Flat Iron Steak with Beurre Compose



“The times, they are a-changin”,  Bob Dylan’s epic album of that name came out in January 1964 which (if my  notoriously bad math is correct) means that  just shy of 50 years ago, things were moving along at the same pace as the world seems to be at this very moment.   My crazy old world is changing by leaps and bounds everywhere I look, and I bet yours may be doing the same thing.

Earlier this year, for example, the names of cuts of beef and pork, 350 of them in fact, were officially changed for the first time in 40 years, leaving me, for one, completely intrigued and confused.


Even here in RVA, I have the distinct feeling that something’s in the air; that change is afoot; that things are starting to get a lot more interesting very quickly.  Within the last 24 hours, three notable authors have blown into town for three separate appearances: Anne Lamott, Erik Larson and tonight, Orhan Pamuk. My literary leaning soul is in ecstasy with the dawning realization of just what a bookish city I am lucky enough to inhabit.

What do these seemingly disparate things have in common? Well, in short, it means that I have a new compulsion to find speedy things to get on the dinner table.  And not just any old thing, at that.  I’m looking for quick things that have a certain elegance, can be made likedy-split  when I get home from a stirring literary talk, and that lend themselves to a long drawn out dinner conversation, debating the relative merits of this Nobel prize laureate verses that reknowned author.  In short, just the sort of meaty conversation I adore.

Where as usually, I’m only too happy to hang around making dinner on a Friday night, taking my sweet time whilst listening to jazz, talking to the cats, and nurturing my secret crush on David Brooks on the News Hour, now I want to be out and about, stirring myself up with listening to my fabulous literary heroes.

So, while half the time I have no earthly idea what I’m buying in the grocery store, I’ve taken to randomly buying weird things with weird names and giving them a whirl, which is where this quick dinner came in. When I first tried it I was thrilled with the speed with which it came together, and the sophisticated, elegant meal that I accidently produced.  Jeff in fact, dubbed it a huge success, even worthy of a dinner party.

So tonight, I’m planning on standing up my old beau David Brooks for my potential new one–Orhan. When I get home, I do believe I’ll throw on some jazz and cook up a little flat iron steak.  Yes indeed, a typical Friday night around the old homestead. But my, how the times they are a-changin.


 Flat Iron Steak with Beurre Compose’

serves 4


1 pound flat iron steak

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 large shallot, peeled and minced

1/4 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, minced

1/4 cup fresh chives, minced


Generously salt and pepper the flat iron steak and allow it to come to room temperature. In the meantime, combine the butter, shallot, parsley and chives and mix well.  Cover and set aside.

Heat a cast iron pan to high and add the olive oil.  Cook the steak for about 4 minutes a side until nicely seared  on the outside but medium rare.

Remove the steak from the pan, cover with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.  Cut into 1/2-inch slices and serve with a dollop of the composed butter on top.




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4 Responses to Flat Iron Steak with Beurre Compose

  1. This sounds delicious, definitely have to try it, thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Clare,

    I found your fine blog via one of Susan Nelson’s and Silvestro Silvestori’s tweets. I am hoping to visit Awaiting Table during a planned trip in 2015 (hoping to spend 3 months in Italy for my 60th birthday – I have famiglia in Abruzzo province from my mother’s side).

    But I’d like to ask you about the flatiron steak. Is this a new cut? I spent my formative years from birth until 22 in the USA but have lived outside the US since 1979, mostly in Australia. We have been seeing the flat iron steak mentioned on blogs etc. but my butcher shop doesn’t know what it is (yes we still have them, and greengrocers and fishmongers and all year round farmer’s markets in Adelaide where I live). Mind you they are all italian but speak excellent English, and I haven’t tried one of the Anglo or German butchers at the market.

    Did this cut used to be called something else? I remember my mother cooking what she called a London Broil? Is it anything like that?

    Good luck with your next trip to Italy. It is my favourite travel destination, and yes, I am biased!
    Cheers, Mary Louise Tucker

    • clarefare says:

      Hi Mary Louise,

      So pleased to have you aboard ClareFare. You’re going to LOVE your visit to the Awaiting Table. What a treat you have in store for your 60th birthday trip!

      Yes, the name “flatiron steak” is new for us too. The beef marketing board, or whatever it’s called, renamed all of our cuts of meat last year leading to wide-spread confusion. I think where you are, the cut might be called an “oyster blade steak” so run that by your butcher and see if it rings a bell. It’s from the shoulder and an inexpensive cut, but one I’ve had great luck with as you see in my posting. It’s different from a London Broil, but inexpensive and good like one. In my experience, London Broils are quite large and I usually cook them on the grill very successfully. The flatiron steak is a favorite around in here when I’m too cold or lazy to go and fire up the outside grill and just cook a quick dinner inside.

      Let me know what your butcher says, and I know you’re going to love your trip to Italy. I’m going back this September and am already counting the days!



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