When I was a poor undergrad and a few of us wanted to put together a very cheap meal, we’d inevitably resort to the blade steak; a thick, bony, heavily marbled piece of meat that could be had for very little money and feed a small army.
With affluence came the Filet Mignon, T-bone, rib-steak, etc., and the lowly blade steak was essentially forgotten. I did buy it a couple of times over the last 20 years, separating the meat and discarding the fat and bones, to use in a classic Greek stifatho (beef with small pearl onions, braised in tomatoes and spices).
For the last few years, we’ve been buying a quarter cow from our organic farmer friend and neighbor. The last load included a massive blade steak about 3 inches thick and weighing in around 5 pounds. I had planned to use it for another stew, but yesterday I got the urge for an infusion of thick, greasy beef on the barbie.
Now, almost every search for “blade steak” will tell you that this is really a braising meat and not appropriate for the BBQ. Don’t listen to them. I marinated the steak for 12 hours in an organic Teriyaki sauce, dried it off, and hurled the massive slab like a Scotsman tossing the caber, onto the grill.
It shortly began to release its fat, and the grill repayed it with a thick smoke that stuck to its surface like the perfect carcinogenic condiment. I flipped it over, let the other side char a little too, slathered it with some more Teriyaki sauce and put it on the unlit side of the BBQ to convect for about 30 minutes.
Eventually, I took the meat off the grill, let it sit for 10 minutes to reabsorb its juices, and sliced it on the bias into 1/2 inch thick strips. Served on a bed of Smoke brand smoked rice, and with some organic grilled summer squash, the steak made for an extremely flavorful and quite tender cut. Very satisfying.
It turns out the blade is consistently ranked as the most flavorful of all the economy cuts. Here’s a great article and comparison.