What the Colorado is a Denver Steak?

The Denver Steak is the most tender cut of beef you’ve probably never heard of. Introduced to the market in the late 1990’s, Denver Steak was supposed to put Colorado beef on the map. Instead, the cut was buried under the popularity of ‘big name’ steaks such as NY Strip and Filet Mignon. When lesser-known cuts such as Flat Iron gained popularity, little ol’ Denver couldn’t catch a break, leaving beef loving Texans in 2017 to discover the truth about this heavily marbled cut. (Source: WestWord)

Trimmed from the large chuck roll, Denver Steak is a tender, marbled cut of meat that can be easily missed if you don’t have a keen butcher. The shoulder clod is removed from the chuck as a whole, and then the roll is broken down into the ‘trim’ to reveal the many steaks you might be familiar with, such as Delmonico and Chuck Eye Roasts, and of course the Denver steaks. Most of the ‘leftover’ chuck is thrown into ground, but a true beef purveyor, such as Ranger Cattle in South Austin, knows just what cuts are worth the extra trim. Ranger Cattle is known for raising true Texan Wagyu beef and their Denver Steaks are some of the most well marbled and flavorful steaks you can get ranch-to-table in the Austin market.

Cooking Techniques

The chuck roll is known for producing tougher cuts of meat often ground or used for stewing. But don’t let the origins of  Denver Steaks fool you. This beautifully  piece of meat will yield a gorgeously tender steak if cooked to medium-rare or medium  with a watchful eye.

Pan Seared

Tenderize and generously season your steak with salt and pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature for up to 40 minutes.

Drizzle your preferred high-smoke-point cooking oil in a pan and place over high heat. Cook to medium-rare or medium for 4-5 minutes each side. Once cooked to desired doneness, allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes. When serving, be sure to cut against the grain for optimal tenderness!

Grilled

If you’re hoping to fit in one last grill session of the season, the Farmhouse Kitchen recommends using a multi-zone grill technique.

Prepare your grill with a hot and cold zone of fire so that the charcoal (or gas) is concentrated on one side of the grill, leaving an indirect heat zone.

About 15 minutes before grilling, set steaks on a baking sheet and let sit at room temperature. Salt generously with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Brush both sides of the steak with vegetable or grape seed oil (do not use olive, it will burn too quickly) and set steaks on the indirect heat side of the grill. Cook until slightly charred, about 5-6 minutes. Turn steaks over and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until preference of doneness. Check internal temperature with a meat thermometer: medium-rare (an internal temperature of 135°F), medium (140°F).

Transfer steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting against the grain and devouring.

Topped

 

Farmhouse founder Steph Scherzer is known for her No-Cook Sun Gold Tomato Sauce, which she makes from sun gold tomatoes grown in her backyard at Rain Lily farm. This beautifully bright summer-time staple has just the right balance of sweetness and acidity. It can be eaten on anything – pasta, crostini or simply by the spoonful. When Denver steaks first hit our shelves we knew we’d found another perfect partner for this special sauce.

 

No-Cook Sun Gold Tomato Sauce

Place sun gold tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil into a large serving bowl and stir until coated. Cover the bowl and allow to marinate for about four hours at room temperature.

 

Whip up a batch in your kitchen and spoon it over a freshly grilled Denver steak with an extra sprig of basil for a local feast you’ll remember even after the temperatures drop.

Cheers to simple summertime dinners! Let us know what you think of Denver Steak in the comments below.

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