How to Tenderize and Cook a Steak

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Different food trends go in and out of fashion every day. Whole foods, raw foods, foraged foods and scientific foods have all graced our plates in recent years.  If there is one item of food that has remained a constant throughout, it has to be a delicious cut of steak.

But this simple culinary joy can be more complex than many people realise. From the tenderising to the cooking, right through to choosing the right sauces, creating the perfect steak is a complex art.

cook a steak

Here’s a look at some of the all-important considerations to factor in the next time your inner carnivore comes calling:

Choosing the right cut

There are plenty of sections on the cow to choose from, and surprisingly not everyone goes straight for the classic rib eye. Some determined chefs prefer to nurture and fuss over cheaper cuts, like the hanger steak for a particularly unique taste. But if you are cooking at home, the perfect steak usually comes from one of three cuts.

Considered the most lean and tender steak of all, fillet is ideal for quick cooking

The second is rump and although it’s a little firmer in texture than fillet, it’s said to have more flavour. It is usually quite a large steak, and can be cut into strips or chunks for frying as well. Finally, for a more hearty dining experience, the classic T-Bone features fillet on one side and sirloin on the other.

Preparation

If you’ve invested in a delicious cut of beef, the next step is to prepare it for cooking in order to produce the most tender and succulent results. Traditionally speaking, chefs were taught to tenderise the meat with a mallet, but this will only help to certain extent. Today, tenderising comes down to different factors.

Alongside choosing the right cut, temperature is another key issue to consider. Before cooking, warm the meat by wrapping the steaks in cling film and immersing them in warm water. Keep them there for 30–60 minutes before cooking. If you haven’t got the time, or the patience, get them out of the fridge and allow them to slowly come to room temperature before cooking.

Cooking

Unlike cuts of shin which are made for the hotpot, a good quality steak should be cooked in a pan on a high heat. How high your pan heat goes will depend on how much you enjoy a charred flavour in your meat. If that’s not your cup of tea, then go for a moderate heat instead. Start by heating a heavily-based griddle pan or frying pan over a medium-high heat. Absorb any moisture from the steak with a kitchen towel and then press the fatty edge of the steak on to the hot pan until nicely browned, sealing in moisture and flavour. Cook for equal timings on each side until it reaches your desired level.

For medium-rare, a 4cm steak should take approximately 6 minutes. Don’t forget to add your dream flavourings throughout the cooking process. Seasoning is an absolute must, so seal in lots of fresh sea salt and cracked pepper. Adding butter, garlic and thyme to the pan during coking will also infuse some delicious tastes. Always let the meat rest for 5 minutes before serving to enhance the taste.

Sauces

If you’re a steak purest, the deliciously meaty taste should be more than enough. But for people who enjoy a good sauce, you can’t go wrong with a delicious pepper sauce, mushroom sauce or herb butter option.

About Author – This article was written in collaboration with Boisdale Steak Restaurants London. Experts in providing the highest quality steaks to customers, alongside great live music.