Find out what a Denver steak is, what part of the cow it comes from, and why this steak is worthy of your attention.
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Are you ready to learn about another steak? I am always up for trying out new cuts and then sharing them with you. Today we are adding the Denver steak to the list. What is this cut like? Is it worth the money? Do I need to go to Colorado to eat one?
🥩 What is a Denver Steak?
This steak has nothing to do with the city of Denver. Someone just thought it was a good name! The steak comes from the chuck primal (front shoulder), which is that area of the cow you get the chuck roast from that is great for pot roast.
That area of the cow gets a lot of work so it's known for being tough. However, the Denver steak is cut from a small portion of the cow that isn't tough. Most of the time the steak is just included with a roast like the 7-bone chuck roast. It takes a skilled butcher to remove this steak.
The cow is so complex when it comes to all the different cuts you can get from one animal. The chicken is much simpler!
🎧 Check out our podcast to learn about the Bavette steak.
🛒 Where to Buy
I got my Denver steak from the online butcher shop, Porter Road. They usually offer two types of Denver steak, the standard one (weights around .7 to .8 pounds) and the Petite (weights around .34 to .4 pounds). I choose the Petite so I could try the steak out for the cheaper cost.
Porter Road is based out of Nashville, Tennessee. You can visit their shop as I did in 2021 or have their meats shipped directly to you.
🥩 Comparison - I ate my Denver steak at the same time I cooked a Newport steak. The actual flavor of the Denver steak was superior. Very beefy tasting. I believe that Newport steak was juicer and more tender. The nice advantage of the Denver was that it was 100% useable meat. There was no grizzle or too fatty pieces. It was a perfectly cut steak. Props to Porter Road!
🔥 How to Cook
For me sous vide is always going to be my favorite. You can't screw it up! You set the machine and it cooks it to your desired temperature. But if you don't have the ability placing it on the grill or on the stove in a hot cast iron pan are viable options for this cut.
This is also a cut that works for a braise. For some inspiration check out the method I used for cooking another cut from the Chuck primal - the Chuck Arm Steak.
🛁 Sous Vide
Let me show you how I sous vide this steak.
I first bust out the kosher salt and liberally season my steak with it. Most of the time I will tend add some black pepper, freshly ground of course!
For sealing here is what I use:
The gallon sized bags are too big for one steak. But that's not problem. You can cut them in half, you will just need to seal both ends of the piece you cut off.
I don't have anything special to sous vide in, I just use my tallest pot with my circulator attached to it. Try to wedge the steaks underneath the circulator if you can so they don't try to float on you. Sometimes things I sous vide will float despite vacuum sealing them like veggies. But you can usually get a good seal on a steak especially if it's boneless.
Here are your temperature options.
|Medium Rare||130-135 degrees|
The sweet spot in my family is 135 degrees. I don't recommend going over 140.
🥩 Time - The first time I sous vided the steak I did it for 2 hours but I think 3 might of even better to make the meat more tender. It wasn't too tough by any means but I bet it could be more tender with a little more time.
All that's left after cooking is browning your steak. Get a hot pan going on the stove or fire up the grill. I add a little bit of oil to the steaks to help with the browning. Not much oil, just a light drizzle.
Then sear your steak for 30-60 seconds or so per side. I don't like going too long and screwing up the perfectly cooked inferior.
🔪 Tip - Always cut your steak against the grain. This will make for short meat fibers and make the steak more tender in your mouth.
🍖 Other Steaks
Having now tried the Denver steak I think the closest comparison I could come up with is the Flat Iron steak, which is also super tasty and is easier to find than the Denver.
Here are some other steaks you want to check out.
- 1 Denver steak
- kosher salt to taste
- oil for searing at the end
- Liberally season both sides of your steak.
- Place the steak into a vacuum sealable bag. Remove as much air as you can, being careful not to suck in any liquid out of the bag.
- Set your immersion circulator to 130-135 degrees for medium rare. Or up to 140 for medium. I don't recommend cooking it more than 140.
- Place the steak into the water bath. Set a timer for 3 hours.
- Remove the steak with a pair of tongs after the 3 hours is up.
- Add some oil to a cast iron pan. Set the pan over high heat and wait until the pan is sizzling hot. Then cook the steak for 30-60 seconds per side to just get it browned.
- Slice the steak against the grain when eating.