Old Station Craft Meats in Waukee sells bacon, steaks, sausages and more. Find out the owner’s favorite steaks for grilling below.
Writer: Karla Walsh
Photographer: Verdigris Photography & Design
If you’re bored by your grilling menu, the fix might be as simple as mixing up your meats.
To “help us utilize the whole animal better,” reduce food waste, and add flavor and variety to the meals of his clients at Old Station Craft Meats in Waukee, owner Nick Lenters is on a quest to expand his fans’ horizons. Here are five of his favorites for this summer, plus ideas for how to best use the cut.
Picanha: Lean meat with a fat cap, this triangular portion of the sirloin is popular in Brazil. Lenters recommends serving it in the style of Brazilian steakhouses. Cut into strips, then snake each piece onto a skewer. Place the fat on the outside. Cook over high heat, with the fatty-side down first so it caramelizes, then rotate often to ensure even cooking.
Hanger: Since this affordable cut has a very coarse grain, marinate it for four to eight hours before grilling. Cook to your desired doneness and slice thin to use in stir-fry or tacos.
Flat Iron: “The most tender piece of beef, flat iron comes from the chuck portion of the cow,” Lenters says. “It’s a great option for grilling.” Grill to your liking, then “be sure to cut across the grain into thin strips,” he adds, for the most succulent results. Season with Mexican spices and serve in a sizzling skillet for restaurant-quality fajitas.
Short Ribs: If you’re more into smoking than grilling, consider short ribs. Similar to the osso bucco, “this cut of meat contains a bone, which adds extra flavor to the beef when slow cooked. Left uncut, the three-bone plate rib is great for smoking,” Lenters says. Try it with hickory, pecan or cherry wood chips, then slice very thin and follow a recipe to use the beef in Korean-style bulgogi (a Korean barbecue).
Del Monico: For a less expensive yet great-to-grill alternative to rib-eye, try this steak. It’s from the portion of the cow where the rib-eye muscle enters the chuck. “As a result, this cut contains a narrower portion of rib-eye muscle along with a portion of the chuck flap—another cut of meat that is little known, but ideal for smoking,” Lenters says. Try either grilled or smoked, served with a generous pat of compound butter.
Whatever the cut, Lenters vouches for the quality of each ounce that leaves his door. “We know where the product comes from, have talked with the producer, know their story, and are familiar with their product,” he says. “That’s our greatest opportunity to educate people about how their food is sourced and where it comes from.”
Old Station Craft Meats is located at 450 Sixth St. in Waukee; oldstationcraftmeats.com.