Cooking

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

The Greene Grape 753 Fulton St. Brooklyn NY 11217 718-233-2700

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