What Is a Denver Steak?
A Denver steak, or Denver cut, is a cut of beef taken from the chuck or shoulder area of beef cattle. A Denver steak comes from the area underneath the blades of the short ribs and is sometimes called an underblade steak. Denver steaks are typically about 3/4-inch thick with rich fat marbling.
Denver steak was created as part of a trend to develop more diverse cuts of beef for restaurants and consumers. The steak has a lot of flavor from the dense marbling and is more tender than other cuts from the chuck area. Denver steak is more commonly found in restaurants than in supermarkets. Restaurant chefs use a combination of seasoning and braising techniques to develop the flavor of the Denver cut fully.
At home, the Denver steak is best prepared by broiling, grilling or braising. An overnight marinade before broiling or grilling helps the steak stay tender. Quality marinades contain acids, such as vinegar or citrus juices, to soften tougher meat fibers. A very hot grill or broiler sears the outside quickly without overcooking the inside of the meat. Braising involves cooking both sides until seared in a hot sauté pan that is well-greased with butter or olive oil and then finishing the steak in a moderate oven until it reaches the desired level of doneness.