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Fri Jul 1, 2016, 04:45 PM

 

Blade steak

It has good flavor, but unfortunately I find it extremely tough. Is there a way to make it a bit more tender? It's cheaper than sirloin and sometimes I just enjoy a good piece of steak.

Anyone have a decent marinade to help tenderize it?

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply Blade steak (Original post)
Aerows Jul 2016 OP
Kali Jul 2016 #1
Aerows Jul 2016 #2
Kali Jul 2016 #3
Major Nikon Jul 2016 #4
Aerows Jul 2016 #6
Major Nikon Jul 2016 #8
2theleft Jul 2016 #5
flamin lib Jul 2016 #7

Response to Aerows (Original post)

Fri Jul 1, 2016, 05:12 PM

1. I agree with your assesment

Last edited Fri Jul 1, 2016, 07:09 PM - Edit history (1)

good flavor but tough. I use blade cuts for pot roast or stew meat. once in a while you get them tender enough to do as steak (pan fry, broil, grill) but not regularly and not much of a way to tell before trying.

ribeye is what I call a steak and it is for special occasions, t-bone and porterhouse in same class though I prefer ribeye. NY strip (the "textured," non-filet side of the t-bone) could be what you are looking for but need to watch for sales.

I know nothing about that water bath method, but that might work for the blade/chuck steak - I think Major Nikon is the expert for that.

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Response to Kali (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 1, 2016, 05:20 PM

2. I've read about that method

 

Sous Vide. You vacuum seal the meat and boil it for several hours. I think it needs special equipment. I'm not adverse to trying something new, but it seems rather silly to buy a vacuum sealer and an expensive apparatus just to make cheaper meat tender.

It sort of defeats the money saving part of the equation!

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Response to Aerows (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 1, 2016, 07:08 PM

3. well I assume you can use it for other stuff

but yeah I haven't gotten into that myself. you could try old style marinades - some oil and acid, either wine, citrus juice, or even diluted vinegars and herbs/spices/garlic etc flavored to what you like

bottled Italian dressing works too

12 to 24 hours would probably tenderize tough beef fairly well

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Response to Aerows (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 1, 2016, 07:55 PM

4. Sous vide is the best method for what you want to do

It does take special equipment, but the idea is to cook the meat at far lower than boiling temperatures for long periods of time.

Here's the dilemma you have with blade steak, or really any tough cut of meat. If you cook it like you normally would with tender cuts normally reserved for steak, then the meat fibers are going to tighten up and give it the consistency of boot leather. It takes about 6 hours at 135F to transform the collagen into gelatin. At higher temperatures the process happens faster. So with sous vide the process is simple. You just vacuum seal the meat, put it in a 135F water bath for 6 hours or up to 3 days, then you take it out and sear the outside. Voila! Medium-rare steak. Not just steak, but very tender and tasty steak. So whether or not it's worth it to invest in the hardware to do it depends on how often you'd want to do it and how attractive an option that is for you. The great thing about this method is also convenience. Since you are cooking by temperature, and not time, you can put the meat in the water bath in the morning and it will be ready by dinner time. Within reason, it's pretty much impossible to overcook.

There are other ways to tenderize a tough piece of meat. Acidic marinades do work, but they work better if assisted with mechanical means to cut through the muscle fibers. For that you'll need a Jaccard. I like the 45 blade model that comes apart for easier cleaning. You can expect to pay about $20-30 for that. Naturally you'll need a boneless blade steak for this to work, preferably sliced to about 3/4". You simply knife the meat from one end to the other, moving the Jaccard one blade width each time, turn the meat 90 degrees and knife it again, then turn it over and repeat the process. Marinate overnight in a vinegar or other acid based marinade of your choice and cook as you would a steak.

Another thing you can do is do this exclusively with a mechanical method. Grind it with a meat grinder with just one pass using a coarse blade. If you don't have a meat grinder you can have the butcher do this for you. Then just mix in some seasoning, form it into the shape of a steak, and cook it as you would a steak.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #4)

Fri Jul 1, 2016, 11:21 PM

6. I know that my butcher can do that

 

but the problem with mechanical tenderizing is that I like my steak pretty much mooing.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #6)

Sat Jul 2, 2016, 11:00 AM

8. That wouldn't be a problem with the Jaccard method

Knifing a tough cut of meat severs fibers that make it tough. It will also allow the marinade to penetrate better. For rare to medium rare you'll probably want about a 1" thick steak. After knifing a 1" thick steak will be about 3/4", so you'll need a high temperature and fast sear, so best to use a really hot skillet. Dry the meat thoroughly with a paper towel, season about 1 hour before cooking and leave it out at room temperature. If you can keep the sear to about 2-3 mins per side, you should wind up with a reasonably rare steak. Pull it off the heat source at about 130F internal temp measured with an instant read thermometer and let it rest for about 10 minutes and you should get medium rare.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 1, 2016, 10:27 PM

5. With skirt or flank,

I rub with a mixture of olive oil, a few dashes of lime juice, sprinkle with salt & pepper. Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. Then grill. Flavor is great and helps break down the toughness.

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Response to Aerows (Original post)

Sat Jul 2, 2016, 10:54 AM

7. Cook it sous vide at 125f for 8-10 hours.

Discard any juices in the vacuum bag, pat it dry and brown it a hot skillet with a little oil. I don't season it in the bag but salt and pepper before browning. Interior is very pink and tender as the expensive cuts. You won't believe what beef short ribs are like after 24 hours at 125-130f.

For about $180 you can get the Avova Culinary unit. I use it for just about all proteins except poultry. Salmon at 104f for 20 minutes is perfect for my taste.

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