A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Beef. It's What's for Lunch!

And dinner, of course! But today we had Beef Shoulder Petite Tenders for lunch at the Iowa Beef Industry Council. The beef shoulder petite tender is one of three "new" cuts of beef -- including the Flat Iron and Ranch Steak -- that were all part of the chuck pot roast until they were "discovered" by researchers at the University of Nebraska. What they discovered is, when separated from the chuck roast they make great grilling steaks.

I love the Flat Iron and it has replaced the ribeye as the cut I grill most often. One reason is that one Flat Iron costs $7-8 and will feed my family of four (with leftovers!). It also happens to be the second most tender cut of steak (the tenderloin is #1). Best of all, my kids love it!

[At left: the Flat Iron was featured in one of my favorite ads!]

You should be able to find the Flat Iron in the meat case of your favorite grocery store (if you can't, ask the guy behind the meat counter to start stocking it!). You may not be able to find the beef shoulder tender in your local grocery store...yet...but you will see it popping up on restaurant menus along with the (Flat Iron and Ranch steaks). In the meantime, perfect your grilling skills with my tips for a grilled Flat Iron steak:

1. When you start the coals (or 20-30 minutes before you fire up the gas grill), coat the Flat Iron in your favorite marinade or sprinkle with your favorite steak seasoning. [Hint: place coals on one half of your grill or leave one burner on your gas grill turned off.]
2. Sear the steak on both sides over direct heat for about five minutes on each side (to seal in the juices), then move to the side and close the lid.
3. Leave it alone for 30 minutes then remove from the grill and let it "rest" for 5 to 10 minutes before carving.
4. Carve into slices against the grain and serve warm.
5. Save the leftovers for breakfast and treat yourself to steak and eggs!

If you do find a petite tender, follow the same tips above but reduce the covered cooking time by half (15 minutes) and be sure to use an instant read thermometer to determine doneness (145F for medium rare or 160F for medium). I highly recommend cooking to medium rare for the best beef eating experience!

Grill on!



  1. Hey Daren - I love the Flat Iron too and if it is on the menu that's what I order before anything else! Glad to hear you had a great run yesterday and that you are feeling good about next weeks race! I know you'll do great and the beef world is behind you all the way!! Yours in beef - Red

  2. Watch out Bobby Flay! ..."Daren Meets Grill"... hmmm

    Love, Les


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