By: Eliza Brooks |
A good plate of steak is an excellent way to celebrate an important milestone in life, be it an anniversary, birthday, or just hanging out with good friends.
Here are five tips to help make the perfect steak dinner.
Determine the right cut
A crucial step in serving the perfect steak dinner is choosing the right cut for your meat.
Fillet cuts are the more expensive cuts, while rump and sirloin are chewier but more flavorful. If impressing your guests or date is your goal, ask your butcher for a chateaubriand. This is a fillet-type cut from the back of the cow ideal for steak. There is also the porterhouse cut, which is uncommon, or the fillet mignon, which is taken from the back of the tenderloin. Cheaper cuts are also great options since this is where you find the best flavor from the meat.
Select the best meat
Make sure the meat you select is moist and not dry or slimy. The meat should be fine-grained and firm with a little bit of marbling of fat. The absence of this fat will mean the steak will be dry. Fat at the edges of the meat should be cream in color, a sign of a properly hung beef — an indication the meat has been matured by hanging them on hooks to improve quality.
Cook the meat
The manner in which steak is cooked is almost an art in and of itself. There are countless ways to serve the best steak; all require different manners of cooking. For indoor cooking, you would want to fry your steak rather than grill it. A heavy-duty pan is going to deliver the best results, although a cast-iron skillet or a griddle pan is also a great choice.
Cook your meat one cut at a time. Don’t crowd them all in a single pan! Let the steak rest after removal from the pan.
As for seasoning, many grillmasters prefer nothing more than salt and pepper. Contrary to popular belief, seasoning the steak ahead will not draw out all the moisture. Seasoning will give the meat time to absorb the salt for a uniform flavor profile. Ideally, salt the meat at least two hours before it is cooked. To do so, sprinkle a generous amount of salt and black pepper on a plate, then press the meat into it.
Sear the meat
Many steak advocates say the best steaks are those that have been seared. Searing steak means cooking the meat until it gets a caramel-brown crust, enhancing its flavor. To do this, make sure both the pan and the fat are very hot. When you sear a steak, you cook it on one side at a time for equal amounts of time.
Serve the steak
The best way to serve steak is to serve it whole, giving your guests the chance to break the crispy surface and unseal the juicy goodness inside. But if you want to check if the meat has been cooked properly — or you want a more fun presentation — slice the steak diagonally and arrange it on the plate when you serve.
For the sides, serve thin chips along with a jug of sauce to complement the meat.