Rarely should a week go by without a man or woman eating steak. Whether it be a baking hot evening on the BBQ, a romantic night in, or you have just pumped out an intense gym session and need the best protein fix you can get; Steak is always the answer.
TOP 3 Steaks in the U.K.
- Butchers Knowledge: Top end of the ribcage, ribs 6-12. Ribeye’s are basically a prime rib or standing rib roast cut down into individual steaks.
- Otherwise known as: Entrecôte, Delmonico, Scotch fillet, Spencer, market, beauty.
- Appearance: The most well marbled steak in the family. Small sections of fat striking through the meat like lightning.
- Taste: The benefit of the lightning rippling through the meat is astonishing, breaking up the meaty fibres creates tenderness. Furthermore that fat is they key to bringing out the intense rich beefy flavour. Unrivalled for flavour.
- Cooking: A high heat is required to melt the fat.
- Butchers Knowledge: Cut form the Short loin behind the ribs, this is a leaner alternative to the Ribeye.
- Otherwise known as: NY strip, Manhattan, Kansas City strip, top sirloin, top loin, contre-filet.
- Appearance: A deep rich maroon coloured meat with slight flecks of marbling throughout the meat (Not overly fatty!). A thin layer of fat on top of the meat completes another masterpiece.
- Taste: A leaner version of the Ribeye. A nice balance of fat to meat ratio. Less tender than ribeyes and fillets but just as succulent.
- Cooking: Start with a high heat to seal the meat and keep all the juiciness inside. Once seared, lower the heat and hold the steak fat side down on the pan to render (The fat needs longer than the steak).
- Butchers Knowledge: The most enjoyable and skilled job a butcher takes on. One slip of the knife can cut into the most valued piece of meat in the world. It is a great skill and art to separate the Fillet from the sirloin and ribs of the carcass. Once separated you have in front of you £200+ worth of beauty.
- Otherwise known as: Filet mignon, Châteaubriand, fillet, filet.
- Appearance: A Circular medallion of Burgundy beauty. Handle with care as it is so tender it will fall apart.
- Taste: A buttery like texture with minimal fat. It is guaranteed that with every mouthful, you will be left wanting to devour more.
- Cooking: High heat to quickly sear the meat. Once seared drop down to medium and give a healthy chunk of butter to bathe the steak in. (The fat needs longer than the meat).
These 3 steaks take top priority in our shop. Other to note are T-Bone, Skirt & Flank.
Preparing and Cooking the perfect Steak.
Time to get to work, to impress others with your skills in the kitchen. Cooking Steak is a touchy subject! Most conversations result in arguments when someone says they want their steak well done. They are correct to argue as this is a criminal offence. NO STEAK SHOULD EVER BE COOKED WELL DONE! Most high end restaurants will actually refuse to cook a steak in this way.
Why? Steaks are full of protein, natural fat and liquids. By overcooking a steak you are essentially drying it out. You then end up with a lump of tough muscle fibres that will leave you chewing all night long. It’s the same for nearly every other food. Would you cook a carrot until all the colour and flavour has drained out? Creating a lump of mush. NO. I may sound aggressive but when someone asks for a steak well done it breaks my heart.
OK, enough rambling.
2 hours before cooking, pull your steak out of the fridge and leave at room temperature. Why? This relaxes the steak so it doesn’t get shocked when entering the pan. A bit like jumping into that ice bath at the gym. Your muscles turn rock solid in pure shock.
Now the steak has relaxed, lightly rub in some sea salt and oil. Why? Salt is a flavour enhancer, the right amount takes food to the next level. SEASON EVERYTHING. Lightly rubbing oil on the steak is a little trick top chef’s use. Basically you don’t end up with a pan full of oil and your steak ending up being deep fat fried. Why haven’t you added pepper? First of all I personally believe pepper burns once cooked so I add it later on in the process. Secondly, why ruin the beautiful flavour with pepper!
You’re ready. Prep is the hard work. Cooking SHOULD be the easy part.
The Pan/Griddle/BBQ is at 8.5/10 of the heat you can get it to. Drop your steak into the centre. One of the best noises in the world then graces your kitchen whilst you get burnt by the fat or oil spitting back at you. Stand back or drop a splatter guard on top of the pan. After about 2 mins you need to turn the steak over. You should see a deep brown colour on the side you have flipped, having been beautifully seared.
OK, now the hard part. Your girlfriend wants her steak medium, you want yours rare and your Mom wants it well done, BUT YOU REFUSE TO COMMIT SUCH A CRIME!
A rather quirky but effective way of how to check your steak is by touching the muscle just under your thumb. For rare, touch your thumb and closest finger together. Feel the muscle under your thumb and that’s how your steak should feel – almost squidgy. For medium rare, touch your middle finger with your thumb and so on. Once you get to your pinky finger the muscle is solid. If your steak feels like this it is f*ck*d. Check out a video explanation here.
If you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, here are some rough timings calculated on an 8 ounce steak:
Rare: 2 mins either side or less. Soft to touch.
Medium Rare: 2 mins 45 seconds either side. Soft with a slight spring to touch.
Medium: 3 mins 30 seconds either side. Starting to get firmer but still slight soft to touch.
Anything over that I’m not going to explain because the steak is ruined.
The hardest part of all is letting your steak rest. We have all dived in too early and out comes all the beautiful juices you have spent so long locking in!
Just be patient for 5 mins. Let everything calm down. Sort your side dishes or do the washing up whilst the steak does the last job for you.
Even after choosing the most beautiful looking steak from your butcher (NOT SUPERMARKET!), there is still a 1% chance that it might be tough. Why? Because it’s a natural product. It’s like that piece of fruit you buy that has a hole in the side when a worm has taken a liking to it. Steak/Beef can sometimes be tough for many reasons. But 99% of the time the butcher will get it right. Let him know if you have had a tough piece of beef or steak. He can then let the supplier know and tell the butcher of its error. More times than not they will give you a refund or replacement.
Steak is a super-food. It’s packed full of protein and goodness. Why buy powdered protein full of unknown chemicals when you can eat quality meat for protein?
Fat on animals isn’t bad for you! It is the saturated fats in long life biscuits and sugars in sweets that are harmful. Natural fats give you energy and are healthy!
I hope you have picked up some tips and tricks whilst reading this and have managed to cook the perfect steak. Remember … Don’t oil the pan but the steak, let the steak do the work – Rest before and after and most importantly… A well done steak is a crime!
Ribeye for me tonight. Sides of Peppercorn sauce, chips and a fried egg.