We are firmly convinced that a great steak is one of life’s true pleasures. A good steak contributes significantly to that real taste explosion, is a pleasure not only for the palate but also delivers a sense of total satisfaction. Sometimes we are often disappointed when we order it in a restaurant or cook it at home. This is normally due to the quality of the meat. Everybody is more likely to end up with a delicious steak when they start with grass-fed beef that´s been dry-aged and handled properly at every step along the way. But the cooking method requires some knowledge, to have the best results on the plate in the end and maximising flavour too.
Some cuts of meat are just naturally more tender than others regardless of the quality. Meat from areas where there is a lot of muscle use, will be tougher than less used muscles along the back, such as the Rib Eye, Striploin and Fillet.
As mentioned above dry-aged beef plays a huge roll in the quality of a steak. Beef should be hung after slaughter for a minimum of two weeks, we hang our beef for three weeks. Hanging beef (Dry-Ageing) gives the enzymes and bacteria in the meat time to start breaking down the fibres, which in time, the meat loses moisture, making it better for cooking also makes the meat more tender and gives it more flavour.
For the classic cuts Fillet, Striploin, T-Bone, Cote de Boeuf and Rib-Eye buy steaks that are at least two to three centimetres thick.
Should you start out with a frozen Steak this must be totally defrosted before starting. The best method is to take your steak out of the freezer and place it in the fridge minimum 24hrs before you wish to use it.
Take your steak out of the fridge an hour or two before you plan to cook it so that it reaches room temperature before you start. The thicker the steak the longer it takes to reach room temperature.
Use a cast iron pan. Heat it until it is smoking hot, or until you are barely able to hold your hand above it.
Rub the steak with a little oil (rapeseed or virgin olive oil). Do not oil the cast iron pan.
Just before you put the steak on the pan, sprinkle it with plenty of flaky sea salt and gently rub it in. The salt promotes what´s known as the Maillard effect – the browning and caramelising on the surface is what makes the steak taste so good! When you have placed the steak on the cast iron pan don´t move it around, this helps with the Millard reaction. Turn your steak only once.
Below you will find some timings for a few cuts of steak to get a general idea. It is always better to under cook your steak rather than over cook it – you can always put the steak back on the pan if it´s too rare, if it´s overdone you can´t uncook it!
Leave your steak to rest, for at least 5-10 minutes – we say you should leave your steak to rest for the same amount of time it took you to fry it. This improves texture and juiciness.
Guidelines are for medium rare. Cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of the steak, the temperature of the steak at the start and the heat of the pan before the cooking process.
GOURMET EXPERTS Ltd.
Wells House & Gardens
Co Wexford, IRELAND
+ 353 (0) 87 775 324 7