The Underrated Cut Of Steak That's Ideal For Slow Cooking

If you love meat, you probably love steak — there's usually no two ways about it. And that probably means you love eating your preferred cut of steak done in the traditional way: seared to a mouth-watering crisp on the outside, while still tender and juicy on the inside. Put that and an amazing side on your plate and you'll probably be in meat-heaven. 

But while you've always enjoyed a ribeye, T-bone, or porterhouse thrown onto a ripping hot pan or grill, you may be surprised to learn that you're denying yourself a completely different way to enjoy delicious steak — courtesy of that old slow cooker you got from your grandma that sits at the back of your kitchen cabinet. And not only that, but this method also works best with a pretty underrated cut of steak that you might not know much about.

Under blade steak is a value-added cut

Have you ever heard of an under blade steak? According to The Spruce Eats, this cut of steak is sliced from under the cow's shoulder blade, from the same area where we get flat iron steak and something called a 7-bone steak. Long ignored by both butchers and consumers, the outlet notes, the under blade steak has been making something of a comeback as the beef industry has pushed butchers and supermarkets to offer more "value-added cuts." These newer and different kinds of beef cuts were promoted, starting in the late 1990s, to sell more of the cow and therefore enable processors and marketers to earn more from it (via South Dakota State University Extension).

Value-added cuts typically contain a bit more fat and connective tissue than more conventionally desired ones and can be less tender, according to SDSU. The under blade steak is no exception, usually a bit chewier than nearby steak cuts such as a flat iron steak. Still, it's nonetheless a versatile piece of meat when properly trimmed of excess fat and connective tissue, per The Spruce Eats.

Under blade steak maintains its shape even when slow-cooked

So what makes under blade steak so versatile? Well, one thing this cut has going for it is that it can be quick-cooked in the manner most of us are familiar with when it comes to steak: grilled or broiled until medium-rare inside or seared in a hot pan. But unlike most steak cuts, the under blade takes just as well to slow-cooking — this cut will maintain its integrity through the low and slow cooking process, per The Spruce Eats

Also known as a chuck flat, according to Beef. It's What's For Dinner, under blade steak can be braised in an aromatic mix of onion, garlic, celery, carrots, red wine, and beef stock, according to Hotel Grand Pacific; The Spruce Eats, meanwhile, suggests tossing under blade steak into a slow cooker with sliced onions, Creole seasoning, and flour for a tender, beefy result that creates its own gravy as it cooks for 7 to 9 hours.

Want to give under blade steaks a go? If you can't find them in your supermarket, The Spruce Eats recommends checking your local butcher shop, where they may be labeled beef chuck under blade center steak (try saying that three times fast).