FIVE THINGS TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING A STEAK
- When choosing a steak, sirloin is a fine choice due to its tasty, melt-in-the-mouth succulence. Good sirloin has just the right amount of fat and nice marbling. Rump steak is slightly cheaper than sirloin but it’s still a great steak for griddling or frying, with more flavour than sirloin. However, it does tend to be slightly chewier, especially if it has not been matured properly.
- Age of the steak is important, as the hanging process develops the flavour and tenderises the meat. So ask your butcher how long the beef has been hung for. As a rule, 21 days as a minimum and 35 days as a maximum is a good range to go for.
- Good beef should be a deep red colour, like the meat featured below.
- Check the beef has good marbling – little streaks of fat running through the meat. This melts when heated, helping the steak to baste itself from within as it cooks.
- A good layer of creamy-white fat around the top of sirloin steaks is essential.
FIVE STEPS TO COOKING THE PERFECT STEAK AT HOME
- Heat your griddle or frying pan over a high heat, until smoking hot.
- Lightly brush the steak with a little olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Don’t griddle more than two steaks at a time, and keep them spaced well apart. If you add more than two steaks to the pan at once, the temperature will drop and the steak will stew, rather than fry.
- Don’t turn the steaks until good seared markings are achieved, then turn them over and cook on the other side (see timings, below).
- You must let the steak rest for about 3 minutes before serving, to allow the juices that have been drawn to the surface to relax back into the meat.
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