonderfully flavorful gravy. For the Garlic-Wilted Spinach, the garlic confit (garlic poached in oil) is added to a hot pan and the Spinach is added, tossed, and then immediately removed.
For those interested in more information on the Flat Iron Steak and it's organic:
We live in such a remarkable age of technological invention, whether it’s the Echo, Facebook, or the iphone. However, this Age of Technology has overlooked some of the great advancements in others fields….such as the invention of new steaks! Wait, what? Cows have been domesticated for 6,000 years, so how can a new steak be invented?
Remember the “Beef, it’s what’s for Dinner” campaign with the voiceovers first from Robert Mitchum and then later by Sam Elliot? Well, that was part of the Beef Checkoff Program, which was created by Congress in 1985 with the passage of the “Beef Promotion and Research Act,” meant to increase the domestic and/or international demand for beef. As part of that legislation, researchers at the Universities of Nebraska and Florida received a grant in 2002 to “discover” new and flavorful cuts of meat from the cow’s primary muscle groups.
These PhD’s of Meat (technically, Animal Sciences) focused on the Chuck Clod, or the 25 lb primal cut of meat from the cow’s shoulder, which includes the subprimal cuts of the Chuck Eye Roll and the Underblade. The researcher came up with 3 new steaks: the Denver Flat, the Flat Iron, and the Teres Major (For all you Meat Nerds out there, the underblade is made up of three muscles: the rhomboideus, the splenius and the serratus ventralis – that is a lot of Latin, “Mulier Fortis Es!”). These steaks have the best of both worlds, because they are both tender like the tenderloin, but are fully marbled like the chuck roast (which is typically braised or ground into hamburger).
Here they are (and thanks to all those Beef Marketers out there….each have many different names):
Denver Flat: (Denver cut, Denver Chuck Steak, Boneless Chuck Short Rib, Underblade steak, Underblade Center). From the Underblade, the Denver Flat is a true steak, defined as meat cut perpendicular to the muscle fibers, or grain, and has 2.25x the marbling of the tenderloin. In a nod to its tenderness, Japanese Chefs refer to the cut at a Zabuton, which is a Zen Meditation Cushion.
Flat Iron (Top Blade Steak, Patio Steak, Butlers’ Steak, Oyster Blade). The Flat Iron, an unusual steak in that it is cut with the grain, similar to skirt and flank steaks, is from the chuck shoulder clod. A whole roast weighs about 2 1/2 pounds and is usually cut into 4 steaks that look like mini flank steaks.
Teres Major (Petit Filet, Shoulder Tender). Also from the Underblade, this is the second most tender cut of meat on the cow next to the tenderloin. The main difference is the marbling, and thus, a more intense flavor. This cut is small at about 10-14oz., and is normally served as medallions (rounds).
Time to Cook: 30 min.
Cook by Day: Saturday
Items included (serves 2)
2 8oz Flat Iron Steaks
Breading (Flour, Egg Wash, Canola)
Bone Marrow Butter Pepper Gravy (bone marrow, Flour, Pepper, Milk)
Mashed Potatoes (butter, milk)
*Menu items subject to slight variation based on the availability of fresh ingredients; Picture is not necessarily representative of final dish
Meal Contains (including add-ons): Milk, Wheat. We store, portion, and package various meal kits containing all eight (8) major allergens (milk, wheat, egg, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, and tree nuts) and cannot guarantee that cross-contamination will not occur between kits.
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