Monday, August 27, 2012

Phenomenal Tip: How To Cook the Perfect Steak At Home

We love eating out at restaurants that serve good steaks such as Mamou, Bistecca, etc; but more often, we enjoy having our steaks along with the experience of cooking it right in our own kitchen - on the stovetop. Yes, restaurant-quality steak can be done right on top of your stove. Because really, taking out the grill and flaming the charcoal is just too much work. My entire family looks forward to steak dinners, and we have it often enough with the minimum of effort and with good results - and of course, the much coveted grill marks to show for, too. :)

When it comes to buying good quality steaks, it is usually C's territory. There are three places we buy our steaks from, depending on who does the buying.

C goes to Santis's for the U.S. Black Angus rib-eye, and if he finds like-minded friends, he also orders American Wagyu rib-eye from Snake River Farm, enough to fill the entire freezer with nothing else but. Snake River Farms is exclusively distributed in the Philippines by Alternatives Food Corp. They supply to premium commercial food outlets, but they also sell to individuals, you just have to purchase one slab and find like-minded friends to share the huge slab with. Call their Ortigas sales office for your orders and they also accommodate free deliveries.

As for me, I am a different story. I find the prices of the 2 previous mentioned suppliers absurd, ridiculous, over the top expensive. Although I cook the slabs for him, I cannot bring myself to buy for him. Because if it were all entirely up to me, I would rather take one of the cheaper alternatives and buy the Australian brand, Meltique. At S&R, a box of five steaks only costs P1,599.95, so roughly about P320 for a slice.

Cooking steaks at home is one of the easiest thing to do, just follow these easy tips for cooking perfect steaks on the stove-top:

1. Buy a good quality steak. This is the most important of ALL the steps. There is nothing you can do for a steak that is not great to begin with. Our favorite cut is the rib-eye because it has have large pockets of fat, which add flavor and give the steak a moist, juicy texture.

Be willing to spend a little more for a premium cut, and I assure you it will be worth it when you take the first bite. And if you think of how much restaurants charge for a U.S. Black Angus rib-eye of Wagyu rib-eye, buying your own slab looks downright reasonable.

2. Bring the meat to room temperature prior to cooking. Bring your steak to the fridge one day before you cook it, and take it out to room temp about two hours before you cook it. This is really important because you will be cooking the meat for a very short time on very high heat. You don’t want to cook a steak that is still frozen in the middle and burnt on the outside.

3. Season your steak - generously. A really good piece of meat only needs two things: sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Pat the meat dry and sprinkle both sides with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Seasoning your steak will help you get that great brown crust.

4. Prep the pan. Place the grill pan ( if you care for the grill marks) onto the stove top on high heat to preheat. You will know it is hot enough by placing a drop of water on the pan. If the water sizzles violently and evaporates, the pan is ready. Olive oil is not really a good oil to use when grilling steaks as it turns bitter at high heat; instead, it is better to use a non-GMO corn oil. I use the Marca Leon brand.

5. Sear the Steak. Cooking steak without overcooking it is all about putting the steak with a lot of heat very quickly. Consider the size of your pan and do not crowd your grill pan with too much cuts as this will considerably change the pan temperature and make the meat steam, and not sear.

Let the steak cook on one side without moving it for 3 minutes until the underside has those highly coveted grill marks and a deep golden brown crust. After searing, adjust the heat to medium to avoid charring or overcooking the meat. Do not cook the steaks at the super high heat the entire time, the outside will be burnt by the time the center cooks.

Be sure to time how long you cook your steak, You should flip a steak one time only. In addition, use tongs to move your meat around, not a big fork. Using a fork will puncture the surface of the steak and let the juices run out and cause them to be dry and tough. I usually cook mine 7-10 minutes each side, depending on the thcikness of the cut. You will have to experiment to find the cooking time that works for you.

6. Let the steak rest. Take the steak off the pan just before it gets to the desired stage (medium well, medium rare - depends on your preference) and let it "rest" on a plate for 3 to 5 minutes before cutting it up and serving it. Steaks need to rest so the juices can redistribute.

7. Savor the steak! That's all there is to it.

BUT, if you are still not convinced, read what Alain Ducasse has to say about Cooking Steak With Style: Easy Does It.

Alternative Foods Corp : +63-2-631-7228
Meltique is available at all S&R branches