Cut a Deal

A butcher's best-kept secrets

In this new dawn of butchery, whole-animal dressing comes with practical responsibility: what to do with all that extra meat?

Only so much can be sold as hamburger or squeezed into sausage. Luckily, there are several off-cuts–like the bavette, the loin chop and the beef deckle–that offer customers budget-friendly options.

Learning to prepare these lesser-known steaks was part of butcher Bryan Mayer's training while he was studying under Joshua Applestone at Fleischer's Meats in upstate New York.

Mayer–the meat guy at The Greene Grape Provisions shop–stocks his case with value-priced cuts you won't find at the supermarket. Here are four of his favorites:

Chicken steak ($7 a pound) This cut gets its name from that Southern staple, the chicken-fried steak. Mayer cuts his thicker for a more classic appearance, and says it's equally great battered and fried or simply grilled.

Faux hanger ($10 a pound) Also know as the sirloin flap, this skinny steak dangles off the loin. Seared hard on all sides to give it a nice crust, this cut's texture is similar to the one-per-cow hanger steak, a butcher's favorite.

Faux tenderloin ($10 a pound) This lean steak feels and tastes like a tenderloin, but it's cut from a muscle (the terrace major) that sits on top of the shoulder blade. Mayer wraps each slab in bacon, which seasons the meat as it roasts.

Flat iron ($8 a pound) Of the four, this steak is the most popular among local chefs. Also cut from the shoulder, it needs a couple of whacks from a meat tenderizer before getting a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper and a few minutes per side in a hot-and-heavy skillet.

The Greene Grape Provisions, 753 Fulton St. (at South Portland St.), Brooklyn; 718-233-2700 or greenegrape.com