The steak is the classic dinner saver that satisfies the tastes of the whole family. It is prepared in five minutes and just accompanied with a rich salad and dinner is served!
Sometimes the steak is tough; other times, dry or, even worse, take on a grayish color. In short, what in theory is a simple and tasty dish can turn into an absolute disaster!
Cooking a steak is not science. How long it cooks depends on the strength of the flame, the structure of the meat, the pan, etc. There are, however, a few basic rules with Ramsay Gordon and Jamie Oliver weighing in!
1. Choice Of Meat
A perfectly cooked steak starts with a good cut of meat! Always go for slices that are not too thin and have a small percentage of fat. Using slightly fatty meat contributes to the success of the steak; the fat makes the meat tasty, tender, and promotes perfect cooking.
Another small trick before cooking steak is to take the meat out of the fridge at least thirty minutes before cooking, as this also contributes to the perfect steak! If the slices of meat are too moist, blot them with absorbent paper.
2. The Pan
The best of all is the grill pan, preferably in cast iron. With standard non-stick pans, it is almost impossible to obtain the famous crust that makes steaks delicious. Put the grill pan on the fire and let it heat well; it will be necessary to keep the heat high and let the pan heat for at least 5 minutes.
A hot pan allows the meat to seal immediately by retaining its juices inside. Make sure that the steak is comfortable in the pan, so it is best to cook one slice at a time. Filling the whole pan with pieces of meat does nothing but lower the temperature – so goodbye crust!
3. Do Not Pierce!
When the meat is in the pan, do not prick it with a fork or any other pointed utensil; piercing the meat will disperse its juices making the slice dry and stringy. So to turn the meat, it is better to equip yourself with kitchen tongs and be delicate.
Resist the temptation to turn the slice in a pan constantly; a legend says that the meat is turned only once per side and no more. This is indeed a legend!
4. Using Butter?
If you are using butter, you should heat the pan and melt the butter. Wait for the butter to stop foaming before placing the steak in the pan. Use this opportunity to season your meat.
Allow the meat to rest for three to five minutes in a slightly preheated place. This essential rest time allows the juice concentrated in the center of the muscle to spread to the periphery.
6. Tap The Meat
A good steak is tender and easy to cut. The trick to tenderizing the piece is to hit it several times with your hand or a flat utensil before cooking it!
7. Season At The Right Time
The seasoning of a steak makes the success of your dish, so you might as well not miss it. It is essential to season it at the right time and in the right place for tasty meat.
You can start by lightly salting your meat on both sides (at least forty minutes before cooking). Then coat your piece with a bit of olive oil and a mixture of spices, then grill your piece on the barbecue or in a pan.
8. Other Healthy Oil Alternatives
Burnt butter is particularly harmful to health. It is better to use vegetable oil that supports cooking, such as olive, sunflower, or grapeseed oil.
When the pan is hot, lower the heat, pour a spoonful of oil, and place your meat on the fat. When your steak is cooked on both sides, for more indulgence, you can add a knob of butter to the pan and sprinkle it on your meat, like the butlers.
9. Temperature Check
To know if your steak has reached the desired doneness, forget the knife and rely instead on the instant-read thermometer. Insert the rod into the side of the steak, in the meatiest part, without touching the bone, then wait for the temperature to stabilize (thirty to forty seconds).
10. How To Serve
The meat must be served and kept warm. Remember that if you opt for a cut, the slices cool much faster than the whole steak. This is why it is crucial to serving the meat in a dish previously heated in the oven or, better still, in a cast iron or soapstone dish that can keep the serving temperature constant much longer.