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Mar 4, 2009 09:51 AM

Removing tendons from blade roast

Cooks Illustrated recommended blade steaks as a good choice for stir fry. Just cut the middle tendon out and you get a beefy tasting cut tender enough to stir fry. This led me to think I could remove the tendon from the entire roast and try grilling it.

Has anyone ever tried this?

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  1. Not grilled, but pan-fried the center steak and the flat-iron portion. The other part is too tough. I originally learned how to break down a blade roast from Merle Ellis decades ago. Here's the info with an illustration,

    4 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Thanks Melanie. My roast did not have the third part, but one of the two resulting pieces still did have a fair amount of connective tissue in it. I'm still going to try grilling them ala tri tips and see what happens.

      1. re: EdwardAdams

        The flatiron is actually a traditional Chinese cut and used to be available only at Chinese butchers. Sliced across the grain, that line of gristle is considered a desireable feature for stir-fries, but we do like chewy things. It used to be very cheap before someone invented the name flatiron and demand increased along with prices. I imagine that most folks would remove that gristle when they cook it like a steak. I think you'll be fine, just be careful how you carve it, but if you've done tri-tips, you know about that.

      2. re: Melanie Wong


        You are showing your age when you mention Merle Ellis. We used to read his column in the Portland Journal in another lifetime, ago, up in PDX before we moved South to the Bay Area.

        We still have a set of Brazilian knives he recommended - "Marks" is the brand. They are every bit as good as Wusthof or Henkel. They are still our primary knives after 42 years and we've supplemented them with Global, Wenger and Victorinox (tomato knife).


        1. re: jamesq

          I was a wee one and an avid 4-Her when I read Merle's technique. I might still have the original column with that illustration cut out of the newspaper in the binder of recipes from home that I took to college with me. I'm glad to see that his knowledge has made it to the web where more can learn from it.

      3. My favorite cut of meat. You can use it for stew as the tendon breaks down and creates a lusciousness(?) to the sauce. I also break it down into two steaks, both sides seem tender to me. One I may marinate quickly and grill, the other reserve for slicing across the grain and stir frying. The flavor is wonderful and my second favorite steak next to the ribeye.

        1. Yes, if you do it you will have created your own flat iron steaks.

          3 Replies
          1. re: scubadoo97

            As the illustration I linked above shows, one piece is the flat iron, and the other is the cut right next to the ribeye and essentially the same. We would put the third piece of chuck into the freezer to save them up for double-boiled soup or to make stews.

            This is one of those tips for stretching our meat dollars during these recessionary times.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Wish I could find blade roasts for $1.69

              1. re: scubadoo97

                Safeway had them last week at $1.99. Pot roasted one to perfection on Monday...Boneless by the way...