For forty years, Donald Russell have made their name supplying exceptional steaks to the world’s top chefs. Some of these steak cuts have remained the trade secret of us chefs – until now, that is!
With big flavour and fantastic value, these steaks have it all. A word of warning, though: these are for true carnivores who like their meat nice and rare. You must cook them as we chefs do – hot and fast, to no more than medium-rare, or else that wonderfully juicy experience will be lost, and that pleasing ‘bite’ will become a chew. Here’s how I advise you to do it…
The other important thing – with all steaks, not just these ones – is to make sure you slice them against the ‘grain’ of the meat. If you look closely, you’ll see the fibres of the meat run in one particular direction – cut across them, not along them. This makes the steaks feel much more tender!
Now, a few words about each of these gorgeous new steaks:
In Brazil, this juicy cut – pronounced pi-CAN-ya – is traditionally kept in one large piece, grilled on a sword and sliced to serve a few people. Here, our butchers have prepared it as convenient, pan-ready individual steaks – much easier! Sear it with a little chilli and lime – perfect with those big, bold, beefy flavours.
Named for its shape – like an old-fashioned clothes iron which was heated in the fire – Flat Iron Steak used to be referred to as ‘butler’s steak’. While the lord of the manor would have eaten fillet or sirloin, the not-so-posh but still very tender flat iron would have been reserved for the highest ranking servants. Also known as featherblade steak, flat iron is cut from the shoulder, so has good marbling, a firm bite and deep flavour.
Well marbled steaks you’ll soon become a fan of! The ribeye cut naturally extends up into the shoulder (or ‘chuck’) of the carcase – where the two meet, you get Chuck Eye Steaks! With the fat and flavour of ribeye, and a slightly firmer, humbler finish from the chuck, these steaks are an incredibly satisfying combination…
Onglet, AKA ‘hanger steak’, literally hangs in the centre of the carcase – it’s a totally unworked muscle so is very tender. It has an intense, deeply beefy flavour. No wonder butchers used to keep this hidden gem of a cut all to themselves!
Bavette is a delicacy in Mexico and Latin America, where it is marinated and grilled as arrachera. It’s a hard working muscle; lean, firm and with a long grain. Cook it short and fast, and slice it against the grain, for a robust, beefy flavour.
Also known as diaphragm steak, this thin and tasty steak has a loose grain and definite bite. Steak afficionados and those in the know have always coveted its very particular qualities – but it must be cooked briskly, and enjoyed very, very pink.
So, for those of you yet to taste these speciality steaks for the first time – all I can say is I’m quite jealous!