“…there is no flavour without the fat.”
Irish Beef and Irish Steak are second to none on the world’s stage of top quality meats. Our cattle are predominately grass-fed and this is something that other countries recognise as ‘special’ in Irish meats. I believe that this is the main reason that our beef is the tastiest meat on the planet!
A good steak is one of those dishes that can simply make or break any restaurant. If butchers owned restaurants, we’d all be happy! So Buy your Meat from a local Butcher!
Here are my tips for Buying a great Steak.
1. When choosing a steak, Sirloin (sometimes called striploin) is a fine choice due to its tasty, melt-in-the-mouth succulence. A good steak has just the right amount of fat and nice marbling. Rump steak and Rib-eye are slightly cheaper than Sirloin but I think they are better steaks for barbequing or frying, with much more flavour.
2. 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 is a minimum and 35 days as a maximum hanging time is a good range to go for.
3. Good, well hung beef should be a deep red colour.
4. Check that 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.
5. There is no flavour without the fat! A good layer of creamy-white fat around the top of rump and sirloin steaks is essential, as is a little fat through the meat.
Five steps to cooking the perfect steak at home
1. Take the steaks out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to allow to come to room temperature. Heat your griddle or frying pan over a high heat.
2. Lightly brush the steak with a little olive oil, or Donegal rapeseed oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper just before cooking.
3. Don’t cook off more than two steaks at a time and keep them spaced well apart. If you add too many steaks to the pan at once, the temperature will drop and the steak will stew, rather than fry.
4. Don’t turn the steaks until good seared markings are achieved, then turn them over and cook on the other side (see timings, below). I always lift the steak up on it’s fatty edge and sear that too until it crisps – yum!
5. Let the steak rest for about 2 minutes (under loose tinfoil if you want) before serving, to allow the juices that have been drawn to the surface to relax back into the meat.
Cooking Times for Steaks.
These timings are based on cooking a Sirloin steak that’s about 2cm (3/4 of an inch) thick. Cooking times will vary depending on the type and thickness of the steak, and how hot your pan is. Be adventurous and try cooking your steak a little less well done than you normally would. I guarantee that you’ll never eat a well-done steak again once you’ve tasted a really juicy medium!
Blue: 1 minute each side
Rare: 1½ minutes each side
Medium rare: 2 minutes each side
Medium: 2½ minutes each side
Medium-well done: 3 minutes each side.
Well Done: 5 minutes each side – but do try to eat your steak a little less done than you usually would and you’ll discover the real taste of Irish Steak!
|Juicy Medium Rare – Just the way I like it!|