Long considered an inferior cut of beef, the under blade steak comes from under the shoulder blade of the cow; it is similar to the 7-bone steak and the top blade steak (flat iron steak), although not typically as tender. Though the official name, beef chuck under blade center cut, is not exactly appetizing or meaningful to anyone who isn't a butcher, the beef Industry has been pushing new guidelines to butchers to promote more "value-added cuts," which means an under blade steak may become more prevalent in the meat case of your supermarket. This cut can be cooked in a variety of ways—including marinated and grilled, braised in a rich liquid, and sliced and stir-fried—making it a good beef staple for the freezer.
What Is Under Blade Steak?
The under blade steak is cut from the under blade roast, which is part of the chuck roll (a long section of boneless meat between the ribs and the backbone). The under blade roast traditionally ended up as stew meat or cube steak but is now cleaned up and cut into steaks, which are the under blade steaks.
Because this steak is cut from one of the more tender sections of beef, it can be a very versatile cut. Providing that the connective tissue and excess fat is removed, these steaks can be relatively good cuts of meat for grilling or broiling but also work well when slow-cooked.
How to Cook Under Blade Steak
If you are looking to marinate and grill a steak—an under blade is a good cut at a reasonable price. Although it is considered tender, the relatively lean meat should be marinated in a flavorful mixture with an acid, such as vinegar, wine, or lemon juice, for at least two hours before being cooked, regardless of the method. The under blade steak can be grilled hot and fast, though anything over medium doneness is going to lead to a tough and dry cut of meat. The under blade steak is a good cut for braising, as well as for making into kebabs, fajitas, and stir-fry.
What Does Under Blade Steak Taste Like?
The under blade steak has excellent flavor; it is nice and beefy tasting, and if there is a decent amount of marbling, it will have a butteriness to it. Don't expect this cut to taste as rich as a rib-eye, but considering it is an inexpensive piece of meat, you are getting a good flavor for the price.
Under Blade Steak Recipes
If the piece of under blade has a generous amount of fat, then a few hours in a marinade and a quick turn on the grill is all you need. But since this cut is so adaptable, there are a variety of recipes that would also be good choices.
- Slow-cooked blade steaks with gravy
- Middle Eastern beef shish kebabs
- Chinese beef with broccoli stir-fry
Where to Buy Under Blade Steak
Being something of a new and specialized cut, the availability of this steak may be somewhat limited. You want to use a butcher who knows how to cut this piece of meat properly, and if you do find an under blade, look for good marbling and color. Also, keep in mind that it may be labeled as beef chuck under blade center steak.
Storing Under Blade Steak
Because this cut can be used in so many different ways, it is a great type of meat to have on hand—if you are able to find it at the grocery store. An under blade steak will stay fresh in the refrigerator for three to five days and can be kept in the freezer—well wrapped—for six months up to a year.